I bought a Lamborghini Diablo almost 4 years ago. It was a life-long dream to own a Lamborghini, and seeing it arrive in my neighborhood is still one of the best moments of my life. I did not buy the car as an investment, but it has worked out to be a great one. The car has increased in value; it has been a great marketing tool; it has helped me network with some amazing people; and it even got me a real estate deal. It was not an easy decision to buy the car. I bought it much sooner than I planned, but it was a deal I could not pass up.
How did I end up buying my Lamborghini?
I bought my Diablo in May of 2014, and I thought it was a really good deal at the time. The car was built in 1999, which is my favorite year for the Diablo. It was Monterey blue, which was my favorite color for the Diablo, and it was an Alpine Edition of which only 12 were made. The car was for sale with Cats Exotics for $134,900 for months. I had set a goal to buy a Lamborghini Diablo in 2014, but I was not planning on buying it in the first part of the year! I watched the car for a while, and then I saw it was going to auction soon. I knew that another Monterey blue Diablo would not be for sale for a very long time, and I may pay more for it or lose out to another buyer at the auction. In fact, only one has been for sale in the last four years. It is a 2001 Diablo and for sale for over $300,000 with Cats Exotics.
I thought that the Diablo was a great price, but I could not figure out why it had not sold. One problem the car had was it came with no manual, car cover, or anything else that came with the car when new. This did not bother me at all because I care about the car and enjoying it, not the owner’s manual or car cover. However, I knew some collectors would value these items. The good news was the items could be bought if you really wanted them. In the end, I ended up buying the car for $126,000 (after doing a pre-purchase inspection, having some repairs made, and doing a bit of negotiating). I had never driven a Diablo, and I had never seen the car until it showed up in my neighborhood on a truck.
You can read an article about how and why I bought the car here: How I was able to buy a Lamborghini thanks to my real estate business.
You can see a video I did on the car below that includes a test drive:
How much has the car increased in value since I have owned it?
I bought the car thinking it was a good deal, but I had never bought a car that was more than $30,000 prior to that point. I had never bought a Lamborghini, but I have bought a lot of houses that were awesome deals. I figured the car was worth about $150,000 based on what other cars were selling for. The problem with valuing a Lamborghini Diablo is there are not a lot for sale and not many buyers either. When I bought the car, I think there were about 7 Diablos for sale in the entire country. I was taking a risk buying a car like this, but I also never planned to sell it.
Shortly after I bought it, the Diablos started to increase in value. A couple of years after I bought it, the car had almost doubled in value. I took it to the Denver Concours de Elegance this last summer (a car show), and Haggerty chose four cars to value, including mine. They estimated it to be worth $235,000 to $250,000. That value looks nice on my net worth sheet but does not do me a lot of good in real life. I have also had costs like insurance, registering the car, and maintenance. If you include all of those costs, I have spent another $30,000 on the car. I had to replace the front shocks on the car, and I had to replace the starter, which were both $8,000 repairs. The reason the car has been a great investment is not just because it has gone up in value.
How has the car helped my real estate business?
I love to drive the Diablo, even though it is worth close to a quarter million dollars. The car gets attention wherever I go, especially since I live in a town with 100,000 people and not many exotic cars. I was able to promote my real estate team with the car because people would see it parked and come ask to take pictures. Now that I have my own brokerage, I can use it even more to promote the business. I even name the brokerage in part thanks to the car: Blue Steel Real Estate. I made a flyer I could set on the dash promoting our team where ever I parked it as well.
I liked going to car shows before I had the car, but I was always an observer without the car. Once I had the car, I had people coming up to me all the time. Talk about a great way to network. I have met a number of very successful people and become friends with them because of the car. Many of those people are in the real estate industry and have been a tremendous resource. I also believe that having the car has allowed me to get more private financing, which has helped me flip more houses and make more money as well.
How did the Lamborghini Diablo help me buy a wholesale deal?
I have been buying a lot of houses from wholesalers lately. One of those wholesalers uses many buyers representatives to sell their deals. The buyer reps get paid a commission if their buyer gets the deal. On this past Friday night, I get a text from my buyer rep saying a new deal will be released at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Instead of doing their normal sealed bid process, they are giving it to the first investor who comes up with the $10,000 deposit and signs the contract for their asking price. There was already a wholesale deal that many investors had been to earlier in the day, so some investors had their $10,000 checks still and some did not. I had already taken my check back to the bank.
I asked my buyer rep if he would take a personal check if I drove my Lamborghini to the house. He agreed, and we set an appointment for 7:30 a.m. The rep then texts me and said another buyer rep was bragging about how he was going to meet an investor at the house at 7:30 a.m. and sell the house before it was released. So my rep suggested we go at 7 a.m. I agreed and said as long as there is no snow on the roads, I will bring the Diablo. It so happens it did snow that night, but the roads were only wet and not snowy. I drove the Diablo for the first time in the snow.
The buyer rep was pretty excited to see the car. I saw the house, gave him a check, and signed the contract (I did end up getting them a cashiers check later in the day). I even gave the rep a ride before he made his way back home, which was an hour-and-a-half drive. The car gives instant credibility and may have helped me land this deal over another investor. There are a lot of people who want to invest in real estate but don’t have any money. Having a car like this shows that I have done my fair share of deals.
You can see the video of the snow drive and deal below:
How has the Lamborghini been a good investment for my blog?
Not only has the car given visibility to my real estate business but it has also given more visibility to my blog. A lot of people know me as the real estate guy with the blue Lambo. I would rather be known as Mark Ferguson, but that is okay. The car is a great eye catcher for articles, for my homepage, and for other marketing. I think the Diablo has also been great to get more people to my social media pages like Instagram. I know that the car has been a huge boost to my YouTube channel.
How can buying exotic cars be a good investment?
I bought my Diablo using good investment fundamentals that you would also use in real estate. Buy an older house that is a great deal. I bought an older car that was more likely to go up in value instead of down. I did not buy or rent a brand new Lamborghini that would immediately lose 25 percent its value. There were even some people who made fun of me for buying “an older Lambo” because I could not afford a new one. Well, my “old” Lambo is worth twice as much now as that “new” Lambo that was bought a couple of years ago.
There are ways to make money with cars, just like with real estate. Buying brand new cars usually does not work out well, and I have never bought a new car. I actually bought another exotic this year, but I have not taken delivery yet. It is an Aston Martin V8 Volante that was a great deal as well. There is even a large Facebook community based on getting great deals on exotic cars. It was started by PJ Ghadami, who was one of my first podcast guests. You can check out the program here: Exotic Car Hacks. I am part of the program, and the community is awesome for anyone looking to buy an exotic car.
Most people assume cars are a horrible investment. However, there are certain cars that will go up in value instead of down. Buying an exotic can also be a huge boost for your business if you use it in the right way. I have also been able to help a lot of people with the car as well by donating rides for charities. A couple of years ago, the car was featured at the local food bank dinner as part of their auction. Not only was I able to fulfill a life-long dream with the Diablo, it was a good investment as well.