Lamborghini: the museum
We visit the Lambo museum ... just as the museum visits London!
This car, built a year after the car company was founded in 1963, is result of the famous Ferruccio-versus-Enzo Ferrari spat, where Enzo refused to hear our tractor maker's complaints about the workmanship on his 250 GT. In this context the 350 is an astonishingly brazen two-fingered salute to Modena, situated just 12 miles up the road from here. This one is rampant red, which is good start. And if that wasn't provocative enough Ferruccio poached the very bloke responsible for much of the 250 GT's engineering - Giotto Bizzarrini - to build the famous Lamborghini V12 engine.
Look around the museum further, and the size of the mistake Ferrari made annoying the tractor maker becomes clear.
The star of the museum has to be the Countach LP400 from 1974. This is the first prototype with chassis number 001 and it hogs the limelight in Kermit green, eclipsing even the gold Diablo nearby. A bit of wheedling with our hosts and we get to sit inside - wow. You'd need to be a contortionist to slide under those scissor doors on a daily basis. But once the wide, leather-clad sill has been straddled and cleared, you're rewarded with one of the world's finest driving positions.
The most bonkers car to be fitted with the V12 is undoubtedly the 'Rambo Lambo' LM002, aka the Cheetah. It was ordered by a American company hoping to win a US military contract, albeit with a Chrysler V8. They didn't, but instead 301 were built with the V12. An unhappy car for Lamborghini given its toll on the finances, but great to see it here. Let's hope the Urus SUV is less of a blind alley.
Upstairs in the double-deck museum is reserved for concepts and very low-volume cars - and a mixed bunch they are.
The lime green Miura concept from 2006 is stunning, but then anything copying the original would be. Next to the Reventon (a precious one of just 20) and the Estoque saloon that might yet get built is the curious P147 Acosta concept from 1997. Verging on pink, this Diablo precursor has awkward detailing like a stepped nose - very 2012 F1!
Classic Lambos hit London
If you like the sound of the Lamborghini museum but Sant'Agata is a bit of a trip away there's good news - a selection of the cars from the official collection will be visiting London this week and on display in various locations across the capital. The collection comprises the 350 GT, Miura SV, Countach 25th Anniversary, Diablo 6.0 SE and Murcielago LP640 Roadster.
Starting this today and hosted by HR Owen, the exotic quintet will be on show at Duke Of York Square off the King's Road on Monday and Tuesday before moving to Finsbury Square near the city for Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday they'll be beside Tower Bridge and on Saturday at Marble Arch. So if all the Lambo talk of late has got you inspired and you live or work in London it's a great chance to get up close to some fabulous and rarely seen cars.
More on the theme of those amusing Lambo ads: