Bull-Headed: The art of naming Lamborghinis

With so many taking their names from powerful bulls, Lamborghinis are appropriately titled for the arduous task of locking horns with Ferrari. We take a look at the namesakes of the Miura, the Islero, and others of that ilk.

 

Breeding Bravado: Lamborghini Miura

Bull-Headed: The art of naming LamborghinisBull-Headed: The art of naming Lamborghinis

Self-confident entrepreneur Ferruccio Lamborghini was born on 28 April 1916, which made him a Taurus: combative, stubborn (his relationship with Enzo Ferrari, for a start), and every bit a bull. If the latter had not already subliminally sown a seed in his mind, then it was visiting his friend Don Eduardo Miura’s cattle ranch which confirmed his choice of name for what is now often called the first supercar. The fascination with these belligerent beasts also led to the new company’s emblem being that of a charging bull.

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Toro Grande: Lamborghini Islero

Bull-Headed: The art of naming LamborghinisBull-Headed: The art of naming Lamborghinis

After a brief spell of christening models with numerical digits, Lamborghini began naming cars after individual bulls rather than species. In 1968, the Islero grand tourer was named after a particularly resilient Miura from 1947. Islero had killed star matador Manolete in 1947, but contrary to the tradition of sparing the bull in these cases, he was tragically put to the sword soon afterwards.

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Horns of the Devil: Lamborghini Diablo

Bull-Headed: The art of naming LamborghinisBull-Headed: The art of naming Lamborghinis

In 1990, an automotive devil arrived on the world stage – the Lamborghini Diablo. The diabolical road car bore the name of an equally legendary fighting bull bred by the Spanish nobleman, the Duke of Veragua, in 1867. The powerful bull became famous for lasting many hours in a ferocious fight with the matador ‘El Chicorro’.

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Mythical Bull: Lamborghini Murciélago

Bull-Headed: The art of naming LamborghinisBull-Headed: The art of naming Lamborghinis There’s much disagreement over the truth of the story, but the Murciélago was named after a fighting bull that was said to have survived 24 sword strokes in a bullfight in Córdoba, Spain, in 1879. Such was the bull’s courage that the matador let it live – and, supposedly, it was later presented as a gift to Don Antonio Miura, a well-known breeder, hence it went on to father the famous Miura line of fighting bulls.

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Finally, we emphasise that this article is intended to describe the origins of Lamborghini model names, and in no way supports the cruel tradition of bullfighting. It is the view of the Classic Driver team that these powerful and impressive animals should not be tortured and killed for people’s entertainment.

Photos: Dealers / Getty Images