He has long been revered as one of the many legends surrounding the world's most uncompromising sports car brand - Valentino Balboni, a remarkable test driver with his own personal cult status. Automobili Lamborghini now presents a model in his honour and bearing his name - the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni.
The latest version of the Gallardo, Lamborghini's most successful model of all time - overall, more than 9,000 units of the model range have already been produced - boasts not only its own distinctive design and exclusive equipment, but its technology is unique too, as indicated by the model badge: the 550 stands for the power output in hp and the 2 is for rear wheel drive.
For several decades, Valentino Balboni has had a distinct influence on the character of the super sports car bearing the sign of the bull. With his fine-tuning and testing work, he has helped to shape many automotive legends, from the Lamborghini Miura of the 60s through to the current Lamborghini Gallardo and Lamborghini Murciélago models. Balboni was hired in 1967 by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini himself. From early on, it was evident that the young Balboni had a special feel for cars, that most sensitive of all instincts that connects to the 'life blood' of an automobile and defines the soul of a test driver.