Jan loves her Lambo

DSCF0127_493bd7ee380b0-lightboxI thought I would make this point clear from the start as the majority of people I meet assume the Diablo does not belong to me. People are incredulous with their remarks, “It’s a bird driving!” or “Oh my god it’s a girl!” or “So he let’s you drive his car then?” Life is made up of choices, chances and fate. All three of these have attributed to the purchase of my Lamborghini.

Having sold my house in the autumn of 2005 I was left with an amount of cash that I planned on using to purchase another house. Fortunately (or unfortunately) at that point I became completely distracted from buying a place to live by the thought and distinct possibility that I could use the money to buy a Supercar outright. I started trawling about on the net searching for a Diablo.

Although I knew it made no logical or economical sense I decided quite instantly that I would buy a Diablo. It was on my dream list of fantasy cars. I think I became quite obsessed with the idea really. My budget was blown out of the water by £50k when I realised that the ultimate 2001 Diablo VT in Arancio Atlas would cost me twice that of an early SV.

The specs for the Diablo VT are as follows. It has a 6.0 litre V12 engine putting out 550bhp. 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds. Top speed is in excess of 200mph. The VT (Visco Traction) is the 4wd version. All the bodywork is carbon fibre except the doors.

Sourcing the car became a preoccupation. The Lamborghini world within the UK is small and verging on the incestuous. There are only a couple of reliable outlets. I did look in Europe and at one point that almost became a possibility.

The Lamborghini forum on Pistonheads.com proved to be the catalyst. After contacting forum member Tony who also owns an Arancio Atlas Diablo, he recommended Topgear Cars just outside Edinburgh. An email and a phone call later to the owner Carlo I found out they had the exact spec I wanted for sale. I sent a cheque for £1k to prove I wasn’t a time waster and boarded a flight to Scotland.

I hired a car from the airport and drove the short distance to Topgear Cars where I looked round the Diablo in the garage, had a coffee and signed over a cheque worth half my house. I felt a bit sick doing this as I realised I was crossing the point of no return and I was either going to be homeless or would have to increase my mortgage by 100%.
Anyway I blanked it from my mind and tried to think optimistically that “something will come up financially I am sure.”

So that was it. I had bought a Lamborghini Diablo.

Three weeks later in February this year Carlo delivered the car. I went for a short 20 minute drive then put it away in the garage.
People I meet constantly ask me what it is like to drive? Well it’s easy. The clutch is heavy and the gated gearshift takes a while to get accustomed to, but it is much easier to drive than my Viper. The Diablo VT handles well and has good grip. It feels sure footed and responsive and I feel quite safe driving it. I love the scissor doors – the ultimate pose. I love the feel of it, the look of it and the sound of it. It truly is hard core. It justifies to me the amount of money I spent on buying it by bringing me so much happiness and excitement.

One great feature the Diablo VT has is a switch on the dashboard which raises the car enabling you to go over speed humps without grounding out. When you reach 20mph the car automatically goes back down again. Mine even has a built in satellite navigation.
Although the Diablo is wider at the rear than the front the visibility is surprisingly good. Mine, so far, has been reliable and happily sits in traffic without over heating.

Of course luggage space is limited to a small box area in the front and a tank of fuel lasts only approximately 240 miles.

The first major outing for the Diablo was to the Lamborghini Supercar Celebration at Brighton in May but it was cold and blustery and I only stayed an hour.

Then I took it to the Le Mans 24 hr in June. I was invited to the Corvette GM party when the race finished and was amused when I was told to move the Diablo out of the Corvette parking display. Not to be dismissed completely, on presenting the Corvette drivers with trophies from the Corvette Club of France, I was handed the microphone and took the opportunity to say, “I have really enjoyed the race this year and even though I drive a Lamborghini I still support Corvette.” This seemed to go down well with the drivers and GM Racing.

In July the Diablo went on the Furball 5000 – an exhilarating group blat through France, Italy and Switzerland including taking on the Stelvio Pass and Grand St Bernard with 26 other lunatic cars of varying madness.
Now I feel quite happy taking it most places. One of my ex boyfriends owned an Anniversary Countach which he took out twice in the year he owned it! He did not want to use it. That is not me. My car has cost me half a house so I intend on using it as much as possible.
One friend described the Diablo VT as “pure porn” and I guess it is.

I made a choice, took a chance and fate led me to buying it. I adore it.

 

 

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Jan Pettifor