Valentino Balboni was born on May 13, 1949 in Casumaro, Italy, less than 7 miles from Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birthplace. He is the former chief test driver of Automobili Lamborghini SpA. Serving the company for over 40 years, he is regarded as one of the best Lamborghini’s experts in the world.
How Valentino got hired by Lamborghini is a story that involves his parish priest Alfredo Pizzi, who one day accompanied him and other boys playing football in the pitch of the oratorio in Sant'Agata Bolognese.
Arriving near the Lamborghini factory, Valentino began to observe a car transporter truck unloading some of the Miura bodies from the Bertone atelier. After asking the priest to stay there a bit more, Valentino got acquainted with a worker and the porter of the plant. He intrigued them with his passion for cars and so they advised him to apply for a job at the company.
One week later he was hired as a teenager by the founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini.
After starting as a mechanic apprentice, he was eventually asked to test-drive the newly built cars alongside Bob Wallace. In the following 35 years, Valentino has reportedly driven about 80% of all Lamborghinis ever built. This granted him the status of a living legend among Lamborghini enthusiasts and beyond.
In honor of his work and the great contribution he has made to the entire company, in 2009 Lamborghini dedicated him a very special edition run of 250 Gallardo LP550-2 named "Valentino Balboni": This collector’s item was made in accordance with Valentino’s preferences for the thrill of driving. Among others, it was a strict rear-wheel drive car with specific chassis inputs that was made extra special by a white and a golden stripe, that run all along the center of the car, recalling the 70’s sports cars.
After working another couple of years as a consultant for Automobili Lamborghini SpA, Valentino has undertaken more personal endeavors, always dedicating his time and interest to Lamborghinis and even judging them at elegance concourses.