December 01, 2023

Italian Supercars | 4 Car Brands Born from Fiery Sparks

 Nowadays car companies in many countries in the world make sports cars. These include German, American, Japanese, French, and British companies from all countries. But several decades ago, in all these countries, sports cars did not exist or only one or two companies made sports cars with great difficulty.

It was challenging to make these cars and to find customers for such expensive sports cars at that time. But there was one country whose car companies were very expert in doing both these things, and that was Italy.

Italian Car brand | Lamborghini | Alfa Romeo | Ferrari | Pagani | Car brands

Italy was a country where every car manufacturer used to make only sports cars and even today, if we see, seven out of eight car companies here make only sports cars.

Among these, the most famous sports car manufacturers today are four in Italy. Those are Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, and Pagani. People must have heard many stories about them but perhaps no one knows one thing and that is, Ferrari started with Alfa Romeo, Ferrari started with Lamborghini and Lamborghini started with Pagani. The primary reason for the opening of all these three companies was disagreements and feelings of revenge. 

This article will disseminate a story that you must have heard less frequently. This is also an opportunity to learn from the experiences of great people on how and when you leave your comfort zone and experiment differently, you reach the greatest heights.


This story starts with Alfa Romeo. This company started in 1910. This was the time when cars used to be so expensive that only rich people of the same level as today's private jets could afford them and if you had to sell your cars to such rich people, your cars had to prove they were capable. Simply printing advertisements for cars in pamphlets and newspapers did not work. That's why most European car brands used to participate in races and Alfa Romeo also started doing this. That's why in 1920, Alfa Romeo released its first sports car named Torpedo and this car could produce 30 horsepower.

Enzo Ferrari working as a racer in Alfa Romeo

As soon as it was launched, this company started winning races continuously. In which he won the first race in 1920. When the Giuseppe company won the race in Mugello he came number one and positioned second in the Targa Florio race, none other than Enzo Ferrari. Yes, Ferrari's founder. Enzo Ferrari started his racing career in 1908. At that time he was only 10 years old. After racing for a few years, i.e. in 1919, he joined the racing team of Alfa Romeo. Now he was working as a racing driver in Alfa Romeo he used to participate in the races that were organized locally and at the same time, he also used to work in the Milan sales depot of Alfa Romeos. But in 1929 he left his permanent job at Alfa Romeo and founded his racing team called Scuderia Ferrari. 

To build this team he took a loan of one million Liras from the local bank. Apart from this he also got backing from some fellow elite, amateur racers. At the same time, he also got support from Italy's famous tire company Pirelli. Now, even though Ferrari had received a lot of support, despite all this, the money they received was only that much that they could only set up a racing team. And just setting up a racing team is not enough, you also need cars to race. So to source these racing cars, he went to George Remini who was the commercial director at Alfa Romeo. In this meeting, both of them set up a partnership due to which they would get cars from Alfa Romeo to participate in racing events. 

But there was a twist in it. See alfa also participated in racing events as I told you earlier. And he knew that if he gave his new racing cars to Enzo Ferrari then Alfa would not be able to win against him. That's why this agreement was reached between the two, and that was that Scuderia or Ferrari would use Alfa's cars to participate in the new race and Alfa would race with its new cars based on new technology. But these things did not last long. Because Alfa Romeo's factory was acquired by the Italian government when World War 1 was going on. 

Beginning of Ferrari

That's why Ferrari focused on making its cars and started R&D. The amazing thing is that he also started winning with his car. Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo has returned to the game and the thing to note is that the partnership between Alfa and Ferrari has not ended yet. And when Alfa returns to the races, they find that their partnership has become a joke and Ferrari continues to win races. So Alfa Romeo bought 80% shares of Scuderia and they became the owner. Enzo Ferrari worked as a manager in this racing team for some time, but in 1939 he was thrown out from his racing team by Alfa Romeo. And this thing reminds me of that phase of Steve Jobs when he was thrown out of the Apple he created himself.

Well, Enzo Ferrari was very angry with all these things, and what he did was that with his savings and the money, he got by selling the racing team, he decided to start his own sportscar company. At the end of 1938, he started it and the name of this company was Auto Avio Costruzioni. This is the same company that later became Ferrari. But for the first four years, he could not change the name due to a non-compete agreement with Alfa Romeo. Well, anyway Ferrari started. 

Ferrari started making many cars; throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s, they made many sports cars. Ferrari emerged as the world's largest and most advanced supercar manufacturer. All Ferrari sports cars were made in very limited quantities and hence were super expensive. For that reason, only a few millionaires and billionaires could buy Ferrari.

How Ferrari owner’s insult created Lamborgini

There was a person, Ferruccio Lamborghini. Who was the owner of Italy's largest tractor manufacturing company and he used to own many Ferrari cars. But he often seemed a little unhappy with his Ferrari cars. And the biggest reason for this was the clutch of these cars. He believed that Ferraris' clutches break very easily. That's why one morning in 1963, he goes to a neighboring village in Maranello with his complaint and knocks on the door of a person and the person whose door he knocked on was Enzo Ferrari himself. It is believed that this meeting was very small. 

