A man’s life is measured by what he does during his time on earth. On occassion, there are men whose time on earth make such an impact on the rest of the world, their heritage lives on through people, places and things.
One day, I hope to be that type of man. More specifically, I would want to be either James Bond or Valentino Balboni.
James Bond’s heritage? A boatload of movies and millions of boys wanting to grow up to be like him.
Valentino Balboni’s heritage? Not much – just the most popular Lamborghini test driver ever from whom streets and Lamborghinis are named after.
Here’s a little excerpt from his Wiki:
Balboni started working for Lamborghini on April 21, 1968 as a mechanic apprentice in the company. Eventually he was personally asked by the founder of the company, Ferruccio Lamborghini, to test-drive the newly built cars. Together with Bob Wallace, they became the test-driving team of Lamborghini. Valentino Balboni has reportedly driven about 80% of all Lamborghinis ever built; among the marque aficionados, Balboni has risen to cult status. In 2008 Balboni was still active for the company as the chief test-driver and ambassador: he often appeared at different Lamborghini-related events, like the unveiling of new models. In July 2009 Lamborghini announced a special edition run of 250 Gallardo LP550-2 “Valentino Balboni edition” supercars; the company stated that the new car was to be rear-wheel driven in accordance with Balboni’s preference for the thrill of cornering a rear-wheel driven vehicle.
Balboni, even though officially retired as chief test driver, has signed a two year contract with Lamborghini as a consultant through 2010 that can be renewed multiple times.