1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster  Chassis no. 12864 Engine no. 12864

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Lot 111
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
Chassis no. 12864 Engine no. 12864

Sold for € 79,350 (US$ 86,999) inc. premium
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
Chassis no. 12864
Engine no. 12864
After 17 years in production, the legendary Countach was replaced by the Diablo, which on its arrival was the fastest, most advanced and most expensive Lamborghini ever built. First exhibited publicly at Monaco in January 1990, the Diablo improved on its illustrious predecessor in every way, setting a new benchmark in supercar design. Nobody can have been surprised to learn that it had been styled by Marcello Gandini, the man responsible for the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, for the family resemblance was obvious.
Beneath the skin there was a steel spaceframe chassis, developed from the Countach's, but constructed of square-section rather than round tubing and incorporating 'crumple zones' at front and rear. The use of carbon-fibre composite panels, first seen in the Countach Evoluzione model, was extended in the Diablo, which also featured revised suspension capable of accommodating the envisaged future developments of four-wheel drive and active suspension. Stretched to 5.7 litres for the Diablo, Lamborghini's 48-valve V12 engine gained fuel injection for the first time, producing its maximum of 492bhp at 7,000rpm. Of equal, if not greater significance, maximum torque went up to 428lb/ft, an improvement of 55% over the Countach. Catalytic converters were standard, enabling the reworked V12 to meet emissions requirements worldwide.
With more power and a lower drag coefficient than the Countach, the Diablo easily eclipsed its forebear, exceeding 200mph (322km/h) on test. More importantly, its acceleration and top speed figures were marginally better than those of the Ferrari F40. Although one of the world's most expensive cars, the Diablo was not a limited edition model like the latter but a series production car with a luxuriously appointed interior reflecting its designers' intention to produce a civilised Gran Turismo as suited to city streets and motorways as the racetrack. Four-wheel drive Diablo VT and Targa-style open roadster versions soon followed and then came the Diablo SE (Special Edition) only 150 examples of which were built to celebrate Lamborghini's 30 years as a car manufacturer.
The current vendor purchased this 1998-model Diablo VT roadster in July 1998 via Tredwell SAM in Monaco while he lived in the Principality. Chassis number '12864' was first registered in September 1997 by the Lamborghini factory and retained for publicity purposes. Registered 'AP 156 ME', the car featured in Hors Ligne magazine and an Alpine brochure during this period (copies on file) but when purchased had been reregistered in Monaco as 'Z 165'. Apart from the Lamborghini factory, the car has only been owned by the current vendor.
Originally finished in Titanium with Oxblood Red hide interior and grey carpets, the car was re-trimmed in red/black hide with black Wilton carpeting in 2000, a new Alpine satellite navigation/audio system and Panasonic DVD player being installed at the same time (see invoices on file). Other noteworthy features include a sports exhaust system and rear wing with rear-view camera mounted beneath.
The vendor used the Diablo to travel back and forth from Monaco to the UK before returning to the UK on a permanent basis in 1999. First registered in the UK as 'AWJ 1' (since retained) the car is currently registered as 'R846 DUR'. At time of purchase from Tredwell in 1998 the odometer reading stood at 12,864 kilometres, and had risen to 34,685 when the instrument was changed to a mile-recording type to meet UK legal requirements in November 2001. (The original km/h odometer is available if required). A total of 4,325 miles is currently displayed on the odometer making the combined distance travelled from new approximately 41,650 kilometres or 25,864 miles.
Kept garaged and covered both in Monaco and the UK, the Diablo has been serviced, insured and MoT'd annually, benefiting from a new clutch fitted by Lamborghini Wycombe in June 2003 at 834 miles (3,491 miles ago, see invoice). The vendor has retained the left-hand drive Diablo in the hope and expectation that he would return to Monaco or France on a regular basis. Realising that this is not going to happen, he has reluctantly decided to sell his first-ever Lamborghini.
Described as in generally excellent condition, this obviously much loved and well cared for Diablo is offered with the aforementioned documentation, its original vehicle order form, owner's manual, DVLA correspondence, service record book and servicing invoices, all expired MoT certificates, a selection of colour photographs, current MoT and UK Swansea V5C registration document.

Le vendeur acquit cette Diablo VT roadster en juillet 1998 via Tredwell SAM à Monaco alors qu'il résidait dans la Principauté. La voiture châssis n° 12864 fut immatriculée pour la première fois en septembre 1997 par l'usine Lamborghini qui la conserva à des fins promotionnelles. Immatriculée « AP 156 ME », la voiture figura à l'époque dans le magazine Hors Ligne et dans une brochure Alpine (dont copies présentes au dossier) avant d'être immatriculée à Monaco « Z 165 ». Outre l'usine, la voiture n'a eu qu'un seul propriétaire, le vendeur.

Peinte à l'origine en Titanium avec intérieur en cuir rouge 'sang de bœuf' et moquettes grises, la voiture fut regarnie en cuir rouge et noir avec moquettes Wilton noires en 2000 et équipée en même temps d'un nouveau système audio et de navigation satellite Alpine et d'un lecteur de DVD Panasonic (voir factures au dossier). On notera aussi avec intérêt l'installation d'un système d'échappement sport et d'un aileron arrière complété d'une caméra de recul.

Le vendeur utilisa cette voiture pour des trajets répétés entre Monaco et le Royaume-Uni avant de retourner s'installer définitivement dans ce dernier pays en 1999. Immatriculée initialement en Angleterre « AWJ 1 » (numéro conservé), la voiture est actuellement immatriculée « R846 DUR ». A la date de l'achat à Tredwell en 1998, le compteur affichait 12 964 km. Lors de son remplacement en novembre 2001 par un instrument gradué en miles répondant à la réglementation britannique, il indiquait 34 685 km. Le compteur kilométrique est disponible sur demande.) L'instrument actuel indiquant 4 325 miles, le total parcouru s'élève donc à environ 41 650 km (25 864 miles).

Toujours garée dans les meilleures conditions et protégée par une housse, cette Diablo entretenue, assurée et contrôlée MOT chaque année a bénéficié d'un remplacement de l'embrayage par Lamborghini Wycombe en juin 2003 à 834 miles soit il y a 3 491 miles (facture disponible). Le vendeur a conservé cette Diablo à conduite à gauche dans l'espoir de retourner régulièrement à Monaco ou en France, mais cette hypothèse ne se vérifiant pas, il a donc décidé de s'en séparer.

Décrite comme étant en bon état général, cette Diablo à l'évidence très appréciée est offerte avec la documentation susmentionnée, son bon de commande d'origine, son manuel d'utilisation, la correspondance DVLA, son carnet d'entretien et ses factures de travaux, tous les certificats MOT expirés, un dossier de photos en couleurs, le MOT actuel et le document d'immatriculation V5 de Swansea (Royaume-Uni).
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster  Chassis no. 12864 Engine no. 12864
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster  Chassis no. 12864 Engine no. 12864
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