Valentino Balboni

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Valentino Balboni
Valentino Balboni, Mike Gulett and a silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada in Monterey.jpg
Valentino Balboni (middle), Mike Gulett and his silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada in Monterey at Concorso Italiano in 2011.
Born Valentino Balboni
(1948-05-13) 13 May 1948 (age 68)
Casumaro, Italy
Nationality Italian
Occupation Chief test driver of lamborghini
Years active 1968–2008
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

Valentino Balboni (born 13 May 1949) is the former chief test driver of Lamborghini, a manufacturer of sports cars in Italy. He retired in October 2008 due to Italian government work regulations, after having served the company for 40 years.[1] To pay tribute to him in occasion of his retirement, Lamborghini had labeled a 2009 addition to the Gallardo line-up, the LP550-2 Valentino Balboni.[2][3]


Balboni started working for Lamborghini on 21 April 1968, as a mechanic apprentice in the company.[1][4] Eventually he was personally asked by the founder of the company, Ferruccio Lamborghini, to test-drive the newly built cars alongside Bob Wallace. Valentino Balboni has reportedly driven about 80% of all Lamborghinis ever built. Among the marque aficionados, Balboni has risen to cult status. In 2008, Balboni was still active for the company as the chief test-driver and ambassador. Fluent in English and German, he often appeared at different Lamborghini-related events, such as the unveiling of new models.

In July 2009, Lamborghini announced a special edition run of 250 Gallardo LP550-2 "Valentino Balboni edition" supercars; the company stated that the new car was to be rear-wheel driven in accordance with Balboni's preference for the thrill of cornering a rear-wheel driven vehicle. These vehicles were also made special with a white and gold stripe that runs the center of the car, inspired by sports cars of the 1970s.

Balboni, even though officially retired as chief test driver, has signed a two-year contract with Lamborghini as a consultant through 2010 that can be renewed multiple times.[1]

Valentino Balboni said that the first car that got him excited about cars was a silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 that he saw at the Turin car show in 1966.[5]


Valentino Balboni has made several appearances on television in different documentaries related to Lamborghini such as Top Gear, Rides, as well as an episode of 60 Minutes from 1987.[6] In the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty, one of the characters asks a salesman at a Lamborghini dealer " that a Balboni?", referring to the special edition vehicle.


  1. ^ a b c Matt Davis (3 August 2009). "2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni First Drive". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Luke Madden (1 July 2009). "Lamborghini LP550-2 'Valentino Balboni'". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Balboni honored with two-wheel drive Gallardo and Aston city-car ...". 30 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Legendary Lamborghini Test Driver Valentino Balboni Celebrates 40 Years with the Bull". 23 July 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Valentino Balboni And The Silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 -". 
  6. ^ "1987: Lamborghini on 60 Minutes". Retrieved 29 April 2013.