Next year marks the 50th anniversary since Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini decided he’d had enough of sub-standard Ferraris, and decided to make his own Gran Turismo car – capable of travelling long distances in the style and comfort which he demanded.

After modifying a Ferrari 250GT to outperform the factory models, he set in motion a feud with Ferrari’s notoriously proud owner, not helped when Lamborghini then poached engine designer Giotto Bizzarrini, one of the men responsible for the Ferrari 250 GTO.

In the fifty years since, Lamborghini has continued to be Ferrari’s closest rival, although it seems fitting that even now they produce vastly different kinds of cars. Cars like the 350 GT, the Miura, the Countach, the LM 002 and today’s Gallardo and Aventador are the perfect embodiment of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s vision.

Last weekend at Pebble Beach, President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann announced the company’s plans for this ‘Golden’ celebration, of a marque which in the early 1970’s was nearly brought to its knees, first by a world financial crisis and then an oil crisis.

The Celebrations

Make a note in your diary, because Lamborghini’s anniversary bash will be worth participating in (if you own a suitable car) but also worth following, since most of the activities will involve gatherings of the rarest and most evocative Lamborghini cars ever made.

To mark the special occasion, Lamborghini has created a 50th Anniversary logo together with a catchy strap line, “100 years of innovation in half the time.”

Lamborghini’s home remains in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the same place where the factory’s foundation stone was laid in May, 1963, and this is where the feature event will conclude on Saturday May 11th, 2013.

But it will be a year-long celebration, held in Italy and abroad – Grande Giro Lamborghini 50° Anniversario, which is Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary Grand Tour, is expected to be the biggest Lamborghini rally in history. The Tour will run the length of Italy, and will be joined by Lamborghini owners and dealers from around the world.

The proposed route for the ‘Grande Giro Lamborghini 50° Anniversario’ event.

From May 7th – 11th, 2013, more than 700 miles of Italy’s roads will roar with the thrum of hundreds of Lamborghinis. From the unforgettable historic GTs to the super sports cars of today. Cars will arrive from every corner of the globe to parade through some of Italy’s most beautiful cities – stopping off to allow fans and enthusiasts to admire the cars.

On Tuesday, May 7th, the cars will gather in Milan – Italy’s capital of fashion and design – leaving the next day for Forte dei Marmi, one of the most exclusive resorts on the Tyrhennian coast. On Thursday, May 9th, they will set off towards Rome, reaching the city centre that evening.

Saturday, May 11th marks the closing day of the celebrations, with the cars heading off in procession from Bologna towards Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese factory. Participants will visit Lamborghini’s historic museum and production facility, as well as enjoy other Lamborghini experiences, including a gala dinner held at the factory that evening.

Lamborghini owners and dealers can register for the Tour on September 20th, 2012, using the special 50th Anniversary website.

The Legacy

Because of the strong bond that has always existed between the company and the Emilia-Romagna region, the countless events held all over the world to celebrate the anniversary – with the participation of thousands of owners, collectors and fans – will be strongly characterized by a spirit of solidarity and public awareness.

Lamborghini will fund the event directly, and will also channel 10% of the proceeds from various participation and sponsorship fees into a fund for rebuilding social and cultural centres in the earthquake-affected area of Emilia, conscious of the need to reach out to the region which helped create the legend.

“Over the past 50 years, Lamborghini has represented the dream, legend and symbol of a unique, remarkable region – Emilia-Romagna – whose proud, determined people have given us models unlike anything else in the world,” declared Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Lamborghini.

“Even today, now that we are an international enterprise, this deep bond with our local history and culture is still very strong. We are certain that the events in Italy and abroad will make Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary a unique, memorable experience for all our fans, as they look forward to reliving firsthand the emotions of the past, and savor the anticipation of a new and exciting future.”