Most Lamborghinis are sought-after commodities, especially the V12-powered cars. 350GT, 400, Muira, Espada and the Countach have all become collector cars. And the Murciélago remains the venerated top of the Lambo model line. But you may have noticed one name missing from the panoply of twelves from the bull brand- that being the Diablo. Developed under Chrysler’s ownership, the 1990-2001 Diablo lacked the raw emotive power of its predecessors, and it was not as well-built nor competent as the Murciélago which replaced it. Poor, poor Diablo.
Maybe that’s why it’s been the car of choice when exotic car builders want to make a name for themselves, but don’t have the means, or the patience to develop the chassis and drivetrain of their prodigy. As that seems to be the case, here’s a collection of Diablos that have gone under the knife, or have entered the witness relocation program and have started a new life.
Ready? Let’s go.
The Lamborghini Alar-
At least this one keeps the Lamborghini name, although looking at the body, one wouldn’t be surprised if the Bolognese maker didn’t hit them with a C&D order. From the Argentina Auto Blog:
It’s official. Joan Ferci’s bizarre, rebodied Lamborghini Diablo dubbed the Alar has finally been revealed in Buenos Aires, and it is everything it’s cracked up to be. Not that that’s necessarily a good thing. The Diablo’s muscular looks are jettisoned in favor of the Alar’s wacky new bodywork, which looks like the aftermath of a one night stand between an alien life form and Captain Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus. In 1987.
The Vector M12-
My, my miss American pie, I drove my Vector but I wrecked her and now I could die. . .
Vector had always been a mythical beast- a full-blooded American exotic- that is until the Malaysians bought the company and disguised old Diablos as new M12s. As I noted in a NPOCP from last year-
. . . Shortly thereafter, Wiegert was forced out of Vector through a hostile takeover by the Indonesian company – and good Transformer – Megatech. That company also sought to forgo years of tradition and actually produce Vectors for public sale. They determined that the most expedient way to do so would be to throw out the aerospace tech semi-monocoque chassis and one-off racing motor, and replace them with the modified chassis and V12 engine from the Lamborghini Diablo, as, at the time, they owned that company as well.
So, that’s what we have today- a Vector M12 which is really a mid-nineties Lambo in drag. The switch from sidewinder to longitudinal engine placement means the Vector body had to be elongated, and the cabin pushed forward. While it still sports many of the iconic Vector styling cues, the proportions are funky and it just doesn’t look right. The 4-cam Bizzarrini-legacy motor puts out a healthy 500-bhp, but that pales in comparison to the 1000-bhp Wiegert had promised back in the company’s glory days.
The Laraki is a Moroccan luxury exotic car. Yes, it’s from Morocco, the northern African country that’s home to the mythical Rick’s Café and cursed severed monkey paw-selling roadside stands.
Offered up at $560K in 2008 the Laraki Fulgura at least switched out the Lambo engine for a quad turbo V12 from Mercedes Benz. The designer of the car has also done yachts so he knows the finer things in life, as well as how to milk the rich. A later model, the Borac, was not Diablo-based, and is, hence dead to us.
Named after the famous straight at the Circuit de la Sarthe, the Hunaudieres preceeded the Bugatti Veyron in using VW’s 8.0-litre W16 engine. Despite the germanic powerplant and French name, the chassis for this one-off show car is pure diablo.
As VW already had the rebirth of Bugatti planned when the 1999 Bentley show car debuted, production (and hence further sapping of the Diablo bloodline) was not considered. Bugatti and Bentley have had their brand positions solidified by parent Volkswagen, making the horseshoe grille the ultimate sportster, and the cars carrying the Flying B much more luxo-sport, so it’s unlikely you’ll see the hunaudieres, or anything like it again anytime soon
Of course, Lamborghini Diablo owners have been known to make some pretty drastic body modifications on their own, as well. . .