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Last Lamborghini Gallardo leaves production line: most popular bull's end

The best-selling Lamborghini in history, the Gallardo, saw its final unit roll off the line and into the hands of a private collector this week, marking the end of production for this iconic Raging Bull.

After a decade as the production supercar to beat, the now-legendary Lamborghini Gallardo saw its last unit roll off the line on Monday. The final model, a Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante was decked in Rosso Mars and is destined for a private collector who will likely own one of the most sought-after collectibles in recent production.

The Gallardo, named after a famed fighting bull - a Lambo tradition, of course - marks the 14,022th Gallardo made by the company since the model began production ten years ago. This makes the Gallardo line the most-sold Lambo super sports car so far and the car still holds record lap times on several circuits.

The Gallardo was introduced in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show as Lamborghini's 40th anniversary car and fundamentally changed the exclusive Italian automaker, taking Automobil Lamborghini from a tiny, 250 unit per year manufacturer to a growth of nearly eight times that at an average of 2,000 cars per year. They did this without watering down the sought-after nature of the Badge of the Bull, holding the exclusive mystique of the Lambo.

The Gallardo blood line runs deeper than that, of course. It's named for a bull breed that began in the 18th century to be fostered specifically for the bullfighting arena and that is particularly well-known for its courage and undaunted nature. It's fitting that this blood line finish its automotive run as an exclusive Spyder Perfromante in Rosso Mars, the famous Lamborghini shade of red.

The Lamborghini Gallardo has become a benchmark for supercars, being one of the first built on an aluminum space frame with systematic lightweighting as one of its primary design features. The high-revving ten-cylinder, naturally-aspirated engine and unique roboticized sequential gear shifting (called e-gear) - taken, of course, from Lambo's highly successful Formula One technologies - and the permanent all-wheel drive of the Gallardo finished it as tops in its class and created an enduring winning streak of sales that lasted an unprecedented decade of production.

In 2008, a second-generation of the Gallardo was presented, with a newly-designed front and rear, a higher-output engine with gasoline direct injection, and further enhancements to the chassis. This became the Gallardo LP 560-4, the number denoting the car's 560 horsepower output. The 570-4 Superleggera and Spyder Performante followed in 2010. A limited LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni was also offered in honor of one of the most well-known test drivers in the business. Many other limited-run editions of the Gallardo have been offered during its decade of production.

The Lamborghini Gallardo saw sales in more than 45 countries around the globe with each vehicle being unique due to the high number of personalization options available not only on the vehicle itself, but for each regional market as well. Lambo calls this "Ad Personam." Geo-specific special editions such as the Singapore and India were also on limited offer. Even police car versions of the Gallardo were built, called the Polizia Stradale, two of which are used by Italian State Police with others being sent to police departments globally.

The Gallardo name will continue on the racing circuit, as the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo lead car and the Gallardo GT3.

It's telling that, in all, the company has built about 30,000 cars since it started back in 1963 and nearly half of those, 14,022, were Gallardos.