Italian Stallion: 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT

One of my favorite little facts about Lamborghini is that its current Chief Test Driver is a gentleman called Max Venturi. If you earn your living driving Italian supercars to the limit, I can’t think of a better name! This 1994 Diablo VT predates Mr. Venturi’s appointment to the position, but I’m sure he would be happy to slip behind the wheel and demonstrate its capabilities. The Diablo needs a new home, so it has been listed for auction here at Bonhams Auctions in Newport, Rhode Island. It will go under the hammer on 30th September, and the guide price is $225,000 – $275,000. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Araknid78 for spotting this beauty.

Lamborghini introduced the Diablo to the waiting world in 1990, building 2,884 vehicles during a twelve-year production run. Styling updates during that time were evolutionary, but the VT version brought the most significant changes. These included new and larger air intakes to improve cooling for the engine and brakes, which became essential as engine power and vehicle performance increased. Our feature car is an original survivor wearing stunning Deep Black paint. It is hard to find fault because the presentation is superb. It appears to have led a sheltered existence, and the odometer reading of 31,000 miles suggests nobody has tried to wear out this beauty. The panels are immaculate, and the Diablo features the “scissor” doors that became a hallmark of its predecessor, the Countach. This classic rolls on its original enormous alloy wheels that show no signs of damage or stains. The aerodynamic aids, like the spoilers and rear wing, look perfect, while the dark window tint helps accentuate the sense of menace this Diablo conveys.

Italian supercars developed a reputation during the 1970s and 1980s as highly-strung, but adopting technologies like electronic multi-port fuel injection eliminated many of these problems. Utilizing these developments helped the company extract additional performance from their vehicles to compete with those rolling out of Ferrari’s factory. This Diablo features a mid-mounted 5.7-liter V12 powerhouse producing 492hp and 428 ft/lbs of torque. It is the “VT” variant, meaning those purebred Italian stallions feed to the road via a five-speed manual transaxle and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. At 3,582lbs, the Diablo is no lightweight. However, this classic should scorch the ¼ mile in 12.4 seconds. If that figure doesn’t impress you, the Diablo’s ability to hit 202mph should command some respect. There’s no point in having that potential performance level if the vehicle doesn’t stop or handle. Therefore, Lamborghini designed the Diablo with four-wheel independent suspension and fitted enormous four-wheel ventilated discs supplied by Brembo. We receive no information on how this car runs or drives, but the engine bay presentation and low odometer reading should mean that it is in sound mechanical health.

If the Deep Black paint and tinted glass don’t capture your imagination, the interior might get your attention. The seats wear upholstery in Black and contrasting Red leather, while the rest of the interior trim is in Black leather and suede with Red piping. One known weak point with interiors of this type is potential wear on the outer edges of the deeply-contoured seats. This car hasn’t suffered that fate, and the appearance suggests it has been treated with respect. There are no signs of abuse or physical damage and no evidence of neglect. This might be a supercar capable of topping the double-ton, but occupants don’t miss out on creature comforts. This classic features climate-control air conditioning, power windows, carbon fiber touches, a premium Kenwood stereo, and a beautiful gated shifter.

I know we will have readers questioning whether this 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT is a barn find, and I understand that sentiment. This is a case where we must look beyond that question and appreciate the engineering and the performance potential this car offers. It is a flamboyant Italian supercar, and although it is twenty-eight years old, it could still hold its own against many modern offerings from the same country. That is a remarkable feat, which is why it deserves a place on our pages. With manufacturers focusing on a future dominated by zero-emission vehicles, cars like this Diablo risk becoming museum pieces. It doesn’t deserve that fate, and while it will hardly be a cheap investment, I hope the winning bidder enjoys it as much as Mr. Venturi would. That’s what its creators intended.

Comments

  1. CVPanther Member

    Amazing look, to me it still holds up.
    Great write-up Adam, and I fully agree, who cares if it’s not a barn find, its freekin’ art and wonderful to look at.

    Like 13
    • Eddie Dee

      And even better to drive!

      Like 5
  2. Grant

    202 MPH? How practical is that? I once was up to 140MPH and let me tell ya, I had to empty my pants afterwards. As unpleasant as cleaning my under ware was, it was a lot less scary then driving that fast on a public road. The car I was driving theoretically had a top speed north of 150, but once I hit 140 I was done and let off the gas and tried not to brake too fast lest I send the car into the ditch and me into the hereafter. Today, I find 80 MPH on a freeway to be about right. Perhaps at my age I can see the light (I hope, not the dark and gloomy) in the distance growing nearer by the day, and I do not want to hurry it along. Too speed potential in a car is expensive, dangerous, and wasteful. I am not saying there needs laws against it, but I would hope that the buying public would wake up and be reasonable.

    Like 3
    • Steve

      It’s not the top speed that’s important – it’s knowing that when you have to pass someone going only 150 in the left lane you can do so safely.

    • Dave

      In ’94 it was a legal speed in Europe, where this car was intended, the Autobahn I believe. There has been many speed restrictions regarding speed on the Bahn since then. I agree 200 or even “just” 140 is sketchy, but I regularly hit 100 in my morning commute on some stretches in light traffic.

      Like 1
    • Kevin

      I have driven cars that you white knuckled at 100 mph and I have driven other ones that are boring at 175. A lot just depends on how well the car is designed.
      A few months back we drove from Denver to Kansas City MO in an Alfa Giulia Quad on I-70. We made it from just outside of Denver to Topeka in shade over 4 hours. The car was frequently cruising at over 150, and it was an absolutely boring drive, nothing but wheat & Corn fields. The car was rock solid and the only thing that really slowed us up is that we needed to stop for gas. Once in Topeka the traffic started to increase and we had to drop speed to 80-100. It was a boring drive and the car is stupidly capable, but I figure it did save me from 3 plus hours of monotony that I didn’t have to go through on that drive.
      Sometimes 35 is to fast and sometimes 150+ is boring. I think the Lambo on the same drive would have been a bit boring also.

      Like 6
      • Grant

        How do you escape the long arm of the law for that long at those speeds?

    • DonC

      The scariest thing on the road is not this car. It’s the 20 year old kids in Florida driving their lowered Honda Civics with the ashcan muffler at 130 on I-75.

      Like 2
  3. timwig

    I recently assisted in the inspection of several cars for an estate settlement. One was a Diablo, which needed some service and repair. Basic tune-up, fourteen grand. Replace spark plug wires with a factory original set? Another ten grand. The sound of a V12 howling just behind you? Priceless.

    Like 8
    • Grant

      10 grand for plug wires? AutoZone didn’t have any in stock? There is no excuse for such pricing except that rich people like it that way.

      Like 6
  4. Dr.George D. Petito Member

    No need to talk to your financial advisor. Fantastic investment! I own a Lambo Murcielago that , likewise, is a superb investment but a work of art, timeless in styling and V-12 power!
    Sit back and listen to the exhaust sing… nothing better!

    Like 1
  5. Greg Gustafson

    No cup holder?

    Like 1
  6. douglas hunt

    Used to be not to my liking, but as I have aged [lol] so has my taste I guess.
    I recently picked up a few diecast cars at a local auction and one was a purple Diablo. looking at this car on the mantle makes me wish I was fortunate enough to afford these Italian beauties. Always liked the Countach wo/wing and this is also appealing to me now, it too would look better to me sans wing.

  7. Ronald Amon

    Always like the Countach better. But enjoy seeing this and is a worthy showing on BarnFinds. Stories are legion when one gets involved in a police chase and the cops reach their performance limit only to see the Lambo pull away from the chase and continue down the road. End of chase.

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