Big things with little cars

LaLD Running of the Bulls: A Pagani

Okay, I know I’m pushing this one.

Yes, this is not a Lamborghini, its a Pagani. But the founder Horacio Pagani did grind his teeth as an engineer at Lamborghini before parting ways to start his own company. Now creating composite masterpieces that make Lamborghini look less exciting.


In the 80's, carbon fiber wasn’t exactly a big subject. Some applications of it started to appear in the form of athletic equipment in small quantities. Until 1983, when McLaren became the first F1 team to build F1 chassis out of carbon fiber for its strong yet light properties.

That caught the attention of the Argentinian engineer who realize most technology derived from motorsport will eventually trickle down into mainstream production cars. He was intrigued and want to reach that goal soon.

Horacio requested to the Lamborghini boss at the time for an Autoclave, a giant oven designed to cook carbon fiber from its fabric-like form to a rigid solid. Lamborghini refused to get an Autoclave worry the cost was unjustified as the tech might not catch on since no automaker was using the material for production car at the time and told Pagani: “If Ferrari isn’t using it in their cars, we don’t need to use it in ours.” Horacio went against the big brass and decided to mortgage his house to buy an Autoclave.


Horacio formed a small team of engineers to experiment with the autoclave and techniques in creating carbon fiber parts which they created a prototype based on the Lamborghini Countach called the Countach Evoluzione which shaved the total weight by a whopping 1/3 compare to a normal Countach. Despite presenting this new material’s potential, Lamborghini was still unconvinced and the project died off.

Due to Lamborghini’s ignorance, they fell behind. In 1987, Ferrari created the F40 which was the first production car to have a full carbon fiber body and later in 1990's McLaren came out with the F1 which was the first production car to have carbon fiber chassis. Now fast forward to today where most modern supercars including Lamborghini’s baby supercar the Huracan feature carbon fiber elements.


When Horacio left the company in the 1990's, Horacio took the autoclave with him. That autoclave helped Horacio to produce his first car under his company, the Zonda. What’s even more amazing is to this day, that autoclave from the 80's is still in operation constantly on duty baking components for the Huayra range with another larger autoclave at Pagani’s factory in Modena, Italy.


Horacio is a pioneer. He’s still one of the leaders in composite development such as this Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster, which served as a precursor to the Pagani Huayra being one of the first application of what Horacio calls “Carbotanium” which infuses thin wires of titanium in carbon fiber to give the material additional strength by allowing the material to flex rather than shatter like peanut brittle during impact.


Despite the disagreements between Lamborghini and Pagani. The outcome is something no one will complain about.

This cast is part of the 12 car set of the Taiwan 7-11 promotion which three hypercar manufacturers (Bugatti, McLaren, and Pagani) were presented with four models from each brand. The details are superb and with the Paganis the hood detach so you can view the although not Italian but still beautiful V12 engine in all its glory.

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