|This article does not cite any references (sources). (February 2011)|
Murciélago (Spanish for "bat") was a Navarra fighting bull, whose name became popular after Volkswagen Group AG chose it to name the new Lamborghini model to honor the passion for bullfighting the founder of the company, Ferruccio Lamborghini, was famous for. VAG's advertisement department went to considerable lengths to popularize this animal, otherwise very little known even to corrida fans.
According to the PR-specialists, the bull survived 24 sword strokes in an October 5, 1879 fight against Rafael "El Lagartijo" Molina Sanchez, at the Coso de los califas bullring in Córdoba, Spain. Its name means bat in Spanish.
The promotional story goes on to tell that Murciélago fought with such passion and spirit that the crowd called for his life to be spared, an honor which the torero bestowed. The bull, which came from the farm of Joaquin del Val de Navarra, was later presented as a gift to Don Antonio Miura. Together with his brother, Don Eduardo Miura, they brought Murciélago into the Miura line by siring him with 70 cows. Bulls from the Miura ranch, located near Seville, Spain, are known for being large and ferocious.
This storyline, however, largely contradicts to the history of Miura ranch, whose bulls first fought in corrida in 1849, 30 years prior to the "story of Murcielago". It is also doubtful that, after 24 deep stab wounds and the associated stress and blood loss, the animal could survive, let alone reproduce.
Many fans of both Lamborghini and bullfighting were perplexed over the choice of the name, blaming the back then new German owner of Lamborghini of exploiting the bullfighting theme without actually knowing much about it.