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Thread: Lamborghini Diablo SVTT in spotlight

  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    Lamborghini Diablo SVTT in spotlight

    Here's where the story begins: In late 2001 I was in Costa Mesa, CA and happened upon an exotic car dealership, at that time know as the Automarket or Lotus of Orange County. In the showroom there were several rare exotics including a Diablo GT and a Jaguar XJ220. The real treasure, though, was a Diablo SVTT that happened to be the only one in the world. I hadn't even been aware of the car's existence before seeing it, and afterwards I tried researching the car's history on the internet. The only information available was that on the dealer's web site, which gave a brief history and some estimated specifications and performance numbers.

    About 8 months later I visited the dealership again, but a bare showroom greeted me. All the cars were completely gone and the dealer was no longer in business. After that the SVTT disappeared - there was practically no more information or pictures of the car on the internet - only the photos on the dealership web site and the ones I had taken while at the dealer. The car slipped from my mind until the summer of 2004 when the car showed up again at Concorso Italiano in Monterey.

    While snapping photos I caught the attention of the owner who saw me admiring his car, and we began chatting. I told him about how I had seen the car several years earlier, and he filled me in on the short history of the car. Apparently he had bought the car at an auction earlier that year and had owned the car for the last nine months. He'd actually been driving the car too - the odometer registered nearly 9,000 miles. We exchanged information and he promised me a ride when we were both back in Los Angeles.

    A month later back in Los Angeles, the owner and I managed to find a convenient time for both of us to meet up and give me a ride in the car. As we first started cruising around city streets, I couldn't help but notice that the SVTT seemed rather docile, or at least as much as a Lamborghini could be. The turbos are seemingly non-existent at lower rpms, and the car rides and drives like a stock Diablo. Then came a few portions of longer, straight roads. I was slammed into the passenger seat hard...and then the turbo kicked in. I've never felt such brutal acceleration that is so unrelenting. After a few quick sprints, to my surprise, I was handed the keys. Somehow, the owner trusted me enough to handle his 750-hp devil of a car. What came next was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Never before have I had that kind of raw power under my right foot, and this was the first car I've driven actually scared me. I never actually experienced full throttle because I would instinctively back off in self preservation while still pushing the accelerator to the floor. Tearing down the road, my full attention was required; both hands tightly gripped the wheel and my eyes barely blinked as I concentrated on making sure the car stayed on track. Even several minutes after I had handed over the keys, my body was still tingling with adrenaline.

    After such a memorable experience, I decided to dig a little deeper about this one-off Diablo's history. My search started with the nameplate on the engine which reads "Designed and Constructed by Greg Armstrong..." After some research I found that Greg Armstrong worked for Historic Race Engineering, a company in Costa Mesa, CA. Mr. Armstrong, as it turned out, was hired to build the SVTT along with the other twin-turbo Diablos built in the mid 1990's. After a nice conversation over the phone about the SVTT, the history of the car was laid bare and some questions were answered. Originally, Armstrong was hired by Platinum Motors (also owners of Lamborghini of Beverly Hills and Keuylian Motor Cars) to create the twin-turbo versions of the car. Somehow, Lamborghini USA set it up so that the twin-turbo package could be ordered as a factory option on the Diablo - the TT Diablo was even listed in the NADA price guides. Technically, this could make the TT Diablos the most powerful production cars ever built. Armstrong ended up building five VTTT's for Platinum Motors, and then four other twin-turbo Diablo's at the request of customers. The SVTT was one of these cars, and the only SV model built. Why only one? Armstrong explained that it wasn't for any particular reason. There just happened to be more VT models built than SV.

    So then what happened to the car when it disappeared for nearly three years? Armstrong explained that he built the SVTT for the Automarket, the dealership mentioned earlier. The owner of the dealership was in trouble with the IRS for one reason or another, and they came and collected all of the cars at the dealer. The cars were kept by the IRS until they were auctioned off in the Spring of 2004 where the current lucky owner happened to be looking for a used Ferrari. What he ended up getting was a car that could tear apart any prancing horse that dare challenge it.

    Exactly what kind of power is the Diablo SVTT putting out? I asked Armstrong if he'd ever put the car on the dyno, and regrettably he said he had not. The dealer listed the car as having 750 bhp, and this is probably close to the actual number. According to Armstrong the car is running about nine pounds of boost to the 5.7-liter V12, making this number quite possible. The dealer also estimated a 0-60 mph time of less than three seconds and 0-100 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. Actually achieving these numbers might be difficult, but theoretically they aren't too unrealistic. Top speed? Definitely over 200 mph. In fact, well over 200 mph if you take into account that a normal Diablo can hit 205 mph.

    Will we be seeing more of this purple monster? Hopefully. The current owner has no problem putting miles on the car, and even likes to take it to the track occasionally. Personally, I hope that I'll get to see this car again. It's still the only car that has literally taken my breath away.

  2. #2
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    repost

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutch-monkey
    repost
    I couldn't tell I didn't even read the first line.
    .................................................................................:¦Back Again¦:.................................................................................

  4. #4
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    repoooooooost!!!!

    Refer to MY thread on the car.


    BTW: you could have atleast givin some credit for your copyed work.
    UPC's most heavy Bawls drinker. :D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Sv tt

    Hi

    I am a journalist working in the supercar area of literate specialism, or so I claim. No really, I am a writer/producer of TV and more, I am working on a new series of a 'popular car show'.

    I have been looking for something different, something special and something that will really get the viewers talking.

    I had only heard a whisper of the Diablo sv tt and little else and it would appear that with the very limited media on this 'animal', that is other than your detailed and personal knowledge, it would remain a myth.

    I enjoyed what you wrote as it was very realistic and when reading the article one can get the impression of the actual brutality contained under the hood.

    I would therefore appreciate it if you could; either supply me with the details of the owner in order that we can contact him in order to hopefully send a crew to him and take some film, or even ask him if he would want my details and contact me instead. Either way I don't really mind.

    Well, Jeremy is calling, sorry, demanding a adrenaline rush of petrol and rubber so I better leave it there and look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards

    Darren

  6. #6
    That's a long article. Great info you've got there. Another Lamborghini thread.
    http://best-tops-direct.com |http://4wheelonline.com/Fender_Flares.3212 | http://4wheelonline.com/Bushwacker_Fender_Flares.3170]Bushwacker

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    I know this thread is long past dead but this car is on ebay right now.

    Lamborghini : Diablo:eBay Motors (item 260508612290 end time Nov-24-09 17:00:03 PST)

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