I stumbled across a decent bit of TV last night, hidden amongst all the usual festive dross: Megafactories. It’s one of those programmes you have to wander all the way into the five-hundreds on your Skybox for, to the National Geographic channel.
Last night it was an hour-long special on Lamborghini, following a Murcielago SV going all the way through the production process. And although much of the show was predictable, bits of it were really great.
It takes more than a week to screw together a Murcielago, apparently. They’re still painted by hand, and the same bloke paints the exterior of every panel because that’s the only way to ensure a consistent finish.
The show documented every stage of the build. You saw upholsterers gluing and fitting pieces of machine cut leather and alcantara to dashboards and roof panels; technicians attaching the chassis, marrying the engine and gearbox into the car, fitting the wiring loom and checking all the electronics.
My favourite moment was watching a Lambo technician explain one of the earlier stages of the build process, when many of the exterior body panels are fitted. They attach the car to a cradle suspended from the ceiling, with pivots at the nose and tail of the car. Then they rotate it along the longitudinal centre line as they attach rocker panels and underbody pieces.
They even put the cameras inside the dyno room so you could watch the car on the rolling road after it came off the line. It looked like it wasn’t far off jumping off the rollers and bursting through the factory wall. Which, if you ask me, is exactly how a Lamborghini should look on a rolling road.
Turns out there are other episodes on later this week, on Audi, Porsche and Bugatti. It’ll knock the hell out of watching Jamie Oliver grease up a turkey, that’s for sure.