Introduced in 1990 as the successor to the legendary Countach, the Lamborghini Diablo was the company’s signature 1990s model, enjoying eleven years of production through fifteen different iterations. The Diablo’s arresting aluminium coachwork was penned by the celebrated Marcelo Gandini and refined by parent company Chrysler, which had acquired Lamborghini in 1987.
The Diablo continued to employ the Countach’s ground-breaking mid/rear engine layout, utilizing a development of the prior model’s aluminium V-12, which now displaced 5.7 litres and developed 485 bhp. With a top speed of 205 mph, the Diablo joined a very select group of supercars capable of top speeds over 200 mph.
In 1992 Lamborghini laid the groundwork for an open variant with a one-off spider shown at the Geneva Salon. The idea temporarily remained a design experiment as the company prioritized power-train refinement, which most notably took shape with the appearance of the Diablo VT in 1993. Standing for viscous traction, the VT employed a version of the LM002 SUV’s all-wheel-drive system to provide superior traction and acceleration.
At the 1995 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini finally combined the two ideas, introducing a production roadster built on the VT platform. The Diablo VT roadster featured an electronically retractable soft top, as well as a revised front bumper and headlamps and new, larger OZ wheels.
Following the company’s acquisition by the VW Group three years later, the Diablo underwent a mild restyling for the 1999 model year, and power was increased to 530 bhp through the use of variable valve timing, while anti-lock brakes were integrated for the first time in a Lamborghini. Ultimately capable of reaching 208 mph, the second-generation 1999 Diablo VT roadster was built in a modest quantity of approximately 100 examples, bringing total roadster production to approximately 300 cars.
The example we are pleased to offer for sale was delivered new to the United Kingdom, and first registered in July, 1999. The car is one of twenty right hand drive models ever made and one of just four built with “exposed headlamps”. The car is finished in Giallo Superfly over a Black leather interior and was also specified with the rear wing, sports exhausts, power clutch, gears & steering, and dual air bags.
This particular car was owned in its early years by Sir Rod Stewart, an icon of British rock music. Stewart is among the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK. Sir Rod Stewart is also an avid petrolhead and over the years, has owned some of the finest cars in the world, most notably a Miura SV, Countach Periscopio, and a Ferrari Enzo.
Stewart cherished the car for a number of years before it was bought by the iconic mystic British wrestler Kendo Nagasaki in 2007. The car has had a small number of further owners since and has been very well cared for during its life. It sits today in fantastic condition, showing just over 21,000 miles from new and maintaining a large history file containing various servicing invoices and historic MOT certificates.
One of the most celebrated variants of the Diablo, the VT Roadster was the start of a wonderful line of Lamborghini V12 roadsters. Combining rarity, performance, looks, and an important place in Lamborghini’s history, it would make a wonderful addition to any supercar collection. Contact us now for more information or to arrange a viewing.