Motor sports enthusiasts, go your way. Robert Moresco reveals the story of a man in his film about Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916-1993), the little-known founder of the brand of the same name. He does it in a Hollywood style, embroidering a partly fictionalized legend of this very Italian story, both in substance and form.

Aficionados all know the story of the first meeting, in 1960, between Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini, a customer unhappy with the clutch of his seven (!) Ferraris who came to offer to remedy the problem, drawing on his experience as an industrialist. , and to associate. The “Commendatore” will send him back into his net with a contemptuous: “Go back to your tractors, farmer! »

It was in fact in agricultural machinery that the Lamborghini “legend” began. Returning from the war in 1945, the young Ferruccio, son and grandson of a peasant, graduated from the Bologna Institute of Technology, then trained the hard way in mechanics during his captivity, invented an inexpensive tractor that would allow for the country to acquire modern agriculture and for him to have a comfortable fortune.

Second bet

There is no doubt that Enzo Ferrari’s insult gave him the energy to carry out his second bet, twenty years later: the launch of his own brand of “grand touring cars”, the famous GT. But this very “Italian” rivalry can be summed up in a few lines, shot like arrows. That of Ferrari, of course, of which other films have recently shown the dark side – Le Mans 66, by James Mangold, Ferrari, by Michael Mann –, but above all those of Lamborghini, as voluble as the other was taciturn .

So, when he announced the launch of his first car at the Geneva International Motor Show in 1964: “You buy a Ferrari to “become” someone, you buy a Lamborghini when you “are” someone. »

The duel will remain there. During the lifetime of its founder, Lamborghini produced only a handful of cars, including the legendary Miura in 1966, named after the fighting bull that Ferruccio took as his emblem – of his brand as well as his life.

Limitless ambition

With its fabulous career on the Formula 1 circuits, the Maranello firm remains an untouchable icon in Italy. While Lamborghini survives in the hands of Volkswagen, which bought it in 1998, five years after Ferruccio’s death. The German group has not seen fit, until now, to make the fighting bull a real rival of the prancing horse – undoubtedly anxious to spare its spearhead, Porsche, the only competitor previously taken into consideration by Enzo Ferrari.

The essence and interest of this feature film lies in the tragedy in the ancient sense that it depicts. Adapting the book by Tonino’s son, Ferruccio Lamborghini. La storia ufficiale (Minerva, 2016), Robert Moresco retraces the life full of shadow and light of the character, of boundless and unscrupulous ambition, to whom Tonino ends up saying, at the end: “You have done everything , everything you ever wanted. Was it worth it, Dad? » The film asks the same question. And whatever the answer, the main thing in motor racing is the way you run it, as much as the victory.