Rhodes and the rise of Ferruccio Lamborghini: How a legendary car industry started from a workshop in Rhodes
The story of how Ferruccio Lamborghini on the island of Rhodes during World War II led to the creation of one of the world's most iconic car brands.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a successful Italian businessman and founder of the luxury sports car brand Lamborghini. He was born in 1916 in Renazzo, a small town in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. He grew up in a carefree atmosphere, but this was abruptly shattered by the outbreak of World War II.
Ferruccio was sent to the island of Rhodes, then Italian territory, and assigned to the "50th Autoreparto Misto di Manovra", reporting directly to the High Command of the island's Armed Forces. Known as the "Autocentro", this unit was responsible for the maintenance and repair of all military vehicles on the island.
Ferruccio immediately realized the unique opportunity he had encountered: to work with the most sophisticated tools of the Italian and foreign engineering industry. He soon became the head of the laboratory department and his excellent intuition consistently brought him to the center of every situation, making him one of the most popular people around. His bravery and talent in the field of engines brought him popularity and the absolute confidence of the commanders.
However, life on the island was marked by the tragedy of war until September 8, 1943, when all the staff of the "Autocentro" left the city. But Ferruccio could not stay away from the engines for long and returned to Rhodes in civilian clothes. After doing a series of odd jobs, he later opened a small workshop with the permission of the Germans, who preferred to exploit his mechanical abilities rather than imprison him.
In 1946, a year after the end of the war, Ferruccio was free to return to Italy. He was not alone, as he had met Clelia, an Italian from Ferrara, in Rhodes and they had fallen in love. Ferruccio had clear ideas about his future: he wanted to get married and take advantage of the incredible opportunities that were beginning to appear in his country, which was just recovering from the war and where a new air of freedom and entrepreneurship was beginning to be felt.
Ferruccio Lamborghini's passion for engineering and entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own business, which eventually became the luxury sports car brand Lamborghini. It started by making tractors and other agricultural machinery, but soon moved on to making luxury sports cars. His company became known for its powerful engines and elegant designs, and Lamborghini cars have become synonymous with luxury and performance.
Ferruccio Lamborghini died in 1993, but his legacy lives on through the cars that bear his name and continue to be admired by car enthusiasts around the world. His story is a testament to the power of determination and hard work and the ability to turn his passion into a successful business.