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Today, a Lamborghini is the ultimate dream machine. They go fast, look gorgeous and stand for material success (if you own a Lamborghini, chances are you've done something right in life).
\nBut the brand's beginning couldn't be more humble. Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini – a mechanic in World War II – started his empire from salvaged war parts, cobbling them together to create tractors for his local community.
\nAs Ferruccio's started to make money, he decided to go into the automobile trade. Having produced just a few dummy models, he was stumped by issues with the clutch. He asked friend and then little-known car-maker Enzo (of Ferrari fame) if he could help, but was quickly turned down by the pride-filled Modenan.
\nAngered by Enzo Ferrari's dismissal, Ferruccio decided to do it all on his own. The goal? To create cars that were not only up to Ferrari's lofty standards, but to surpass them.
\nThe result is a supercar legacy almost beyond compare, and one that has produced some of the finest motors on the planet. Here's ten of the finest.
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1. Lamborghini 350GT
\nThe first car after Enzo Ferrari slighted Ferruccio Lamborghini by reportedly saying, "Lamborghini, you may be able to drive a tractor but you will never be able to handle a Ferrari properly". The GT was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964, and could hit a top speed of 158mph.
\nOnly 120 examples were made between 1964 and 1966.
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2. P400 Miura
\nThe P400 was launched in 1966 and is considered to be the world's first supercar. At the time, it was the fastest production vehicle on the market, thanks to its 350hp, 4-litre V12 engine. Named after the famous fighting bulls from Don Eduardo Miura Fernández’s ranch in Spain (which was also the inspiration for Lamborghini's logo) the original model could hit a top speed of 172mph.
\nAround 770 models were produced between 1966 and 1973, including the P400 S (that both Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis would go on to covet).
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3. Lamborghini Espada
\nThe four-seat Espada dominated sales for Lamborghini from when it was produced in 1968 through to 1978. The 'family-friendly' car was marketed for the mature man, the next step after the Miura. The Espada would go from zero to 60mph in just 6.5 seconds, and had a top speed of 152 mph thanks to a 3.9-litre engine capable of 349hp.
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4. Lamborghini LP400 Countach
\nBy the time the Countach rolled onto streets, Ferruccio has handed over the helm of Lamborghini to Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer. Their first order of business was to jump-start sales with an innovative new vehicle.
\nThe result was the highly-collectible Countach, a coupe that would cruise from zero to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 196mph. Just 150 of the original version were ever built, but the car's impact on the car industry can still be seen today.
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5. Lamborghini LM002 'Rambo Lambo.'
\nNot many people are aware that Lamborghini got into the off-road game in 1977. The LM002 was coined the "Rambo Lambo" by the press and was developed for possible military and industrial applications.
\nBuilt from a steel chassis, with body panels of riveted aluminium and fibreglass, the off-roader had a cabin with leather seats, air-conditioning, tinted windows and a top-of-the-line sound system. Lamborghini's first four-wheel drive vehicle, it could still hit 100kph in just 7.8 seconds – with a top speed of 210kph.
\nOnly 328 models were built from 1986 to 1993. It did have its fair share of celebrity and infamous owners, however, including Sylvester Stallone, Hunter S. Thompson, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and Pablo Escobar.
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6. Lamborghini Diablo
\nNeeding a successor to the Countach, Lamborghini created the Diablo. Not as angular as its predecessor, the Diablo made up for it with pure performance. Powered by a 492hp, 5-litre V12 engine, it could go from still to 100kph in 4.5 seconds. It was also the first Lamborghini to top speeds of 330kph.
\nNamed after a legendary bull known for its strength and stamina, the Diablo was made of aluminium and composite materials on a steel-alloy and carbon-fibre chassis. There would be several later versions of the Diablo, including a roadster, track racer, and all-wheel drive variant.
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7. Lamborghini Murciélago
\nNamed after another famous bull (this one's tenacity led to it being spared from death in the ring), the Murciélago was the first new Lamborghini to be produced under Volkswagen's ownership. The all-wheel drive motor had a 572hp, 6.2-litre V-12 engine and the ability to go from zero to a hundred in just 3.8 seconds. Top speeds were above 335kph.
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8. Lamborghini Gallardo
\nThe most successful supercar in the Lamborghini stable, the Gallardo was purchased more than any other vehicle in the Lambo line-up. Inspired by a 1995 concept car, the Gallardo was constructed from an aluminium space frame clothed in aluminium and thermoplastic body parts. That made the Gallardo 538 pounds lighter than the earlier Murciélago.
\nThe lighter frame and the V-10 engine (with 500hp) could go from zero to 100 in just 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 310kph.
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9. Lamborghini LP 700-4 Aventador
\nThe Aventador replaced the Gallardo in 2011. Weighing far less than its predecessor, thanks to its carbon-fiber monocoque construction, the all-wheel-drive Aventador was designed to be fast and agile. The 700hp 6.5-litre V12 engine took the car from zero to 100kph in just 2.9 seconds and hit speeds up to 370kph.
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10. Lamborghini LP 610-4 Huracán
\nThe Huracán (Spanish for hurricane) arrived in 2014, complete with 602hp, 5.2-litre V10 engine. It could go from still to 100kph in 2.5 seconds, with a top speed of 340kph. The first Lamborghini to come with Audi's virtual cockpit functionality, the Huracán had mod-cons such as 12.3in LCD with Google Earth GPS connectivity.