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> Finally drove a Diablo!!, Monterey Blue Alpine VT
Smash Boy
post Mar 24 2010, 10:29 PM
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I've been meaning to get down to South Carolina to drive my friend Charles' Diablo for years now and finally got around to it yesterday....

All around I thought the car was a blast....absolutely wonderful for delivering the exotic car experience. You get to drive some newer exotics that offer comparable or greater performance and wonder how you will feel driving an older exotic, but it's power and handling are still respectable and the raw elements are fantastic.

Even seeing the car under the cover in the garage, I was blown away by the presence of the car's shape. You see the Diablo a billion times in pictures and even in person, but the cover accentuated the very subtle styling cues that separates the very aggressive styling versus say the Murcielago.

Some thoughts on the experience:

  • The sound at startup with the Larini pipes is loud and aggressive....when floored the sound is violent.
  • Getting in the car, adjusting the seat, and feeling out the pedals were way easier than I expected. Offset to the right, tiny pedals and small spacing in between but not a big deal even for size 10.5 shoes.
  • Love the small steering wheel....looks smaller than the pics lead you to believe. Great weight for power assist...
  • Visibility isn't intimidating.....granted I didn't back it out or park the car, but for general driving not a big deal whatsoever.
  • Absolutely LOVED the shifter. I can remember back as a teen fantasizing about driving Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and to me a huge part of the experience I anticipated enjoying was shifting the car. The gate looked cool, and the feel was great from the real enthusiasts of these cars. I've driven only 3 exotics with the gate (328, 512 TR, 348 in that order) and had to get used to it over time. Hard to judge the quality based on model if you don't have tons of experience, and also there's model to model differences.....but the Diablo shifter felt a lot better than any of the F car shifters. The positive engagement on a dog leg upshift, especially 3-4 I could do all day long! I found the shifter rather light compared to the Fcar shifters, and the neutral side to side action was lighter than any of the Fcar shifters or even my '05 GTO. I can see how the purist would prefer a heavy, older car shifter like on a Countach or TR if he's in that "mood", but for a mix of feel and comfort I thought it was perfect, and it's rare to exceed expectations in some of these areas!
  • Clutch was a nice weight.....not too heavy, not too light. Given the spirit of the shifter action, it's a natural match.
  • Power delivery was very nice....more of a never ending stream of power than a torque monster, although it does have torque for sure. The linear power delivery with the tall gearing is absolutely meant for flying on the highway....as much as I wanted to shift at redline, it starts to get into jail territory as early as 2nd-3rd! Where you can really enjoy all the torque of a good muscle car motor on practically any street, the Diablo it seems you need the right stretch of highway and the balls not to worry about getting caught! I have no doubts that if I got the right opportunity this would be impressive....and if the Murci 6.2 & 6.5 is that much faster, damn!
  • Handling was good....didn't push it hard in the corners really but noticed the lack of body roll all around. Couldn't distinguish AWD from RWD in this brief drive...
  • Overall usability of the car, while not daily driver material is far easier than I expected. I found the car no harder to drive than a 512 TR or a Ford GT.
  • Gauges and console look good for its age, and is a last taste of the old school Lambo before the 6.0 set in.
    • Brakes were completely adequate for the job. The updates to the SV and late model VT cars was well worth it.


Another great addition to the constantly changing automotive resume. icon_super.gif
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The Zapper
post Mar 24 2010, 10:37 PM
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Charles is a great guy, he was kind enough to fulfill my dream of driving a Diablo a few years ago. It truly is a breathtaking car and my heart skips a few beats every time I see it. Glad to hear you had a good time!
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TheFilipinoStig
post Mar 25 2010, 02:22 AM
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Thanks for the write-up.


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Tev
post Mar 25 2010, 04:20 AM
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Nice write up! Can't wait til the day I finally get to ride or drive my first Lambo!
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Kevin2772
post Mar 26 2010, 01:44 AM
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Pics or it never happened!!!
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The Zapper
post Mar 26 2010, 11:05 AM
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Some pics I've taken over the years (same car). Notice the official farm equipment license plate!
Attached File(s)
Attached File  DSCF0171.jpg ( 704K ) Number of downloads: 95
Attached File  DSCF0193.jpg ( 621.42K ) Number of downloads: 78
Attached File  DSCF0175.jpg ( 667.27K ) Number of downloads: 93
Attached File  DSCF0203.jpg ( 822.36K ) Number of downloads: 88
Attached File  DSCF0191.jpg ( 816.83K ) Number of downloads: 93
Attached File  DSCF0173.jpg ( 1.26MB ) Number of downloads: 88
 
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Smash Boy
post Mar 27 2010, 12:09 PM
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Thanks bro....been lazy with the camera lately even though I bring it out!

