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Valentino Balboni is an Italian racing driver and former chief test driver for Lamborghini.

He retired in October 2008 due to Italian laws on the subject, after working for the company for 40 years. In honor of his work upon retirement, Lamborghini produced a special edition of the Gallardo, the LP550-2 Valentino Balboni, in 2009.

He began working for Lamborghini on April 21, 1968 as an apprentice mechanic.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni, a car created in his honor by the house of the bull.

Later, the founder of the Bolognese company himself, Ferruccio Lamborghini, asked him to test the new vehicles he had just built. For a period he worked alongside New Zealander Bob Wallace, Lamborghini’s test driver, and in 1975 he inherited his role and function after his departure for the United States. It is reported that Valentino Balboni drove about 80% of all Lamborghinis built. Because of this, he became a well-known figure among the brand’s fans. In 2008, Balboni was still active for the company as a chief test driver and ambassador. Able to speak English and German correctly, he often took part in many events related to the world of the House of the Bull, such as the presentation of new models.

Valentino Balboni (right) and Mike Gulett (left) with a Bizzarrini GT 5300 in 2013

In July 2009, the Italian automaker announced a special edition of the Gallardo, the LP550-2 “Valentino Balboni edition,” produced in only 250 examples; the company states that the vehicle has rear-wheel drive only, following Balboni’s preferences in favor of the thrill of driving in such a vehicle, compared to other versions that all have all-wheel drive. These cars are also decorated with a white and gold stripe running down the center of the car, inspired by the sports cars of the 1970s.

Balboni, despite being officially retired, signed a two-year contract with Lamborghini as a consultant during 2010 and that can be renewed several times.

Wikipedia source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentino_Balboni