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It would be easy to mistake Lamborghini 60 Years as just another coffee table book. Large in format and loaded with gorgeous photography and illustrations, it will look great sitting in your living room or office. However, the pages of Lamborghini 60 Years containa fitting tribute to the Sant’Agata Bolognese company. Told in a linear fashion, it starts with Ferruccio Lamborghini and his tractors. But, like the cars still bearing his name, this book takes off like a shot and doesn’t slow down.
Artwork & Authorship
Englishman Stuart Codling wrote Lamborghini 60 Years in a direct and informative style. Codling has pounded out many great titles for us gearheads, mainly focusing on racing (Real Racers: Formula 1 Racing in the 1950s and 1960s, Art of the Formula 1 Race Car, Art of the Classic Sports Car). An F1 expert known for his TV and radio appearances, Codling’s insight here into street cars is just as compelling as his other work, which includes a previous book on Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary.
Codling’s writing is amplified by the print work of Lamborghini 60 Years, which is fantastic. The binding is top-notch, the photography by James Mann is stunning, and the paper stock used feels thick and heavy, like a certificate or diploma. The pages are also nicely satin finished, so they feel great under your hand and leaf easily. I had to check the price twice on Amazon to ensure I had it correct. With printing and binding like this, I was expecting it to be much more expensive.
The best thing about Lamborghini 60 Years is how it shows the company’s progression. The early workshop photos are about what you’d expect. It looks like your crazy uncle’s garage, only bigger. And rather than a couple of cool hotrods, there’s a lineup of half a dozen Miuras in various stages of completion and a couple of big lines of transverse V12s.
It’s jaw-dropping to contemplate that a car as groundbreaking and trendsetting as the Lamborghini Miura was manufactured in such a setting. And by the time you get to the end of the book, the factory looks like a NASA facility with all the Huracans lined up in their faceted glory.
The Turning Points
As you go through, it’s easy to see where Lambo, as both a company and an ethos, turned a significant corner. It’s right there, on page 63. The bright yellow Countach prototype. There’s not a wing, scoop, or NACA duct in sight. It’s a low wedge bent into a subtle arc.
At the time, when the Countach was the proposed successor to the Miura, designers were still chasing the idea of the “pure form,” a car devoid of all but the most essential lines. Do away with all you can, hide the headlights, remove the door handles, no bumpers, mantienilo semplice! And then our old friend thermodynamics dropped by, and Marcello Gandini had to start adding scoops, vents, and NACA ducts all over the place to keep the thing from overheating. Oh, and the track is kinda narrow, so it handles like a deathtrap – better widen the track and put on some fender flares.
Indeed, the title of the chapter is “Countach, Supercar Poster Boy,” and that says it all. Before the Countach, if a kid had a car poster, it was usually for a race. Now, it was just the car alone. Before, sports cars were curved lines of subdued elegance and power. Now, it was all angles and unfettered aggression. From that point on, Lambos were as subtle as a flying mallet.
And Lamborghini 60 Years doesn’t shy away from trucks either. Okay, only two, the LM002 and the Urus, but it talks about them in depth. How the 002 was supposed to be a military truck but turned into a mutant jeep for oil sheiks and boxing champs and how the Urus sells like hotcakes and gives the company a needed profit stream.
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Lamborghini 60 Years, by Stuart Codling, chronicles six decades worth of outrageous, incredible, and unforgettable cars from the storied marque.
Binding and print materials are of the highest quality, typical for a Motorbooks publication.
Detailed spec sheets of cars like the Aventador LP400-5 Roadster make this book all the more enjoyable.
Concepts & All The Rest
There’s a nice bit at the end about all the Lamborghini concepts that never saw the light of production. Various wild track cars that look like a pile of knives and the elegant Estoque sedan that Lamborghini really should have made, if only to scare the bajeebers out of Mercedes and BMW. Lamborghini 60 Years is a fabulous book and should be found on the shelves of any decent gearhead, whether you’re into Lambos or not. The fact it looks great on your coffee table is a bonus.
As of this writing, new and used copies of Lamborghini 60 Yearsare available on Amazon. To learn more about author Stuart Codling, take a listen to his appearance on the Cars Yeah podcast with host Mark Greene.
Longtime Automoblog writer Tony Borroz has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He lives in the northeast corner of the northwestern-most part of the Pacific Northwest.