I should have gotten the pic with the car cover on.....it highlights the Diablo in a very unique way!
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Kevin2772
post Mar 29 2010, 02:32 AM
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Man is that car ever beautiful!
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ralfabco
post Mar 29 2010, 10:08 PM
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Fellippe,




Congrats on the ride icon_super.gif





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Smash Boy
post Mar 30 2010, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE (ralfabco @ Mar 29 2010, 11:08 PM) *
Fellippe,




Congrats on the ride icon_super.gif


Thanks Ralph!

How do you feel my impressions compared to Diablos you've driven?

My goal is a 2wd version....either the original, SV, SE30, or GT. smile.gif
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ralfabco
post Mar 30 2010, 03:46 AM
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QUOTE (Fellippe @ Mar 29 2010, 11:02 PM) *
Thanks Ralph!

How do you feel my impressions compared to Diablos you've driven?

My goal is a 2wd version....either the original, SV, SE30, or GT. smile.gif



Fellippe,


I only drove a 99VT and SE 30.



My biggest complaints about the Diablo, were the big exterior size of the car (bulk), power steering, relatively wide shifter, and an interior that was just too big. The 1998 - 01 cars, have updated brakes.

Of course, most people would prefer a large interior. I felt the dash, was miles away from the driver. If it means anything, the Diablo does not have a handbuilt feel. I should have waited for a 91/92 Diablo.


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...the most badass and raw factory car, that was ever released from Sant'Agata Bolognese
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Smash Boy
post Mar 30 2010, 04:32 AM
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QUOTE (ralfabco @ Mar 30 2010, 04:46 AM) *
Fellippe,


I only drove a 99VT and SE 30.



My biggest complaints about the Diablo, were the big exterior size of the car (bulk), power steering, relatively wide shifter, and an interior that was just too big. The 1998 - 01 cars, have updated brakes.

Of course, most people would prefer a large interior. I felt the dash, was miles away from the driver. If it means anything, the Diablo does not have a handbuilt feel. I should have waited for a 91/92 Diablo.


Except for the exterior and interior size issue, is it safe to say that an SE30 Jota or an updated early car would solve all of these issues?

The early Diablo seems like a fun project, but for it to be more desirable to me than an SV or even an SE30 it would need to have upgraded rims, tires, brakes, shocks, springs, cosmetic treatment similar to the later cars (e.g. tail light cluster). An updated dash may not be necessary....and probably would ruin the spirit of that particular car.

Do you think an early Diablo can be retrofitted to offer similar power, braking, and handling to an SV?

Please compare the VT and the SE30. Anything more to add beyond the SE30 is lighter, rawer, and revs faster?
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emilio
post Mar 31 2010, 03:54 AM
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QUOTE (Fellippe @ Mar 30 2010, 02:32 AM) *
Except for the exterior and interior size issue, is it safe to say that an SE30 Jota or an updated early car would solve all of these issues?

The early Diablo seems like a fun project, but for it to be more desirable to me than an SV or even an SE30 it would need to have upgraded rims, tires, brakes, shocks, springs, cosmetic treatment similar to the later cars (e.g. tail light cluster). An updated dash may not be necessary....and probably would ruin the spirit of that particular car.

Please compare the VT and the SE30. Anything more to add beyond the SE30 is lighter, rawer, and revs faster?


i think the SE30s have all power steering
yes, as Ralf, i like the countach not power-steering more ...but the diablo is not so bad imo

the only things i would think to upgrade on a SE30 are the brakes and exhaust

later cars have better brakes (just fit the...say year 97 brakes will improve them and without changing the front rims, the 98 and on have even better ones but i think you need bigger (read 18") wheels.

as for power: i have seen dynos of almost all variants and honestly the difference in power btw a 91, a 5.7 VT or SV or even the 99 models is not notable

for more power you should go for a GT, 6.0 or jota


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emilio
post Mar 31 2010, 03:56 AM
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QUOTE (Fellippe @ Mar 30 2010, 02:32 AM) *
Do you think an early Diablo can be retrofitted to offer similar power, braking, and handling to an SV?



of course!
if you do not need to have a "peculiar" variant, just put exhaust, tune it, 18" rims and upgraded brakes on a 91 and you will have a faster car


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Smash Boy
post Mar 31 2010, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (emilio @ Mar 31 2010, 04:54 AM) *
i think the SE30s have all power steering
yes, as Ralf, i like the countach not power-steering more ...but the diablo is not so bad imo

the only things i would think to upgrade on a SE30 are the brakes and exhaust

later cars have better brakes (just fit the...say year 97 brakes will improve them and without changing the front rims, the 98 and on have even better ones but i think you need bigger (read 18") wheels.

as for power: i have seen dynos of almost all variants and honestly the difference in power btw a 91, a 5.7 VT or SV or even the 99 models is not notable

for more power you should go for a GT, 6.0 or jota


I'm pretty sure euro SE30s are unassisted steering...

GT or Jota would be sweet.....6.0s I hear have decent power but may be offset by the additional weight.

