Unloved Lambos- The Curse of the Diablo

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.

Bentley Hunaudieres-

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. . .

Image sources: [VWVortex, Argentina AutoBlog, HowStuffWorks, AllSportAuto, Sybarites, Aussieexotics]

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  1. engineerd Avatar

    Charlie Daniels recently had a mild stroke. In his honor, I give "Iacocca Went to Italia":
    Iacocca went down to Italia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
    He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind: he was willin' to make a deal.
    When he came across this supercar maker in need of a new top spot.
    And Iacocca jumped upon a trattoria chair and said: "Boy let me tell you what:
    "I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a supercar maker too.
    "And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.
    "Now you build a pretty good supercar, boy, but give Iacocca his due:
    "I bet a supercar of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."
    The boy said: "My name's Ferruccio and it might be a sin,
    "But I'll take your bet, your gonna regret, 'cos I'm the best that's ever been."
    Ferruccio you rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.
    'Cos hells broke loose in Italia and Iacocca deals it hard.
    And if you win you get this shiny supercar made of gold.
    But if you lose, Iacocca gets your soul.

    1. superbadd75 Avatar

      I love his Geico commercial. Man that dude can tear up a fiddle!

      1. engineerd Avatar

        So that *was* him! I caught the very end and couldn't see the TV, but I heard the fiddle and asked Mrs. engineerd if that was Charlie Daniels. She didn't know.

        1. superbadd75 Avatar

          Absolutely. It couldn't possibly be anyone else! It's a pretty cool commercial because it's really just him shredding a bow. I dig it. Besides, it's nice to see a geico commercial that isn't a stupid lizard or some lame ass cavemen with 3 Doors (beat)Down in the background.

  2. Alff Avatar

    What impresses me most is that Argentina had an AutoBlog in 1987.

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    The Alar looks to have a sadface going on. 🙁

    1. superbadd75 Avatar

      So does the silver Diablo.

    2. PFG Avatar

      You'd have a sadface too if you were named after a cancer-causing pesticide.

  4. citroen67 Avatar

    I wonder if there is a Lamborghini owner out there somewhere that is desperately scouring ebay for a Civic door kit to put on his car? 😛

    1. Maymar Avatar

      The Internet Gods demand I bring this up.
      <img src="http://www.allfordmustangs.com/photopost/data/3243/Lambo-Doors-So-Played-Out.jpg&quot; w=500 /img>

      1. citroen67 Avatar

        Nice find! That is a one in a million photo opportunity if I ever did see one! My hat is off to the person quick enough on the shutter to catch it.

      2. M44Power Avatar

        My first thought when I saw the top pic.

  5. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    I'd be very interested to see the original Gandini design for the Diablo, before Chrysler bought the company and "tamed" it.

  6. carplanetzone1 Avatar

    So can I get one on Craigslist dirt cheap? No, dammit. Sono molto triste. 🙁

  7. Maymar Avatar

    The Diablo captured my attention for the few years I was constantly playing the first Need For Speed, on account of its 202mph top speed (since you could hit that on the first freeway track for an extended period). Then, I got NFS4, and I stopped caring about any Lambo after the Countach.

  8. omg grip Avatar
    omg grip

    Professor, what is the relation of the 1995 Cizeta-Moroder V16T to the Diablo, if any?
    -A curious student of the Hooniversity.

  9. Robert Emslie Avatar
    Robert Emslie

    The Cizeta-Moroder was designed by the same person as the Diablo – Marcello Gandini – and features his signature slanted rear wheel opening. The company that built (all 8) Moroders was also founded by former Lambo employees, but other than those connections, it shares nothing with the Diablo. BTW, its V16 is actually a pair of flat-plane V8s connected at a central power take-off. It and the Veyron are the only V16 production automobiles of the post-war era to date.

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      Only 8 Cizeta-Moroders were built? Wow, that makes it even cooler having seen and heard one of them in person!

      1. smokyburnout Avatar

        It's a rare enough car that it looks like all the videos of it on YouTube and Streetfire are of the exact same one, which also appears to be the one that got seized by the feds. http://auto.freedomblogging.com/2009/12/07/ice-se

        1. LTDScott Avatar

          I just looked at a video of the Cizeta at the show I attended and it appears to have the same Euro plate as the one in that article, so it is the same car 🙁

        2. LTDScott Avatar

          Oh and this quote cracked me up: “Cars that don’t meet U.S. standards are outlawed for a reason. These vehicles can pose a real threat to public health and safety.”
          Really? Get over yourself dude.

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hooniverse, Auto Junk Yard. Auto Junk Yard said: http://bit.ly/5nUIHD Unloved Lambos- The Curse of the Diablo : Hooniverse: My, my miss American pie, I drove my Ve… http://bit.ly/7fjuB4 […]

  11. Syrax Avatar

    I'm on the other side. I couldn't care for the Countach, not a big Miura fan and the Espada does nothing for me. The Diablo is one of my favorite Lambos, the 6.0 to be exact. Having the opportunity to ride in a Diablo GT in Interlagos brought the Devil up there in the list for me. It sits in second though, behind my favorite Lambo, the Jarama.
    <img src="http://www.lamborghinifans.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Lamborghini-Jarama.jpg"/&gt;

    1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

      And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Jarama is a beaut!

    2. Balestra Avatar

      caralho!!!!uma volta numa diablo em Interlagos?! Fantástico. Sou fã de Lambos. todas! Mas a Diablo foi a 1a que conheci. Tinha uma VT roxa quando criança. Igual a que o Nick Cage rouba em 60 segundos. Fantástica!

      1. Syrax Avatar

        Era de um argentino. Acho que só tem essa e uma no México. As outras tão nos EUA e Europa.

  12. Warptwisted Avatar

    I always loved the Diablo.
    Tthe first time i saw it in my yeary car review book, I thought it was what they meant by cabin foward design.
    The Murcielago is nice but The Diablo( with it's five circle spokes and the wedge design with two air trap dehing the cabin) felt like no matter what Ferrari you bring, this car will cut short your thrash talk ( except the F50).
    The fact it is Italia's black sheep and a unrefined Ferrari makes it a sweeter deal.