Lamborghini was founded in 1963 in Sant'Agata Bolognese, a small village between Bologna and Modena, Italy, by Ferruccio Lamborghini. The company's first car, the 350 GTV was introduced at the Turin Motor Show in the fall of 1963 and the production started, with the model 350 GT the year after, and this was followed in the sixties and the early seventies by the legendary Miura, Islero, Espada, Jarama and Countach. In 1973, following the first oil crisis, the company got into financial difficulties and Ferruccio Lamborghini sold 51 % of his shares to a Swiss investor, Georges-Henri Rossetti. One year later, he sold the remainder to a second Swiss investor, Renï¿½ Leimer.
Due to continued financial difficulties, the company was forced to enter into receivership in 1978. However, it was able to maintain the operational side
of the business till 1980 when it was declared bankrupt and went into liquidation. In July 1980, it was sold by the official receiver to the Mimran brothers,well known French tycoons in the food industry. It was during this period that the company produced the various Urraco models and the all-terrain vehicle study, the Cheetah.
Owing to the rapid growth of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in the early eighties and the resultant necessity for capital investment, the company had to look for an investor from the automotive industry. In April 1987, the U.S. car manufacturer Chrysler bought 100% of the company's shares. In 1990, the most successful Lamborghini model up to that time, the Countach, was replaced by the Diablo. By then, 2,000 of this model had left the factory.
In 1994, Chrysler sold Lamborghini to Megatech. In 1995, it changed hands again, with 60% of the shares being taken by V'Power, a company controlled by "Tommy" Suharto. The other 40% were bought by Mycom, a Malaysian investment company.
At the beginning of 1998, AUDI entered into negotiations on the possibility of technical cooperation. With effect from July 1998, AUDI executed an agreement to take over Lamborghini's entire share capital.