Visit to Showroom Series: Lamborghini

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Among all the showrooms that I have visited over the years, Lamborghini Melbourne showroom was the smallest and darkest one, (I said “was”, because they have moved to a bigger and brighter one on Chaple St just cross the river in south Yarra.) It was a garage style room located on 365 Clarendon St at South Melbourne. Other brand name showrooms have designed interior, lighting system and glass walls all around to make the room bright and dazzling, while this Lamborghini showroom was really just a little bigger and cleaner than a normal garage in your house with white painted brick walls and few lights suspended from the roof. Although the interior is insipid, it was a big contract to the car parked inside, those glossy gorgeous cars are still dazzling your eyes. Suddenly, I had the illusion that I was in my own garage and have so many beautiful cars all around me waiting for me to open the door, sit in and switch the key. The cars are stunningly well made just like art works in the galleries that you don’t want even a finger print on it. Then, a tall middle age gentleman in Lamborghini black shirt walked towards me and asked if I need any help. He introduced me to all the models in the room one by one. The cheapest and basic one costs about four hundred thousand dollars and the price of the top model is eight hundred thousand dollars. In the end, he told me if I want to see more Lamborghinis I can visit their workshop.

At the moment he handed his business card to me with the address of the workshop wrote at the back, I didn’t know that there is more interesting experience waiting for me there. The Lamborghini workshop was really not far away from the showroom. I easily found it, but I was disappointed that I can only see the building of the workshop and the Lamborghini logo on it through the iron fence. Just at the second I started to give up and step back, the fence gate silently opened. What happened? Is that for me? I looked around to see if there was any cars want to enter, but there was none. I quickly walked in before the door close again. There are only two technicians in the workshop on that day. One wearing black Lamborghini jacket is senior technician, another one is his apprentice. To my surprise, the senior technician is even friendlier than the gentleman in the showroom. He took me to all the cars in the workshop, some of them were elevated, some cars with wheels removed, some parts were separated. He opened the scissor doors, bonnets, kept telling me all the details and secret of those Lamborghinis just like a proud brother. I suddenly realized that I was lucky because there are many limited version cars in the workshop on that day. That means I may never see a same one again in my life. Those types are so rare that there are only forty or thirty units worldwide, and I saw them all at the same time at one place. It was the first time and probably the last time I see them. Those models also follow the production timeline from 1970s to 2005. Exaggeratedly, the workshop on that day was nearly a gallery of Lamborghini’s history. Different cars built in different time basically show the most advanced design, technology and materials at that time. For instance, he said: “If you are forty or fifty years old now, when people mention Lamborghini, you may think about that car.” He pointed to the yellow Miura, “Steel car body with 4.0 liter engine. If you are thirty, you will think of the Contach using aluminium and fiberglass. And for you, a Lamborghini in your mind is the Diablo with entire carbon fiber bodywork.” Since I was surrounded by nearly all the models Lamborghini has ever made, i found out that they have a history of extraordinary design and they are always at the front line of automotibe design of the era. Suddenly, he stopped in front of the latest model, a black Murcielago Roadster and said: “Hey, listen to this!” then he switched the key and the engine roared, the sound was to loud that I was shocked and jumped on step back at that second, then I thought I heard the most beautiful sound in the world, a sound that worth eight hundred thousand dollars. No one will treat it as noise, and no one should. An engine on an Italian car was firstly designed as a musical instrument, then modified to power a car, and the mufflers were subwoofers before someone decided to put it on the exhaust pipes. There is even no need to have CD player and speaker system in the car, although there is one, driving and listening to the symphony from the engine is already entertainment. The speaker system was an afterthought. I knocked the car body and asked: “Is this carbon fiber?” “Yes, the whole body is made of carbon fiber.” “It is very strong, isn’t it?” After heard that question, the technician quickly walked to a Lamborghini race car and said: “Look, this is carbon fiber.” And the next thing he did I will never forget. I could not believe my eyes that he jumped onto that car and kept jumping and said: “See, carbon fiber is very strong.” I thought to myself, my god, what are you doing? I can never imagine someone doing this to a Lamborghini, and it is a limited edition racing car. He thought that I still did not get the idea of the property of carbon fiber, so he took out a sheet of carbon fiber from his tool drawer and started bending it forward and backward. “This is the carbon fiber we use to repair our cars. It is strong, tough and light.” He handed that sheet to me and said: “This is yours now, as a souvenir.”  After taken few photos and in order not to disturb their work, I decided to leave, although I still have lots of questions to ask.

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