This is an original Lamborghini DL25 tractor from 1956, and interestingly, it’s road-registered in the United Kingdom. Possibly making it the least expensive Lamborghini that you could buy and drive to work. Hypothetically of course.
With a 2.5 liter naturally-aspirated two-cylinder diesel engine producing 25 bhp, this Lamborghini DL25 is better suited to the pace of agricultural use than street use, though being able to drive it on the road when needed would certainly be handy.
Fast Facts – The Lamborghini DL25 Tractor
- The Lamborghini DL25 was one of the best-selling of the early Lamborghini Trattori tractors, with over 900 built between the time of the model’s release in 1952 and the end of its production in 1959.
- The son of grape farmers, Ferruccio Lamborghini got his start building tractors back in 1948 initially using leftover WWII military vehicles. He wouldn’t start his famous car company until much later in 1963.
- The tractor and automotive Lamborghini companies are now owned by separate entities and both continue manufacturing their respective models, and both proudly carry the Lamborghini name.
- The 1956 Lamborghini DL25 tractor you see here is finished in a classic red and grey colour scheme, it retains its expired “Torino” licence plate – still mounted to the grille, and it’s road-registered in the UK.
Lamborghini Trattori – A History Speedrun
Before Lamborghini became synonymous with luxury sports cars, the brand was best known for its humble beginnings as a tractor manufacturer. Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of Automobili Lamborghini, started the company in 1948 as Lamborghini Trattori.
The Lamborghini Tractor Company was born out of the aftermath of World War II when Italy and much of Europe was in dire need of reconstruction. Ferruccio Lamborghini, a mechanical engineer by profession, saw an opportunity to contribute to the rebuilding efforts by providing much-needed machinery to farmers.
Born into a family of grape farmers, Ferruccio had an inherent understanding of the challenges faced by agricultural workers. With a passion for mechanics, he set out to revolutionize the farming industry by creating reliable, efficient tractors.
Using surplus military equipment, he began converting war vehicles into reliable and efficient tractors. The first Lamborghini tractor, the Carioca, debuted in 1948.
Lamborghini’s tractors were an instant success due to their innovation, durability, and low cost. Ferruccio was dedicated to creating the best possible agricultural equipment, and his passion led to continuous improvements in engine design, fuel efficiency, and driver comfort. In the 1950s, Lamborghini Trattori expanded its product range, introducing models like the DL 25, DL 30, and the L 33.
By the 1960s, Lamborghini Trattori had established itself as a prominent player in the European agricultural market, exporting its machines to countries across Europe around the world. The company continued to innovate, launching the 5C, a tractor designed specifically for vineyards and orchards, and the 1R, which featured sleek, curved lines and an advanced hydraulics system.
Ferruccio Lamborghini’s success in the tractor industry enabled him to expand his business interests. He set his sights on the automobile sector, driven by a desire to build a superior sports car that would compete with the likes of Ferrari. In 1963, Automobili Lamborghini was established, and the first Lamborghini sports car, the Lamborghini 350 GT, was unveiled to the public.
Despite the new focus on automobiles, Lamborghini Trattori continued to thrive. The company developed new models, such as the 854 DT, with an emphasis on ergonomics, safety, and functionality. The tractor business was a completely separate entity from the sports car division, but both companies bear the iconic Lamborghini name.
The 1956 Lamborghini DL25 Tractor Shown Here
The tractor you see in this article is currently for sale, it’s finished in a timeless and period-correct red and grey colour scheme and interestingly it still carries its vintage “Torino” licence plate which is mounted to the front grille.
The Lamborghini DL25 was one of the most successful early designs from Lamborghini Trattori with over 900 sold between 1952 and 1959. It was the success of tractors like this that gave Ferruccio Lamborghini the capital he needed to start his own automotive company in 1963.
Ferruccio started his company after an argument with another famous Italian vehicle manufacturer, Enzo Ferrari. Lamborghini had bought more than one of Ferrari’s GT cars over the years but repeated mechanical trouble had irked him and one day he went to speak to Enzo about it, offering a solution – he was a mechanical engineer after all.
Enzo wasn’t altogether happy about having what he saw as a tractor maker offering him advice on automobile manufacturing so he rudely told Ferruccio to stick to his tractors and leave the cars to him.
Of course this in turn enraged Ferruccio, who went on to found his own automobile company – becoming Ferrari’s largest Italian competitor and adding insult to injury in 1966 with the release of the advanced, mid-engined V12 Lamborghini Miura. A car that was faster than anything Ferrari had in production at the time.
The Lamborghini DL25 tractor is named for its 2.5 liter diesel engine, a simple two-cylinder design that was developed so that farmers could maintain them and repair them themselves to help save on costs.
The engine isn’t particularly powerful, producing just 25 bhp, however reliability is far more important for tractors than speed for obvious reasons. As an earlier design this tractor has no suspension to speak of, other than the tire sidewalls of course, but the single driver’s seat does have a spring under it to help soak up the bumps.
Thanks to the fact that this tractor is road-registered in the UK it can be driven on public streets, though given its limited speed it would be better off sticking to country lanes.
It’s due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 29th of March with a price guide of $18,500 – $30,500 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images: Neil Fraser ©2023 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
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