Why should Paul have all the fun? Hey, I spot cars too, like this 2005 Lambo Murcielago Roadster I spied at the Chicago Mecum Auction in October.
This Italian hot rod was parked out back of the exhibition and auction hall where various employees could keep an eye on it in case car nuts like me were wandering about wanting to crawl inside. It was locked, naturally.
It’s so rare to see a Lambo in the Midwest, unless you’re in Chicago where the big money lives. But what makes this so special is the convertible top. The Murcielago had been out several years when it was redesigned to go topless.
Here’s how Motortrend magazine described it back in the day. The Lamborghini has “a body that magnetizes eyeballs like Heidi Klum in a Saran Wrap leotard.”
The sticker on this baby, when new, was $320,000 and for that you got a throbbing 6.2-liter V12, AWD supercar with scissor doors. Sadly I wasn’t allowed to flip these up for a photo, something about “Don’t Touch.”
Power is 575 horses, which may not seem so crazy powerful now that electric cars are touting that, and more, with twin electric motors in some makes. But the Lambo would scoot, doing 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and top speed was 205 mph.
Yet Lambo advised against driving more than 100 mph with the convertible top in place, as it might lift off and fly into Never Never Land! This thing is all metal tubes and cloth and the fit never was great, one supposes Lambo designers thinking most drivers would be removing the top before racing about.
A few other interesting points with the Murcielago? Well, the engine hatch is hinged at the rear to expose the V12, a design first used on the iconic Lamborghini Miura in even earlier days. The front brakes have 8-piston calipers as you’ll likely need to stop this in a hurry, and this windshield angle is incredibly low, driving home the car’s devilish wedge shape.
Just 4,099 Murcielagos were built, the last in late 2010. Just 899 were convertibles, er, excuse me, roadsters.
Autoart’s 1:18 scale Diablo worthy of its special edition status …
Lamborghini may be younger than Ferrari, but its slippery looking cars are equally beautiful, daring, and powerful.
So when Lambo’s 30th anniversary rolled around in 1993 it wasn’t shy about introducing a limited edition Diablo SE30, as in Special Edition 30th Anniversary. Like the regular Diablo (Devil) it was a beast meant for racing and just 150 were to be made.
Lucky for us collectors that Autoart has recently released its 1:18 scale version of the SE30 in a variety of colors. Originally the special Diablos were metallic lavender, a spectacular color, but not for everyone’s taste. The review car is a sizzling metallic blue known as Blu Sirena. (Sounds like a sad tennis player!)
All the Diablo SE30s were built in 1994 and early 1995 featuring Lamborghini’s naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V12 that made a whopping (for the era) 525 horsepower and top speed of 207 mph. Reports at the time put its acceleration from 0 to 60 mph at 4 seconds even, impressive but now that’s something even souped up SUVs and pickups can do.
Race versions got Lambo’s JOTA engine upgrades but all SE30 models were built as lightweights since it was hoped they would be raced in GT championships around the world. No power seats or air conditioning or radio in these models and the side windows, which were synthetic glass (lighter weight), also weren’t powered. This exotic was all about speed.
Seats were carbon fiber shells and featured a special material that helped hold the driver and passenger in place while the Spartan dash featured white dial faces and below were perforated aluminum pedals.
Outside, the aluminum body had small bits of carbon fiber for side air intakes and a big rear spoiler that curved down toward the body to improve handling while the center portion was adjustable to aid downforce.
Special to the SE30 was a black and gold engine, the headers being gold. Intake manifolds were magnesium and the engine included new cylinder heads, again to cut weight and boost performance.
This isn’t Autoart’s first car corral. It continues to deliver pristine and perfectly styled models with fabulous paint jobs. The Diablo continues that cycle of successes.
Everything opens up here, the frunk, the engine cover, the scissor doors and the roll-away headlights even roll up with a small lever beneath the car’s nose.
Those lights look convincing, but for display purposes the Lambo looks much sexier with the lights hidden away. And while it’s cool the frunk lid opens up front there’s not much to see inside, a flocked floor and a couple stickers on the firewall. Still, high marks here for authenticity.
There are a variety of other lights and amber turn signal lamps up front along with a Lamborghini logo on the nose and a chin spoiler below.
A single giant black windshield wiper rests at the bottom of the Lambo’s massive sloping windshield and the proper hood air intakes are well shaped with tiny black screens inset while the same can be said for the stylish side scalloped scoops that end before the rear wheels.
This special edition used a Miura-like louvered engine cover that perfectly blends into the car’s long tail and somewhat reflects the rear spoiler’s shape.
Flip up the engine cover, which is well supported by two black struts and there’s the big V12 with its gold header covers with Lamborghini embossed atop each. Plus, there’s another Lambo bull logo in gold on the black engine cover, and of course black hoses and a silver radiator with labeling.
This Lamborghini’s tail is unique too with a split design, the big round taillights on the upper portion along with black screening between them and silver Lambo and 30th Anniversary logos. Then there’s the split and a large rear bumper/body extension with reflectors and backup lights, plus quad aluminum-tipped exhausts. You can almost hear the exhausts rumble!
Tires are thick and wide aggressively treaded numbers with PZero labeling, but no Pirelli lettering. While the wheels are matte silver five-hole designs with OZ-Racing labels as these were new designs for the special edition. Behind the wheels are giant drilled disc brake rotors too. Oh, and the front wheels are steerable.
Inside, the two-seat cockpit is black with realistic looking blue four-point belts with photo-etched metal clasps on the bucket seats. Other highlights include the white-faced gauges, a flat-bottom steering wheel and nicely detailed center stack and shifter on the console with a chrome-trimmed shift gate cover. There’s even a red button on that stack which would engage a fire extinguisher in the real car.
One final touch, a 30th Anniversary logo just inside the cockpit’s driver’s side rear window, and of course large side mirrors with real mirrored faces.
Need more? I don’t think so, unless it was one of the 150 made sitting in your driveway. But instead of spending millions, not to mention insurance payments that even Progressive’s Flo couldn’t touch, this 1:18 beauty can be yours for $250, and in four colors, this sparkling blue, plus black metallic, metallic purple or metallic yellow. Then there are the racier JOTA versions for the same price and in the metallic purple, metallic silver or white pearl.
There’s not a bad looker in this bull ring, but this blue version or the purple one seem the standouts!