It's Not Every Day You See an Icon Driven by a Legend

Valentino Balboni driving a Miura
Over the weekend, I attended the Amelia Island Cars & Coffee and their 21st annual Concours d’Elegance. While there on Saturday, my wife and I were waiting to be shuttled to our parking area, when a Lamborghini Miura drove by a few times. On one pass, I captured some photographs of it approaching on the straight and rounding the corner.
Later that night when looking through the raw files, the driver’s head and face, for some reason, looked very familiar. When I zoomed the image up to full size, I recognized him immediately.
It was the retired legendary Lamborghini chief test driver, Valentino Balboni. Can someone help me get my jaw up off the floor?


      1. A friend of mine knew, (fellow NZer),the late Bob Wallace who had many interesting stories from his time at Lamborghini He knew the flaws in the Miura, which he had helped develop, more than anyone. It’s nice to see Mr Balboni enjoying the work of his predecessor as chief test driver,( and in Bob’s case chief engineer as well).
        There were numerous constraints and compromises in the original which compromised it’s performance, particularly the very high front end lift at speed, ( this not being helped by the weight distribution with the fuel tank between the front wheels).To improve the car he developed the Miura Jota with it’s improved aerodynamics, transmission separated from the engine oil and more power of course. But it was never really finished as work switched to the Countach and the other, front-engined cars.
        But he never forgot the Miuras.
        Bob Wallace with Ferrucio Lamborghini himself and the Jota prototype.
        And again with the standard Miura
        And something that only happened in New Zealand?–PfMglvm9–/191clb72ceq38jpg.jpg
        With the original Miura prototype.

        1. And that light front end flaw would continue with the Countach. Still two of my favorite cars of all time, “warts” and all. That’s so cool that your friend knew Bob Wallace.

          1. This is NZ. A country so small that if you don’t know someone, you’ll know someone who does. He spent the last part of his life in Texas so there must be many people there who know Bob and his business as well.

  1. The first time I saw Balboni (on TopGear, I’m pretty sure), I thought, “This guy doesn’t look Italian – he looks like someone I’d see at Walmart, or at the drugstore.” But, he’s definitely distinguished looking, and definitely a legend.

    1. He was in Dallas, ‘er Plano a few years ago at Lambo of Dallas to show off his Balboni Edition. It made the local news too.

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