Who Is Horacio Pagani And Why did He leave Lamborghini?
Horacio Pagani did not come from a family of famous automakers. A long way from the Italian asphalt known as Motor Valley, where his namesake supercar business today produces its vehicles alongside the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati, his journey begins in the grasslands of Casilda, Argentina, in 1955.
Pagani was born to a baker mother and an artist father. They were a family of creators, living off of what they could build with their own two hands, using their accumulated wisdom, skill, raw resources, and hard work.
Pagani, too, developed a creative streak at a young age, when he started drawing and, later, carving wooden model vehicles. “I’ve always had a deep love for automobiles,” says Horacio, reflecting on his early years.
“From that point on, I was sure that the models I had built out of balsa wood and anything else a youngster could find and use were indeed my cars.” The young inventor got lots of ideas from the cars around him and the occasional Italian auto magazine that would blow over.
When Pagani was eight years old, he rode his bike after a local man’s 1963 Jaguar E-Type only to sit and stare at it for hours. These were the first signs that this inventor was willing to go to any length to create a work of art.
“When I was 14 years old, I told my mother I was going to Modena to design and build these automobiles,” he explains. To to the author: “Through those few magazines that arrived to Argentina, I realised that there was a world in Modena – there was Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, and the place I dreamed to someday move.”
Years later, when Pagani’s career was flourishing, he made his first really nostalgic purchase: a Jaguar E-Type just like the one he remembered from his childhood. How, therefore, could a young man with a passion for balsa wood and an Italian-based idea plucked from a car magazine come to fruition?
To put it simply, he employed the same effort and resolve that he had back when he was trying to track down the Jaguar E-Type. Even if Pagani’s meteoric climb to automotive prominence seemed to emerge out of nowhere, this portion of his tale is not to be forgotten,
just as no part of a Pagani Automobilli vehicle is to be disregarded. A slow trickle of sweat was offered. At times, it was necessary to make compromises. His peers were out dribbling soccer balls, but he was home doodling and plotting with his mom.
When he was in college, he got a job in a store and began soaking up all the information he could. His first two efforts, a dune buggy and “the first real pagani,” a single-seater Formula 2 race car titled Limitada Santafesina, were both completed by the time he turned 22 in 1977. Pagani made everything except the Renault motor.
Pagani was granted a position in Renault’s racing branch due to his obvious talent in mechanical engineering despite the fact that his degree is in Industrial Design. Here, he would meet the legendary Argentinean race car driver Juan Manuel Fangio of the Formula One circuit.
A little over a year later, Pagani went to Italy to offer his hands and thoughts to Lamborghini with the help of a letter of introduction from his new famous driver friend. He finally got a job as an unskilled worker at the factory of the prestigious Italian label after much persistence.
Yet, his promotion was only a matter of time. Over the years, he would work his way up Lamborghini’s ranks, finally being the man in charge of creating the innovative lightweight composite chassis concept car the Countach Evoluzione out of carbon fibre in 1987.
After Lamborghini declined to fund an autoclave for making the company’s own carbon fibre, Pagani went out on his own to do so in 1991, launching the Modena Design brand. His company supplied Ferrari’s Formula 1 team with carbon-fiber components, and in 1993,
during the economic downturn that followed the first Gulf War, they began mass-producing their first automobile, the Fangio. “As always, behind these initiatives there is a need for lunacy and imagination, maybe 50 percent,” Pagani reflects.
Making a car is not easy, so the rest of the work must be done with care and precision. We knew how to work with materials like carbon fibre for the shell and the entire bodywork and interiors, as well as how to work with aluminium and steel alloys for the frames and suspensions, and so on.
But the engine was absent, and it was unimaginable for us to develop our own here in Modena, the motor’s land. He had to borrow a race car this time, just like he had done when he first started out in Argentina.
Through Fangio’s extensive network, Pagani was able to meet a Mercedes-Benz engineer who kindly donated a perfectly tuned V12 engine. It wasn’t quite “easy,” but Pagani says he didn’t have many second thoughts.
He claims that working on Zonda was a breeze. The automobile was constantly following us around. Success was achieved in all respects. You could say we lucked out a lot. Though the project took several years and a tiny budget to complete, we were able to pay close attention to every last detail.
Of course I had my reservations when everyone said my project was ridiculous. While we had a much smaller budget, Bugatti had spent hundreds of times more. In addition to McLaren ceasing F1 production, Iso Rivolta e Cizeta had also collapsed.
The odds were against us, it seemed. I also had a wonderful working connection with Lamborghini, and they offered to buy my proposal in 1997 and 1998. This is when my initial suspicions started to resurface. Making my car was fraught with peril, and this was a serious issue for me,
my business, and my loved ones. Additionally, keeping the project with Lamborghini would have ensured the continued development of a lovely partnership. My kids talked me out of considering the financial implications and the possibility of simpler travel in the future.
I was persuaded to stick with the first plan. But for that one thing, I was always convinced. The launch of the Pagani Zonda C12 at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show stunned the supercar world, but not Pagani. He persisted and showed up in Geneva again with the Zonda S the following year.
To name just a few, modern Pagani models include the F, F roadster, Cinque, Cinque Roadster, Tricolore, Kiryu, GR, Nero, Oliver Evolution, and Aether Roadster, among dozens of other iterations, special editions, and one-offs.
The Huayra, another magnificent machine from Pagani, was released in 2011 and shocked the auto industry and enthusiasts alike with its ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.8 seconds and reach a high speed of 238 mph (383 km/h).
— Pagani Automobili (@OfficialPagani) November 12, 2021
The Huayra is undeniably a high-performance machine, but it has also been hailed as the most aesthetically pleasing automobile of all time. Pagani states that the Italian architect, mathematician, artist, and designer Leonardo da Vinci
serves as an inspiration for his dedication to form and function. Da Vinci is widely considered the most famous “slashie” of all time. Pagani argues, “Compromise is an umbrella, not a roof.” When you challenge yourself with aesthetic and functional goals, you don’t
settle for the first suggestion that comes up; instead, you push to make it better and bring in the team, encouraging everyone to share their thoughts and do their best work. In this approach, you will be able to find compromises that actually accomplish anything.
Someone needs to make a choice, and I’ve been given that responsibility. I put myself in the company of those who are most familiar with Pagani’s past, as well as the team’s younger members. Consider the materials we went to great lengths to perfect for the Huayra Roadster BC frame.
In particular, the stage of [Carbotanium] construction in which carbon is woven with titanium is incredibly challenging to locate and construct. In a nutshell, it has remarkable qualities that make the machine lighter and safer, but it’s also incredibly difficult.
There is also a 400% increase in price compared to the alternative. It was chosen for inclusion in our vehicles because “our consumer deserves the best,” which means we only want the most artistic and cutting-edge components available.
Work and resolve. Everything feels almost too easy. To sum up Pagani’s ascent to fame, wealth, and automotive perfection in a single line would be to recycle a cliche: “Work hard and believe in your dreams and anything is possible.” Instead, it’s best to let the machines, inventions, and works of art themselves do the talking.