1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster Smalto Rosso

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The Lamborghini Miura and Countach were two of the most significant supercars in automotive history, and laid the groundwork for Lamborghini becoming a household name throughout much of the world.

That gave the Diablo a lot to live up to when it was launched in 1990. Designed by Marcello Gandini, who had designed the two earlier cars, the management felt his creation was too angular, and redesigned it with more rounded edges. Gandini was not happy with the redesign, and was to later use something very close to his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.

The Diablo was powered by a 5.7 liter version of the Lamborghini V12, with an output of 485 hp. This is a significant bump up from the final version of the Lamborghini Countach, with its 5.2 liter V12 producing 449 hp.

This car was auctioned off by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016.

---- Specifications ----
Price -- Production 66 for 1997
Engine 5.7 liter V12 Weight --
Aspiration natural Torque --
HP 485 hp HP/Weight --
HP/Liter 85.1 hp per liter 1/4 mile --
0-62 mph -- Top Speed --

(from Mecum Auctions Press Release) 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster Smalto Rosso

  • One private owner since new, former boxing world champion, George Foreman
  • Documented with copies of original title and registration card in George Foreman's name
  • 1,907 miles, metric odometer reads 3,200 kilometers
  • 1 of approximately 66 produced for 1997
  • All wheel drive
  • 5.7L V-12 engine
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Brembo disc brakes
  • Believed to be original Smalto Rosso exterior paint
  • Tan leather interior with Red piping
  • Alpine stereo system
  • Power windows
  • Recent major engine-out service performed within last 300 miles including new clutch and tires performed in November, 2014 at a cost of over $11,000
  • Passed California Emissions in July, 2016
  • Recent compression and leak down test performed with near perfect results
  • Original 1997 tires included
  • Autographed George Foreman boxing gloves with accompanying certificate of authenticity
  • Autographed George Foreman grill
  • Framed picture and ticket stub from 'The Rumble in the Jungle'
  • Miscellaneous George Foreman boxing memorabilia
  • Service records since new
  • Tools in original leather bags
  • Books and manuals

This 1997 Diablo VT Roadster was owned George Foreman, the famous former World Heavyweight boxing champion and grilling King. It has traveled a mere 1,907 miles with the metric odometer reading 3,200 kilometers, marking it as a very special example. George Foreman dominated his competition in the ring throughout his impressive professional boxing career; posting 76 wins with 68 knock-outs and only 5 losses from 1969-1997. In fact, “Big George” won the first 45 boxing matches of his professional career; besting Joe Fraiser for the Heavyweight title in 1973. In 1974 his first defeat came at the hands of Muhammad Ali, where Foreman lost his WBC and WBA Heavyweight titles. The year 1997 was Forman’s last year of competitive boxing, and not coincidently, the year he purchased this Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster brand new. The Diablo debuted with several improvements that help set it apart from Countach. Niceties such as a fully adjustable steering wheel and seating, an Alpine stereo system and power windows combined with a handful of available options. Later anti-lock brakes would join the improvements, but the biggest change would come when the Diablo VT, or Viscous Traction, joined the lineup in 1993. The VT differed from a standard Diablo in a number of ways, most notably being the all-wheel drive system made possible by a viscous center differential modified from the Lamborghini LM002 4-wheel drive system. The car handled like no other and hosted a number of other improvements to engineering and overall comfort. Some of the more interesting elements were a more ergonomically designed interior with a revised dashboard, power steering, four-piston brake calipers and larger intakes to improve brake cooling. Over time, each of these would trickle down to the base Diablo, making it hard to tell one from the other except for the VT system. In December of 1995, the Diablo VT Roadster was introduced with removable carbon fiber roof panel that was placed atop the engine lid when the top was open. VT Roadsters got a new front bumper, brake cooling ducts and headlights among other revisions and it proved a stupendous way to enjoy a supercar. Presented in bright red with a tan leather interior piped in red, the car has appropriate all-wheel drive and the 492 HP 5.7L V-12 engine backed by a 5-speed manual transmission.