The Lamborghini "JOTA"....and the history of that name has a connection also to the lifelong relationship between Mr. Lamborghini and Mr. Laverda. Before being adults they made money during the WWII in Italy putting engines from US Military Jeeps into small Italian Tractors for locals. Massimo Laverda and Ferruccio Lamborghini we friends, both dreaming of the day when they could go into business. Massimo and Ferruccio saw cars and motorcycles as both art and mechanical passions. However after the war they started a joint venture that allowed both to be in the "tractor business" they shared a factory that produced a single tractor design. The building was painted all white in one side and all blue on the other. And at one end there were two exit doors...out of one side rolled out a Lamborghini tractor and the other a Laverda tractor !
Now we all know the story about Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari.....how ever Massimo Laverda always told Ferruccio that no matter how fast your car. I will build a motorcycle that is faster and I will give it the same name ! So when Laverda 1000cc triple...that bike was became the JOTA considered to be the worlds first superbike. Roger Slater was the driving force behind the JOTA model creation. Laverda then produced a dedicated JOTA, which as street legal race bike. Produced over 100 DB from the Exhaust !
The Laverda JOTA went out and won the AVON Series and won the series all but twice. Becoming the first Superbike Champion. Laverda's became famous for small displacement championships in Milan-Taranto, the Giro d'Italia and the Cavalcata delle Dolomiti in the late 40's and 50's.
Sadly Lamborghini's Jota, built on the Muria model never won a single race. But it is good to see that the JOTA heritage is being kept alive in the modern Aventador model.
But the spirit and life long friendship of both men carried over even after they had retired. They both went into the wine business and again competing to see who could be the best. I was told this story by my friend of many years Massimo Laverda back in the mid 80's. Sadly Massimo Laverda passed on but he is still one of the most important figures in the history of Italian motorcycles today. I add this story so that knowledge of the two of Italy's most important leaders of both the Auto and Moto industry is preserved.