Mario Andretti's Love for His Lamborghini Aventador Has Nothing to Do With How it Drives

mario andretti
Why Mario Andretti Loves His Lamborghini AventadorSasha Arutyunova
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
mario andretti
The last American Formula 1 world champ has also sung opera on America’s favorite game show. Andretti can enjoy his Aventador without even leaving the garage.Sasha Arutyunova

When asked about the greatest cars he has driven, Mario Andretti comes up with some surprises. He mentions a 1973 Viceroy-­sponsored dirt-track racer, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, and even a Mini Clubman John Cooper Works. “It’s cars like this that, when you look back—boom—they come to mind,” he recalls.

This story originally appeared in Volume 22 of Road & Track.

But the 2018 Lamborghini Aventador in Andretti’s garage has special meaning for an unexpected reason. “If I am ever feeling down, I go down there,” he says, “and start this car. I love the first rumble of the engine: Vroom!” The Aventador throbs with performance—around 700 hp, hundreds more than the Lotus 79 Andretti charioted to the Formula 1 World Championship in 1978. However, this Lambo performs on a whole other level—without ever leaving the garage.

mario andretti
Pavarotti plus Lambo V-12, both cranked to top volume. Now, that’s amore!Sasha Arutyunova

“I have a CD of Pavarotti, and I put that on,” he says. He cranks the volume while revving the V-12, and the two Italian voices combine to produce a sweet harmony

mario andretti
Andretti’s new Lamborghini arrives this spring. But will it have a CD player?Sasha Arutyunova
valentino balboni
Valentino Balboni “Distinguished by its incomparable exclusivity. Getting behind the wheel of an Aventador can make anyone a driving enthusiast.”portrait by marina de santis

Turns out, America’s most famous racing driver is an opera nut. He saw his first when he was about 10 years old, Verdi’s La Traviata. His favorite aria is “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, written by Puccini. Andretti even once sang a Verdi aria on an episode of Jeopardy! The Pavarotti CD he keeps in his Aventador is Amore: Romantic Italian Love Songs. Crank it up!

“Jesus!” Andretti says. “You know what? I smile the rest of the day.”

premium access to road and track
premium access to road and track

A car-lover’s community for ultimate access & unrivaled experiences.JOIN NOW Hearst Owned

You Might Also Like