Ferrari vs Lamborghini, What’s the Beef?

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Few business rivalries achieve the same intensity as the luxury carmakers Ferrari and Lamborghini. Sure, Coke and Pepsi don’t get along, but neither of the soda companies were born out of a confrontation between their respective founders. While both Ferrari and Lamborghini continue to make impressive innovations, their rivalry was born in the 1950s over an argument about a tractor clutch.
Close up shot of the Ferrari logo on the back of a Ferrari F40
The rivalry between Ferrari and Lamborghini began due to a tractor clutch.

The rivalry: a farmer and a dreamer’s road to luxury cars

Enzo Ferrari could easily be considered a dreamer. Born in 1898 in the small north Italian city of Modena, Ferrari had big aspirations for his life. After serving in the Italian military during World War I, Ferrari would take up careers in sports journalism, opera singing, and car racing.
Ferrari would eventually set up his company called Auto-Avio that supplied parts to racing teams. He wouldn’t open the car factory that bore his name until he was in his late 40s. The first Ferrari vehicle would be the 1.5-liter, V12 125S.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a generation younger and came from a more rural background. His parents owned a grape farm, and it seemed that Lamborghini would follow in their footsteps. However, this farmer in training took a liking to tractors and mechanical engineering more than horticulture.
Lamborghini would go on to found his own company, Lamborghini Trattori (Tractors). With his knack for mechanical engineering, this tractor parts company became wildly successful. So much so that after 10 years in business, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to buy his own Ferrari vehicle.

The birth of the Lamborghini

Ferruccio Lamborghini was annoyed with his new Ferrari 250 GT. He found it to be too noisy to drive in the city, and that the quality of the interior didn’t live up to their expensive price. Even more frustrating, he found that the Ferrari 250 GT needed constant repairs. To his annoyance, most of these repairs could only be done at Ferrari’s shop behind closed doors.
Annoyed by this, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to start doing his own repairs. He went further in deciding to make his own modifications to the car. While enhancing his 250 GT, he came across a shocking discovery: Ferrari was using Lamborghini’s tractor clutch.
While not an insult on his own, the price mark-up on the clutch sure was. Lamborghini’s tractor company sold the clutch for 10 lire. Ferrari was charging customers 1,000 lire for the exact same clutch. Lamborghini raced to Modena to directly express his anger at Enzo Ferrari.
The actual confrontation between Lamborghini and Ferrari has a few different iterations. But Discovery was able to find a record from someone who actually witnessed the confrontation. Apparently, Ferrari insulted Lamborghini by calling him a dumb farmer who doesn’t know anything about sports cars.
Lamborghini retorted by saying, “Correct, I am a farmer, but I’ll show you how to make a sports car, and I’ll do it by myself to show you how a sports car has to be.”

What’s in Ferrari’s fine print?

The rest, as they say, is history. The Lamborghini car company was born from an insulted mechanical engineer. The two car companies would go tit for tat over their decades-long rivalry which still exists today.
For example, Ferrari has a lot of fine print as to who is allowed to buy their vehicles. They only want classy people to drive their cars that are preferably older than 40. Another requirement for buying a Ferrari is that you don’t own a Lamborghini, as reported by Autoevolution.
Another thing that comes with a lot of fine print is car insurance. That’s where Jerry can help. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding the cheapest quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.

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