- Well-appointed example of Lamborghini’s first production convertible
- Believed to be one of less than 200 made, only a few dozen of which are said to have been for North America
- Showing 18,716 miles on the odometer at time of cataloguing
- Finished in rarely seen Titanium Silver over black leather upholstery
- Sports factory rear spoiler and 18-inch chromed OZ Racing alloy wheels
- Accompanied by factory tool roll, leather wallets and attachés, as well as an assortment of ownership books and service invoices
As the 1990s approached, Lamborghini realized it needed a new raging bull to keep its edge. The firm had established its wild reputation with the revolutionary Miura, then cemented it with the brash Countach. In 1990, the scrappy Italian automaker would complete a trifecta with the outrageous Diablo.
Designer Marcello Gandini's signature wedge-shaped, cabin-forward design carried over to the new car but was massaged by Lamborghini’s new owners at the time, Chrysler, both in the pursuit of aerodynamic performance and to widen its appeal with consumers. The Diablo continued with the rear mid-engine layout of its predecessors and was powered by an improved version of the Countach’s aluminum V-12 engine, now displacing 5.7 liters. With a top speed of 205 mph, the Diablo joined a very select group of supercars in the 200-mph stratosphere.
It was the arrival of all-wheel drive in 1993, however, that launched Lamborghini from childhood bedroom poster exotic to a truly advanced supercar. This new “Viscous Traction” model, dubbed the Diablo VT, employed a viscous center differential modified from the LM002 “Rambo Lambo” that allowed up to 40 percent of surplus torque to be transferred to the front axle if the system detected a loss of traction.
Unveiled to the public at the Bologna Motor Show in December of 1995, the introduction of a roadster version of the already dramatic Diablo VT stunned the automotive public. With its 200-mph top speed and four-second 0–60 time, the Diablo VT Roadster was one of the world’s fastest convertibles when new and remains competitive against today’s current field of open-top supercars.
Externally, the new VT Roadster featured a slightly lower windscreen, larger rear air-intakes, new OZ Racing alloy wheels, new doors with beveled door glass, and an all-new rear bumper. The Diablo’s hardtop roof could be removed and stowed over the engine cover; an innovative solution that meant the driver would never be left without the car’s top.
Following Volkswagen’s acquisition of Lamborghini in 1998, the Diablo underwent a mild restyling for the 1999 model year. Most notably, the retractable headlights were replaced by fixed handlamps featuring composite lenses borrowed from the Nissan 300ZX. Power was increased to 529 horsepower through variable valve timing, while a Kelsey-Hayes anti-lock brake system was fitted to upsized Brembo discs.
The 1999 Diablo VT Roadster presented here takes full advantage of those updates. One of less than 200 produced in total, it is said to be one of only a few dozen produced for the North American market. Furthering its rarified pedigree, this car is believed to be one of only a handful finished in the striking Titanium Silver color scheme. Complimenting the silver exterior is a black leather interior, along with 18-inch chromed OZ Racing alloy wheels, and a factory-correct rear spoiler. With less than 19,000 miles indicated at the time of cataloguing, this Diablo VT Roadster benefitted from a major service within the last 200 miles at a cost of more than $6,000. Work performed included flushing the brake and power-steering systems, an oil change, installing new front shocks, and a full suspension calibration.
This rare second-generation roadster in an uncommon color scheme offers a sensational complement to any supercar collection, ideal for consummate Lamborghini enthusiasts worldwide.