When the Arizona Concours d’Elegance returns to the Scottsdale Civic Center on January 22nd, the Grand Canyon State becomes a car enthusiast’s paradise as the new year begins. There, those looking to acquire a collector’s car can participate in many auctions, including RM Sotheby’s sales featuring many fine European and American irons.
RM Sotheby’s returns to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa on Thursday, January 26th. The elegant stage of an auction lot like a silver 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster.
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An old Lamborghini looks a lot like the former US president. Good companies quietly step back from the center of the stage, giving their successors a chance in the public eye. The Diablo, manufactured from 1990 to his 2001, is his one such Lamborghini. His 10+ year run has produced 2,284 examples of him, each with its own characteristics. These wedge-shaped missiles, which are currently in the spotlight of collectors, are hailed as his one of the brand’s last true analogue supercars. That model was the last Lamborghini to use an engine directly descended from Giotto Bizzarini’s prototype V-12 in 1963.
At the time, the Diablo was a superstar’s supercar, a fascinating evolution of Lamborghini’s vision, seen through the eyes and hands of one of the most talented automotive stylists of his time, or perhaps of any era. . Marcello, who worked for coachbuilder Bertone (which also built car bodies), launched Lamborghini to stardom in 1966 with his Miura design. In his 1971, when demand for his Miura SV was still hot, Gandini’s Countach his prototype rocked the car world again, followed by the first production model in 1974.
The Countach lasted a long time, but in 1990 the time came for another Gandini design, the Diablo, to represent the cutting-edge technology of the late 20th century. Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler at the time, and Chrysler management “improved” the Gandini’s design, but the original concept was strong enough to maintain its integrity despite interference. The foundation of this model was spotless. His longitudinally mounted 5.7-liter V12 engine and all-important top end of his 202 mph that made him one of the fastest cars of its time.
A groundbreaking all-wheel drive called Viscous Traction (hence Diablo’s name, VT) came out in 1993, and in 1995, the Diablo VT Roadster became the poster car for teenagers’ bedroom walls around the world. I was. The variant featured a carbon fiber Targa-style top that cleverly stowed above the engine lid when removed.
Lamborghini’s future was assured when it was acquired by Volkswagen in 1998. The Diablo was subtly restyled to match his 1999 model, and his retractable headlights were replaced with fixed units from the Nissan 300ZX. Variable valve timing produced 529 horsepower, and the anti-lock braking system incorporated large Brembo discs.
Finished in rare Titanium Silver and black leather upholstery, the Diablo VT Roadster is one of perhaps fewer than 200 model variants. Equipped with a factory rear spoiler and 18-inch chrome-plated OZ Racing alloy wheels, the odometer shows him only 18,716 miles, and the factory tools his roll, leather purse and attaché, assorted Comes with a book of ownership and a service invoice. The high $475,000 estimate isn’t even significant, but it’s helpful to remember that Miura prices were around a similar time.
Click here for more photos of the 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster provided by RM Sotheby’s.
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