Ferruccio Lamborghini was a frontiersman in many ways. But it’s a lesser-known fact that he was actually a ground-breaking pioneer of the hotel industry. See, in 1948 he got an appetite for racing. So, with a new pair of driving gloves wrapped around his hands and a self-tuned Fiat Topolino fizzing beneath his bottom, he entered the Mille Miglia. Unfortunately, 700 miles later, he lost his racing appetite by ploughing the little Fiat bulkhead-deep into a hotel, introducing the world’s first ‘Express Check-in’ policy, for which TopGear thanks him.
But this crashy experience cauterised Ferruccio’s craving for racing. And was ultimately used as a precedent for his company, as he didn’t believe that motorsport was necessary to sell and develop his cars.
Pictures: Rowan Horncastle
This feature originally appeared in issue 262 of Top Gear magazine.