This Lamborghini might be sophisticated, but it isn’t tame
In the early 1960s, Italian tractor tycoon Ferruccio Lamborghini announced to the world he would build from the dirt up a factory to produce super sports cars that would make Enzo Ferrari’s creations look cheap and timid in comparison.
The world, in response, pronounced Ferruccio Lamborghini mad. And he clearly was.
The madness afflicting Lamborghini was a special kind, however. It’s the sort that sends matadors into the ring, animates the bulls, and drives the creation of things nobody needs, but very many desire.
Much of what Lamborghini’s detractors predicted has come to pass in the half-century since he entered the ring. The company has been on the brink of financial ruin about as often as it has been in the black. To stave off ruin, Lamborghini was forced to sell control of his company in 1972; it went bankrupt anyway in 1978 and two Swiss bought it. What could be worse than the Swiss controlling the fate of an Italian supercar company? Chrysler Corp. bought it in 1987, then an Indonesian conglomerate took it over in 1994.
Despite all that, Lamborghini lives on — today under the Audi corporate umbrella — and has become one of those words people use to describe what they would have if they could have actually anything.
Such was the case for Brad Varley, 46, who lives in League City and runs a Hitchcock-based company that produces industrial pollution-control devices.
A few years ago, Varley was thinking about a replacement for a Nissan GT-R. Practically speaking, the options were many, but Varley had a condition beyond simply possible.
“I love fast and unique cars,” he said. “I didn’t want a Corvette. Nothing against them, but they are everywhere. I wanted something not everybody had, something different.”
And so he ended up at a Lamborghini dealership, which is a good place to shop for fast and unique.
Let’s face it, we all want to know what happens when a guy who’s not a sultan or an emir shows up at a Lamborghini dealership.
“It was really weird,” Varley said. “I expected them to ask for a bank statement or something. It was nothing like that. I said I wanted to take a test drive and the salesman said ‘Let’s go.’
“The second time I went, they just tossed me the keys and said ‘Be careful.’”
Varley joined the small family of Lamborghini owners in December 2015 with the purchase of a Huracán LP 610-4. The car had about 8 miles on it.
The mid-engine car is equipped with a fuel-injected 5.2-liter V10 making about 600 horsepower off the showroom floor. That’s mated to a dual clutch automatic transmission and, in the “-4” models like Varley’s, all four wheels are pulling.
“It’s like driving around in a spaceship,” Varley said. “But the thing I like best is the rawness. It’s a sophisticated machine, but it’s not tame. I like the way it backfires, the way the exhaust pops and crackles on the downshift.”
The car has a 200-plus mph top end. Varley has taken it 160 mph on a track.
“It doesn’t take long to get there, three or four seconds, and you’re there. It’s a little unsettling.”
Varley said he typically changes cars pretty often, but maybe not this time.
“I usually get rid of a car when the warranty runs out,” he said. “I’m not sure I will with this one, though. I think I may keep this one.”