This is a restored 1976 Lamborghini R230 vigneron tractor, it’s a special model that was designed for working on vineyards – its narrow track width is to allow it to be driven between the rows of vines.
Lamborghini company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini started out making tractors long before he delved into the world of high performance road cars, and if it wasn’t for his unreliable Ferrari he would likely never have built a single automobile.
Fast Facts – The Lamborghini R230 Vigneron Tractor
- Ferruccio Lamborghini got his start building tractors using many parts from disused military vehicles in the years after WWII.
- By the mid-1950s Lamborghini was one of the biggest tractor manufacturers in Italy and Ferruccio had become a wealthy man, which allowed him to buy the fast cars he had dreamed of as a young boy.
- He had owned a number of Ferraris however their lack of refinement and the need for frequent mechanical work irritated him. He took his grievances to Enzo Ferrari in 1962. The two men had an argument that led Ferruccio to start Automobili Lamborghini in 1963.
- The Lamborghini R230 vigneron tractor is designed to be narrow enough to fit between rows of grapevines on vineyards. It’s powered by a simple three-cylinder air and oil-cooled motor and the example you see here has been recently restored.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born into an agricultural family in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. He showed an early aptitude for all things mechanical, and he was far more interested in the machinery on the farm than the actual practice of farming.
Above Film: This 1987 report on 60 Minutes shows Ferruccio Lamborghini driving one of his tractors on his vineyard in Italy, it also shows him driving a white Lamborghini Countach.
After his schooling he studied at the Fratelli Taddia Technical Institute near Bologna but at the onset of WWII we was drafted into into the Italian Air Force where he served as a mechanic. Later in the war he was taken prisoner by the British, later returning to Italy in 1946.
Lamborghini’s love of fast cars had been with him his whole life, after WWII he opened his own garage in Pieve di Cento and bought an old Fiat Topolino that he modified into a race car.
He competed in his car in the 1948 Mille Miglia but wouldn’t see the checkered flag as he collided with a roadside restaurant 680 miles into the race.
The Art Of Building Tractors
In 1947 Lamborghini recognized the need for tractors and other mechanized agricultural equipment, to help Italian farmers improve their productivity and keep pace with their European rivals.
He began developing simple tractor-like vehicles using many military surplus parts, he childhood on the farm gave him an intuitive understanding of what would work and what wouldn’t.
By the mid-1950s Lamborghini Trattori was one of the largest agricultural machinery manufacturers in Italy, selling a wide range of different tractors for different purposes – their smallest tractors being those dedicated to use on vineyards, called “Vigneron Tractors.”
The 1976 Lamborghini R230 Vigneron Tractor Shown Here
The vehicle you see here is a recently restored Lamborghini R230 vigneron tractor, its unusually small size, short wheelbase, and narrow track width are down to the fact that it needs to be able to fit between rows of vines of wineries.
Under the hood you’ll find an air and oil-cooled, modular three-cylinder engine that was designed in such a way that each cylinder and head can be removed independently of the others.
The exhaust exits up high on the right side of the tractor to avoid blowing exhaust fumes all over the grapes and vines, potentially affecting their viability.
This tractor was imported from a vineyard in the South of France and it was restored in the ownership of its current keeper. It’s now due to roll across the auction block with Bonhams at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting on the 10th of April, with a price guide of $13,000 – $19,600 USD.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual tractor or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Bonhams
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