April 23,1987 – Chrysler buys Lamborghini

On this day in 1987 Chrysler Corporation purchased Lamborghini for an estimated cost of $25 million. At the time, the luxury automaker was experiencing financial difficulty under the ownership of the Mimram Brothers.

Above: Lamborghini 350 GT, produced 1964 to 1966
Top: 1990 Lamborghini Diablo. By Mr.choppers – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Lamborghini was founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963. Having already made a fortune in the production of tractors and air conditioners, Lamborghini decided to capitalize on his passion for high performance cars by building his own. As legend has it, he experienced mechanical issues with his Ferrari and after trying to meet with Enzo Ferrari, the car company’s founder, and being turned down, he decided to build better, faster cars. This led to the development of the 350 GTV, a V12 two seat coupe. 

Under Chrysler ownership, Lamborghini launched the iconic Diablo, bringing a million-dollar profit to the company in 1991, one of the best years to date. In 1994 Chrysler sold Lamborghini to a group of investors based in Indonesia. Then in 1998 Volkswagen took ownership of the brand. Today Audi is listed as the parent company. Lamborghini employees more than 830 people and is headquartered in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.

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