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ArytonS

Early Diablo Ownership 1991/1992

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Looking into buying an early 1991 Diablo or 1992 Ferrari 512TR (Poster Cars of my childhood).

 

I want a charismatic classic, but I've got a few questions for those that have owned one or both vehicles.

1. Diablo Maintenance and Parts Availability:

- What sort of maintenance costs are to be expected for 1-2.5k/year?

- Are there "unobtainium" parts that could put the car out of service for months at a time. I've heard there are no  replacement ECU's remaining as an example.

- What are common break points and things to watch out for?

- How is independent service support?

- The Ferrari seems to have cascading "belts out" services every 5 years, where an $8-10k job finds 8k worth of other work each time. I know the Diablo has chains, but any other similar "replace everything while we're here" maintenance intervals (I've heard clutch job is large).

 

2. How is the car to actually drive?

- I enjoy driving my cars. I've got a Noble M400 that I rack up tons of miles on now because its dynamically brilliant. I don't really care about being that comfortable more than the car being an event.

- I'm looking for "an experience", I don't believe any road car is fast on the street (a $30k Radical will spank any modern car on track and you can drive it with reckless abondon that you can't when you've spent 100-200k).

- Any owners local to San Francisco Bay Area I could buy a beer/coffee in exchange for seeing their car and talking about ownership?

 

3. What are people actually paying for early Diablos?

- List prices are all over the map

-  Auction results (like the 30k Rahal car) seem to be about $110-150k depending on mileage. Who has bought one recently?

 

Any advice much appreciated!

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Both cars parts are going to be hard to find. I own the Ferrari 512TR and the Diablo. The 512TR is a much easier car to drive. The Diablo requires much more attention. The 512TR have known issues with the fuse panel and the differential housing failing. There are fixes for both now that I am aware of or upgrades. The Diablo, also has it's share of electrical issues but I think the computer in the early years can not be repaired if something goes wrong with them. The driveshaft on the diablo are prone to snap by the splined ends. Had it happen to me. When the cars are working they are a lot of fun to drive. But hands down the Ferrari 512TR is a much easier car to drive but the Diablo commands the most attention. 

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Im going to disagree with Ab.  Even though I dont own a 512, I have a Testarossa and for me the Diablo is the more comfortable of the two to drive. In the Testarossa you adopt this weird seating position because the seat doesnt go far enough back.  The Diablo trans, brakes, shifter etc are all better than the TR, although my Diablo is a 98 with power steering etc. That being said I previously owned two other Diablos, one a 92, and another 98.  All my Diablos have been pretty much trouble free , whereas even if the Testarossa was just as trouble free, it would lose due to the belt service.  On top of that, the Diablo is night and day in excitement to drive. 

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22 hours ago, Allan-Herbie said:

Im going to disagree with Ab.  Even though I dont own a 512, I have a Testarossa and for me the Diablo is the more comfortable of the two to drive. In the Testarossa you adopt this weird seating position because the seat doesnt go far enough back.  The Diablo trans, brakes, shifter etc are all better than the TR, although my Diablo is a 98 with power steering etc. That being said I previously owned two other Diablos, one a 92, and another 98.  All my Diablos have been pretty much trouble free , whereas even if the Testarossa was just as trouble free, it would lose due to the belt service.  On top of that, the Diablo is night and day in excitement to drive. 

Did you have heat warp with the Diablo engine cover? One owner always popped the hood when he got home to avoid a potential problem.

And doesn't the Ferrari have an offset foot pedal? That would make for quite an uncomfortable seating position, I suppose you can get used to it., but all quirks of ownership I'd assume. 

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10 hours ago, Destructo said:

Did you have heat warp with the Diablo engine cover? One owner always popped the hood when he got home to avoid a potential problem.

And doesn't the Ferrari have an offset foot pedal? That would make for quite an uncomfortable seating position, I suppose you can get used to it., but all quirks of ownership I'd assume. 

No issues with heat warp.  The pedals are offset on the Testarossa but not a big deal. 

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The Diablo has a reputation for being reliable when not neglected. If you are worried about maintenance costs or parts availability spend the extra money up front to get a well sorted car.  

I have never owned a 512TR but I've considered a few.  Keep in mind that Ferrari is a sports car company and the 512TR is a GT car. While Lamborghini is an exotic car manufacturer and the Diablo was their flagship car in the 90's (ok, so it was also there only car at the time).

 

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