OK, here's a crazy idea that may not make sense:

What about dropping a 6.0 motor in an early 2wd model???
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Smash Boy
post Mar 31 2010, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (emilio @ Mar 31 2010, 04:56 AM) *
of course!
if you do not need to have a "peculiar" variant, just put exhaust, tune it, 18" rims and upgraded brakes on a 91 and you will have a faster car


Honestly, don't need to have a peculiar variant as much as I just like the styling updates on the newer cars....how much effort would it take to make an early 2wd look like an SV?

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ralfabco
post Mar 31 2010, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (Fellippe)
Except for the exterior and interior size issue, is it safe to say that an SE30 Jota or an updated early car would solve all of these issues?

The early Diablo seems like a fun project, but for it to be more desirable to me than an SV or even an SE30 it would need to have upgraded rims, tires, brakes, shocks, springs, cosmetic treatment similar to the later cars (e.g. tail light cluster). An updated dash may not be necessary....and probably would ruin the spirit of that particular car.

Do you think an early Diablo can be retrofitted to offer similar power, braking, and handling to an SV?

Please compare the VT and the SE30. Anything more to add beyond the SE30 is lighter, rawer, and revs faster?



Fellippe

You can install Brembo brakes on the 91. I believe Movit brakes, can also be purchased for the Diablo ?

A decent early Diablo, can be found in the 70's. Perhaps even less ?

Yes, an early Diablo can be modified, and will perform very good. It is not a track car.

I did not have enough time with the 99 VT, to offer a comparison to the SE.



Economically, it is not worth it, to modify the exterior of the early car with true factory parts. The factory parts are expensive. It will cost you less money in the long-run, to buy a nice later car vs cosmetically updating an early 91. In addition, a modified early car, will be worth less money, at the time of sale - even with factory parts. All dealers will apply less value, to a significantly modified car - even with factory parts. A modified car, will take more time to sell, to a private party.

I would look at Porsche, if you want to hot-rod cars and make them go very fast. It is much less money and you have a lot more opportunities and different directions. Even better, find a car that has already been modded/hot rodded and is currently for sale. With P cars, that is not difficult to find. You can mod the L cars, but it will cost significantly more money, in relation to the P car.



2001 996 TT - a lot of potential for serious speed at a good price.


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...the most badass and raw factory car, that was ever released from Sant'Agata Bolognese
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emilio
post Mar 31 2010, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (Fellippe @ Mar 31 2010, 10:56 AM) *
I'm pretty sure euro SE30s are unassisted steering...

GT or Jota would be sweet.....6.0s I hear have decent power but may be offset by the additional weight.

OK, here's a crazy idea that may not make sense:

What about dropping a 6.0 motor in an early 2wd model???



having driven one i seem to remember it had no P-S
the p-s was intended to be a option but i think all SE30s have it

Felippe, it would not make sense to drop a 6.0 liter in an early car...too much $$$ and issues with electronics etc...

just get a 6.0, take the VT off, no cats, exhaust and you are good to go

just removing VT and drop the HEAVY stock muffler-cats will shave some 100 Kgs, probably more

100 Kgs make a difference, if you want to go "extreme" you can remove all the stereo stuff (amp, speakers, etc...)


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Smash Boy
post Apr 2 2010, 12:33 AM
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QUOTE (ralfabco @ Mar 31 2010, 02:23 PM) *
Fellippe

You can install Brembo brakes on the 91. I believe Movit brakes, can also be purchased for the Diablo ?

A decent early Diablo, can be found in the 70's. Perhaps even less ?

Yes, an early Diablo can be modified, and will perform very good. It is not a track car.

I did not have enough time with the 99 VT, to offer a comparison to the SE.



Economically, it is not worth it, to modify the exterior of the early car with true factory parts. The factory parts are expensive. It will cost you less money in the long-run, to buy a nice later car vs cosmetically updating an early 91. In addition, a modified early car, will be worth less money, at the time of sale - even with factory parts. All dealers will apply less value, to a significantly modified car - even with factory parts. A modified car, will take more time to sell, to a private party.

I would look at Porsche, if you want to hot-rod cars and make them go very fast. It is much less money and you have a lot more opportunities and different directions. Even better, find a car that has already been modded/hot rodded and is currently for sale. With P cars, that is not difficult to find. You can mod the L cars, but it will cost significantly more money, in relation to the P car.



2001 996 TT - a lot of potential for serious speed at a good price.


Nice summary.....then later Diablo it is. I like the rawness aspect of an older Diablo but at that point, might as well get the real thing -- Countach!

A lot of people swear by the 996 TT....must be cheap!
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Kevin2772
post Apr 2 2010, 01:53 AM
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The 996TT's are so affordable right now. They are great daily drivers. And with a few thousand in mods (chip, intake, exhaust) you have a 550-600bhp beast. Spend even more and there is little that can keep up with you on the highways



but in the end, little can compare to a monterey blue Diablo!
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