I didn’t realize it until my wife told me this morning, but I took delivery of my 1999 Lamborghini Diablo on June 15th 2014. That happened to be father’s day last year and was one of the best days of my life (aside from getting married and my kids being born of course). Seeing the Diablo for the first time parked next to the car hauler truck was an awesome moment and almost unreal. It wasn’t just the fact I had a Lamborghini, but what the Lamborghini stood for that made it such a great moment. If you would have asked me five years ago if I ever would have a Lamborghini I would have answered: “maybe when I am 60 or 70”. If you would have asked me ten years ago I would have laughed at the idea. The car has been awesome and everything I expected it would be.
Why did I buy a Lamborghini Diablo?
I wrote an article about the car last year that describes the buying process, the goals I set and how everything came together. I have always been a car lover and the Lamborghini was a dream of mine since I was a very young child. Over the years that dream faded farther and farther away as I graduated from college and entered the real world. I let society tell me I would never be able to afford a car like that and I listened to people who told me it was dumb to ever buy an exotic car. After changing my entire attitude a couple of years ago about life, success and money I realized I wanted a Lamborghini. I wasn’t going to let society or other people tell me what I wanted or what I should do with my life.
I set a goal in 2013 to buy a Diablo in 2014, which I did when I found a monterey blue Diablo for sale for what I thought was well below market value. The car was set to go to auction and for sale with one of the top used Lamborghini dealers in the country. I knew I would not find a Diablo in the years I wanted (99 or 01) in that color for a very long time. I pulled the trigger, had the car checked out and it has been amazing ever since.
What is it like owning a Lamborghini?
I was not sure what to expect when driving a Lamborghini around town. I live in Greeley Colorado which has about 100,000 people and very few exotic cars. There is one other Lamborghini I see driving around once in a while, which is a yellow Gallardo. I was worried about what other people would say and think about someone who is under 40 owning a Lambo. To say the car attracts attention is a huge under statement.
- When driving the car everyone stares at it, I mean everyone. People honk, give thumbs up, wave and take pictures all the time. I have become an extremely cautious driver because people love to sit in my blind-spot (which is huge in a Diablo) and video tape the car. Some people will take pictures and videos while driving, which is not the best idea in the world. I am always watching for people creeping over in my lanes or not watching the road because they are watching me.
- When I get gas I almost always have a few people come over and talk to me about the car or take pictures. The car needs gas a lot, because it gets about 11 MPG and only holds 18 gallons or so. Getting gas usually takes about 15 minutes because of the conversations and the car is not easy to fill up. I have to constantly hold the gas pump at a weird angle to put gas in the car or the pump will shut off.
- When I go to the grocery store, run errands or do anything the same thing happens. People stop me or stop to take pictures and a quick task turns into a conversation and picture-taking session.
- When I drive the car to work I park it close to a main road and tons of people stop to look at it and take pictures. Some people have even come into the office to ask if it is okay to take pictures.
It is really fun talking to people about the car and almost everyone is very positive. People love the fact I show them the car, open up the engine bay and actually drive it. Besides the attention the car is amazing. The V-12 sounds like no other engine and is a joy to listen to. There is plenty of head room and leg room, which I was worried about being 6-1 and wearing size 14 shoes. The car is very fast and relatively easy to drive; my Porsche 928 has a more difficult clutch. The car has also been great for business and marketing. The only real problem is my golf clubs only fit in the front seat.
I have had no maintenance issues since buying the car, although it is due for an oil change soon. Oil changes are expensive since the car holds 15 quarts of oil, but you only need to do them every 7,500 miles.
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How have I used the Lamborghini for marketing?
The car attracts a lot of attention, because it is a Lamborghini and because of the color. I created a custom license plate frame with our team name on it and the web address: freelamborghiniride.com. That site tells people if they buy or sell a house with my real estate team they get a free ride in the car. I also created a flyer that I set on the dash that tells some history on the car and mentions the free ride as well.
Not only do I have that website, but I also talk to people wherever I go, which is what all real estate agents should do. I have met many people, because I have the car and because I am willing to talk to them. As an agent the more people you know the more money you will make.
I also have taken the car to three car shows and met many new people at all of the shows. Having a Lamborghini also gets other exotic car owners talking to you. Usually people who own exotics are quite wealthy and great business people. I have made many connections at car shows thanks to the car.
The car has also helped my blog gain traffic and creates some great pictures. Some of my Lamborghini articles bring in traffic from people who would never be interested in my site or real estate without the car. The car also helps validate that I have some idea what I am talking about when I write about flips, rentals or being an agent.
For more pictures and information on the car shows I attend check out my Facebook page.
How has owning a Lamborghini motivated me and given me new ideas?
After I bought the car a lot of people asked me if I would lose my motivation since I achieved such a huge goal. I have many more goals than just owning Lamborghini, but I also have goals to own more Lamborghini’s! I always loved the Countach and the Muira, but they are way out of my price budget at this time. I also thought the Diablo was way out of my price budget a few years ago. I can use those cars and other goals to continue to motivate myself.
In fact in February I took a one day trip to Seattle to visit Cats Exotics where I bought my Diablo. The owner was cool enough to give me a ride in his 1989 Countach he had for sale for $349,000 in the rain! He also let me sit in and check out all the other cars he had in the dealership. A video of the trip and my car can be seen below.
That trip really got me thinking about starting my own car dealership. By owning an exotic dealership I could have multiple exotic cars at one time, not pay any sales tax and own them for a fraction of the cost of buying them personally. Owning a dealership is definitely something I will do at some point in my life.
Not only has the car inspired me to start a dealership, but I started a new website: Howdidyouaffordthatcar.com. I write article about cars I like and I interview people who own exotic cars to see how they made their money and what it has been like. I am not having a lot of luck finding people who want to be interviewed, so if you know anyone let me know!
Has owning a Lamborghini been worth it and a good investment?
I bought my car for $126,000 in May of 2014 and took delivery on June 15th. I had the car checked out and a few minor issues were fixed by the dealer before he shipped it to me. The car was very expensive, but not really that expensive for a Lamborghini. New Aventador’s cost over $500,000 and the Countach which preceded the Diablo are at a minimum $300,000. I thought the car was an awesome deal for the price, because they only made 2,500 Diablo’s over ten years and probably less than ten in monterey blue. Unlike more common cars, exotic cars tend to depreciate very quickly in value, but then appreciate after a certain amount of years. I thought the Diablo’s were at the bottom of their price drop and this car was priced even lower than similar cars on the market.
One downfall to my car was it did not have the tool kit, car cover or other items that come from the factory. However these can be bought on the secondary market and are not specific to each car. Prices for Diablo’s have risen since I bought the car. I had someone offer me $150,000 for the car a few months after I bought it and I believe I could get at least $175,000 for now if I wanted to sell it. I am not going to sell, because I know I could not find a replacement for the car.
I wish the car provided cash flow like my rental properties do, but I don’t want to rent it out and risk damage.
I would not encourage everyone to go out and buy an exotic car, but it has been an awesome experience for me. It has given me many opportunities, given me instant credibility, been a great investment and fulfilled a childhood dream. I know some of you couldn’t care less about cars and that is fine. We should all do and pursue what makes us happy.
Here is a newer video of the car: