18 Aug Lamborghini Diablo GTR: A Rare Devil is Heading to Auction
What happens when a company like Lamborghini decides to build a special edition of one of their cars and then pushes the concept even further by making a track-only version of the special one? You get something like this Diablo GTR from the year 2000. This Diablo GTR will be auctioned off as part of the Pebble Beach and Monterey Car Week festivities this week. Car Week is the one time of the year where you are not only guaranteed to spot some of the rarest, most exclusive cars in the world, but you might also get a chance to buy one.
Let me back up and share more details about the Lamborghini Diablo. This was the car that followed the Countach in the big V12 series. It debuted in 1990 and was sold for just over a decade, until 2001. 2,884 cars were made and it was the first Lambo with a top speed in excess of 200 mph. If you were a kid in the 1990s and even liked cars just a little bit, you knew about the Diablo and probably had a poster of it somewhere in your room. If not, you certainly had a friend who did. The combination of extreme looks, a V12 engine and pop up headlights made it quite a sight. In 1999 they did away with the pop up headlamps in favor of fixed ones as the car moved into the new millennium.
Lamborghini typically offers special models towards the end of any model run. In this case, it was the Diablo GT. Only 80 of these were produced and they all featured a very track-oriented interior along with much more aggressive bodywork. The price was $300,000 and they were only sold in Europe, although a few examples did make it to America.
So, the car now up for sale is the GTR version, which is the track only hyper focused version of the GT. Only 30 of these were built and they were all raced at some point. The one you see here is number 19. I remember both the GT and GTR versions quite well because I had Lamborghini’s calendar in the year 2000. Every month featured a different picture of the GT version. Then, on the last page, after the month of December, was a picture of the GTR – the rarest of the rare.
Sotheby’s is auctioning off 19/30 in just a couple of weeks. Here’s what they share about the GTR in their official auction catalog:
“Fundamentally a development of the Super Veloce-based SV-R Diablo that served the single-marque Supertrophy series for the first four years, the GTR would be the track-only variant of the limited-production GT model. Beginning with the chassis, a fully integrated roll cage would protect the driver while an impressively large rear wing, bolted directly onto the frame, provided the aerodynamic downforce and stability needed for running at high speed. Additional measures to keep the weight down included a fully stripped interior. The body was almost entirely made from carbon fiber; only the roof and doors remained metal for rigidity and safety, while the windows were Plexiglas. Without a doubt, the Diablo GTR was the best handling car Lamborghini had built to date.
“The 6.0-liter unit mounted behind the driver had been the single most powerful motor the company had ever produced, with 590 hp, 40 more than the previous pinnacle reached in the SVR. As a result of this and various other upgrades, the Diablo GTR was able to attain a top speed of 210 miles per hour.
“Offered here is GTR number 19 of the 30 examples ever built. Serving as a competition vehicle for the entire run of the series, the vehicle was initially bought by the Stephane Ratel Organization (SRO), and in the 2001 season the car was raced by Autovitesse still under SRO ownership. The car showed silver metallic bodywork at the end of that year’s campaign and was subsequently bought and raced by Reiter Engineering for the 2002 Supertrophy series. Over the course of 2012 and 2013, this GTR was returned back to its original orange combination and underwent and extensive ground-up restoration. Every single part and component on the vehicle was either replaced or reconditioned to new before being mounted back onto the car.
“The Diablo GTR marks an important shift in Lamborghini history for being one of the very first factory-backed racing efforts, but also for being the most hardcore and outlandish car the company had produced up to that date. Now is the opportunity to acquire one of the most unique Lamborghini experiences available.”
How much do they estimate it will bring at auction? It is anticipated to be somewhere between $580,000-$780,000.
Link to the auction listing: http://www.rmsothebys.com/mo17/monterey/lots/2000-lamborghini-diablo-gtr/1704311
Photos/Video Courtesy: RM Auctions/Sotheby’s