Amelia Island | Lot 201
1991 Lamborghini Diablo
$274,400 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
22 May 2021
- Very early example with unassisted steering and rear-wheel drive; the purest Diablo experience available
- The 283rd of just 401 first-year examples produced
- Odometer displays fewer than 5,250 km (~3,265 mi) at time of cataloguing
- Finished in red over black with optional rear wing
The Lamborghini Diablo appeared on 21 January 1990 as a long-overdue replacement for the Countach, which had been on sale in various guises since 1974. Marcello Gandini's design language was carried over to the Diablo, but it was considerably refined and made less angular by Chrysler in the pursuit of aerodynamic performance—and to increase its appeal to a wider contemporary audience. Power came from a 5.7-liter, fuel-injected version of the Bizzarrini V-12 engine, capable of 485 horsepower, which unlocked a top speed on the interesting side of 200 mph. Lamborghini’s new model also introduced creature comforts such as air conditioning and power windows and mirrors, though the steering remained unassisted on early examples such as this.
Number 283 of just 401 examples built for that first year of production, this Diablo is an exceptionally well-preserved and highly original example. Delivered new to an owner in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via Ultimate Motor Works of Longwood, Florida, it was finished in red over a black leather interior and outfitted with red interior piping and the optional rear wing; MSRP was $245,310. The car was retained by its first owner for nearly 14 years before it was purchased by its second owner in 2005.
The Diablo’s second owner kept the car for the following five years before selling it to a third owner in Auburn, Alabama, who kept the car until 2017. In 2014, Lamborghini of Orlando treated the car to a major service at a cost of nearly $20,000; parts fitted included a new clutch, valve cover gaskets, alternator, A/C belts, radiator hoses, and thermostat.
In the past three years, this Diablo has covered approximately 305 miles, with its metric odometer indicating fewer than 5,250 kilometers (~3,265 miles) in total. Annual maintenance has been provided by specialists at Black Horse Motorwerks in Bucyrus, Kansas; the consignor reports that a fluid change and clutch adjustment have been performed by longtime Lamborghini technician Charles Carden at Casey Carden Motorsports of Braselton, Georgia in April 2021.
The car retains telltale signs of first-year Diablo production, namely the dramatic “cliff” gauge surround, gray mirrors, unassisted steering, and rear-wheel drive powertrain. This Diablo is now accompanied by its original window sticker, owner’s manual and wallet, Diablo press release book, service invoices, car cover, and custom Keith Collins floor mats.
Arguably one of the purest and most original first-generation Diablos in existence, this is truly an exceptional car that deserves to be cherished.