Lamborghini Icon Valentino Balboni Annoints Lamborghini Club Missouri
There’s no doubt about it—when a Lamborghini sails by, heads turn.
Dr. Adnan Siddiqui likes Lamborghinis so much that he decided to form the Lamborghini Club of Missouri. What better way to showcase the club then by having legendary Lamborghini test driver, Valentino Balboni, visit St. Louis?
Valentino was guest of honor at the Lamborghini Club’s lavish VIP event held last month at the Huntleigh, Missouri, home of Cedar Lake Cellars President Carl Bolm and his wife Gabriella.
More than 25 Lamborghinis adorned the grounds, and guests clustered around Valentino while he regaled them with tales of his test driving days, many of which were harrowing.
Getting the club off the ground was quite a feat for Adnan.
About five years ago, he formed the ND4SPD Car Club made up of members who liked to drive exotic cars to different places in the area.
Having a Lamborghini himself, he noticed there were quite a few other Lamborghinis on the road and thought, “There are clubs for Ferraris, Vipers and Porches, so why not a Lamborghini Club?”
Several members of Adnan’s ND4SPD Car Club had Lamborghinis, so that was a starting point.
He approached Andrew Romanowski, president of the Lamborghini Club America, about forming a Missouri chapter.
“You have to have a lot of members for the clubs which are linked to the Lamborghini dealerships,” Adnan says. “Corporate sells to dealers, and dealers sell to people; then you have a club that is run separately for people who have these cars, and it’s all connected.”
“When we would see someone driving a Lamborghini, we would approach them and tell them about the club,” he says. “Then, we would have some drives and photo shoots.”
“We started having events at the dealership, and when the president saw that we had all these interested people, he said I could run the Missouri region,” Adnan says. “When we had this big party last year, and the president and vice-president came down, they were like ‘wow.’”
Adnan wanted to grow the club to include Illinois and other neighboring states, so when the club began planning their second event, Adnan wanted to make it extra special.
“We wanted Valentino Balboni,” he says. “And he came.”
For 35 years, Valentino has been the face of Lamborghini, having test-driven the prototypes and all cars that Lamborghini built. Prominent customers came from all over the world to meet him and hear about their car from the man who drove it.
Besides chatting with all the guests, Valentino signed each Lamborghini under the hood, making an already valuable car into a one-of-a-kind.
“He is such a humble guy,” Adnan says. “Wherever he goes, there’s a crowd, and he’s very big in the Lamborghini world.
“We were very fortunate to have him here in Missouri, and it was quite an honor, “he said.
While Valentino was in St. Louis, the club drove their Lamborghinis out to Cedar Lake Cellars on Saturday afternoon and parked them at The Barrel Room where they drew a large, appreciative crowd.
Adnan stands by his purple Lamborghini, which he has had for three months, and explains the Lamborghini “mystique.”
“You will never see a color like this in a Ferrari,” he says. “Their colors are black, white, red, yellow or blue, while Lamborghinis will have those colors plus oranges or greens—any color you want.”
“They have an aggressive look,” he says, pointing to the bull emblem on the hood. “They are bulls instead of ponies.”
“They’re cooler and meaner, and look like they mean business,” he adds with a wide grin.
“And you can hear a Lamborghini from far away,” he says. “They have their own sound, and people will say, ‘That’s a Lamborghini coming.’”
With a carbon-fiber body and V-10 engine, the car is lighter and can reach 60 mph in 2.3 seconds.
Adnan says his Lamborghini can go 215 mph; although, by his own admission, he has not driven it that fast.
Unlike regular automobiles, most exotic cars have to be charged every day and have a factory tender that keeps the battery alive between drives.
Lamborghini has eight clubs in America, and Adnan is focusing on expanding the Missouri club to nearby states.
Adnan formed the ND4SPD Car Club five years ago with ten friends who had exotic cars.
“We would just drive out to the wineries and enjoy the day,” he says.
The club has grown to more than 180 members and holds a charitable event every year, the first one being an event for Police Officer Mike Flamion who was shot in July 2016.
The most recent, held earlier this year, benefited Miracles ‘N’ Progress, an organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and other debilitating diseases.
“We had more than 100 cars, and had the kids come to the dealerships,” Adnan says. “Then we drove them down to the family arena in the cars.”