In this, Mr. Lamborghini explains to Mr. Ferrari how the quality of his clutches is very bad. He gives many suggestions as to how he can improve the clutches of his cars so that they last longer. Ferruccio Lamborghini told his point to Enzo Ferrari but Mr. Ferrari didn't like this constructive criticism. And instead of thinking about it, he tells Mr. Lamborghini something that has changed the entire sports car industry. Go back to your tractors, farmer.

Beginning of Automobili Lamborgini

Mr. Lamborghini felt very bad after this insult. Because he was also an engineer and his tractors were considered the best in Italy, he felt that Mr. Ferrari underestimated him and because of that very insult, he made a fitful decision. And that decision was that now he will also start a sportscar manufacturing company which will make faster and better cars than Ferrari and this time the work is also started very quickly. A small factory was opened in Sant'Agata, in which, within four months, Lemborgany made its first sports car, which was named Lamborghini 350 GT.

 Now if you pay attention, this is more shocking, isn't it? when a brand that had only made tractors to date, made a full-fledged sports car in just four months, how did Lamborghini do this? Ferrari itself was involved in the success of Lamborghini, not directly but indirectly. Because allegedly Enzo's wife Laura Ferrari was making very important decisions on the factory floor. And Ferrari's senior executives were very happy with this. Instead of listening to him and finding a way out, Enzo threw them out of the company. 

Someone's Trash, Another's Treasure!

And these five gentlemen who left Ferrari included Ferrari's chief engineer and development manager. And these senior employees approached Lamborghini and included it in their company. These five people, along with the rest of the tractor-making engineers, very quickly made a beautiful sports car. 350 GT received a good response and 13 customers bought the car immediately. And within its total timeline, 120 units of this car were sold. But this car did not make much difference to Ferrari. He was not afraid of this car, he believed that we make a perfect car from it. But the next car launched by Lamborghini shook not only Ferrari but all the companies around the world because that was the Miura. 

This car used to look too futuristic for the mid-60s. And it was a rear mid-engine car like F1 cars have always been. And this thing was very rare at that time for any car to come with a rear mid-engine configuration. And because of all these things, Miura proved to be a huge commercial hit. The production of this car started in 1967 and continued till 1973 and within that time, 764 units of this car were sold, which was a huge number for cars of this type at that time. After this, Lamborghini started launching sports cars one after the other. After this Espada was launched, then came Islero, then came Jarama, and then came Urraco. Now Lamborghini is launching sports cars one after the other but none has become as famous as Miura until Countach. Looking at the Countach, it seemed as if this car had come from another world and it was also the fastest Lamborghini ever.

How Pagani was diverse from Lamborgini?

But the most powerful variant of it came in the last days i.e. in 1998. The person who was leading this project was none other than Horacio Pagani. Yes, the same person who today owns Italy's most exclusive car company. Mr. Pagani was very fond of cars since childhood, he even made a Formula Three sports car at the age of twenty. Due to this, he got a job at Renault. But after spending some time there, he reached Lamborghini and started his career there by doing basic jobs like sweeping, etc. But due to his hard work and talent, he got recognition in Lamborghini. And he gradually climbed the company's corporate ladder and at one point he reached the chief engineer position. He also started working on the final version of the Lamborghini Countach as I told you. But there came a time when things got worse between Lamborghini and him. Mr. Pagani always used to work on the body and design language of cars. The recognition he got was because of his skill and even in Renault, he was called to improve the body of racing cars where he worked before Lamborghini. And he also wanted to do some big work for Lamborghini and that big work was autoclave.

Pagani’s reason for leaving Lamborgini

An autoclave is a machine inside which a very strong vacuum is created so that carbon fiber parts can be made. Mr. Pagani wanted Lamborghini to invest in the autoclave so that Lamborghini's cars could become much lighter and more rigid and could get ahead of the competition. But his statement was rejected by saying that when Ferrari does not have an autoclave, what will we do with it? As if Lamborghini's goal was only to follow Ferrari. Well, that was not even their mistake because in the 80s, no one used to make carbon fiber cars. But still, Mr. Pagani was very ambitious and he was not going to stop at these things and that is why he resigned from Lamborghini, by borrowing money, he bought an autoclave in 1987. And started his own design consultancy company, whose name was Moderna Design. 

This company had big clients like Aprilia, Daimler, and even Lamborghini's enemy company Ferrari. But the design form was probably only a stepping stone for him because later he launched his own car company, whose name was Pagani Automobile. In the late 90s, he launched his first car, Zonda and later Huayra also came. They released many different variants of only two cars over the years. But this car is so exclusive that till 2022, Pagani has sold only 450 such cars. Some of their models are so exclusive and so expensive that the worth of one of their cars is twenty times that of a Ferrari.

Carbon Fiber Body Speciality of Pagani

Well, apart from the exclusivity, Pagani also had one specialty. As we know, his love for autoclave was also visible in his car company and that is why Pagani became the only company that started giving carbon fiber cars from the very beginning and also became a company whose all the cars were made only with carbon fiber. He set such a trend in the market that if any sports car brand wants to call its car a hypercar, then its car should be completely made of carbon fiber. 

Well, this was the story due to which, due to resentment and disagreement, three big supercar manufacturers were born in Italy. What did you learn from this story today? Please tell me in the comments.

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