Automotive icon and Lamborghini’s famed test driver of more than 40 years, Valentino Balboni, was honored by the city of Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala with a “Key to the City” on August 13, 2010 at the annual Concorso Italiano event. One of Monterey Classic Car Week’s premier events, Concorso Italiano is dedicated to the heritage of Italian sports cars and is held at the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, Calif.
Concorso Italiano event attendees looked on as Mayor Della Sala presented Balboni with a large key to recognize the automotive legend’s support of enthusiast events in Monterey.
“Year after year Valentino attends Concorso Italiano and it’s always a huge treat for event attendees to meet such a renowned figure of the automotive community and legend of the Lamborghini brand,” said Tom McDowell, President of Concorso Italiano. “This year we wanted to recognize his support of the city of Monterey and the many enthusiast events he attends as a Lamborghini brand representative with a special gift and unique honor.”
Valentino Balboni began his career with Automobili Lamborghini, S.p.A. in 1967 after being hired by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini to work as a mechanic. Since 1973, he has sat at the wheel of every prototype built by the brand, and even most production cars have passed through his hands before being delivered to their customers. After officially retiring in 2009, Balboni was honored with a Lamborghini model built exclusively with his specifications in mind – the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, a two-wheel drive, limited-edition super sports car. At the 2009 Concorso Italiano, Balboni introduced the LP 550-2 to event attendees and was presented with a special gift from automotive enthusiast and TV personality Jay Leno.
Balboni’s honor at Concorso Italiano came after his attendance at the annual Giro Lamborghini from Aug. 10 – Aug. 12, an exclusive customer drive event that takes provides participants breathtaking scenery, fine dining and adrenaline-pumping driving experiences. This year’s Giro began in Calistoga in the Napa wine country, and concluded at Monterey for the Concours weekend. Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. also participated as a sponsor at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering with a focus on its carbon fiber technology at the event