Is this madness or ingenuity?
Here's something to ponder: is a Diablo a true Diablo without a V12? This 1995 Lamborghini Diablo, up for sale in Craigslist in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, no longer has its original engine. Nor does it have any other V12, for that matter. Instead, its current owner and seller dropped in a GM LS3 V8 crate engine. You read that right. But don't worry, he didn't ruin a perfectly good V12. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The story goes like this: He previously owned an all-original Diablo but was consistently bothered by the expenses involved. Parts were hard to find and they weren't cheap. Plus, he wanted to actually drive his Diablo on a regular basis like a true hero.
He concluded the car itself was great but the engine and its related expenses were problematic. So he sold the car and bought another Diablo, though this one was fire damaged and without a drivetrain. It was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. He restored it and went with the LS3 V8. That was eight years ago and he's driven it nearly every day since problem-free. The gearbox is another interesting restoration choice. He went with a Porsche 911 G-50 gearbox with taller fourth and fifth gears plus a limited-slip differential, billet endplate, and cable side shifter. Fuel economy is also pretty darn good, coming in at 23.8 mpg from a Nevada to Colorado round trip.
A few interior items added include hidden cupholders and heated seats. Creature comforts matter. It also has an upgraded sound system. And yes, it is wearing Lamborghini Murcielago Hercules wheels.
The reason for the sale is because it's been sitting around too much due to work travels. It should go to another owner who has the time for some epic road trips. And yes, it will be a source of serious discussion and debate during those travels. The Lamborghini Diablo was the successor to the iconic Lamborghini Countach, both being direct ancestors to today's Lamborghini Aventador S. All three are known for their scissor doors, aggressive styling, and a V12 engine. Development on the Diablo began back in 1985 but didn't debut until 1990.
Despite the ongoing work, Lamborghini was bought by Chrysler in 1987 and the working design Marcello Gandini created was deemed too extreme by the Americans. A new team was brought in to do a major redesign. Gandini was beyond angry and ultimately left the project. Later, the limited edition Cizeta-Moroder V16T was the realization of his original Diablo design. Meanwhile, the Diablo we all know was the "softened" styling Chrysler wanted. So it goes.
But the Diablo has rightly earned its place in Lamborghini's history.
A total of 2,884 were made before it was retired in 2001, and replaced by the Murcielago. The Diablo was actually powered by two different yet mechanically similar V12s, a 5.7-liter and a 6.0-liter. The latter came after Chrysler sold Lamborghini in 1994 to a group of Indonesian owners. They're the ones who updated and refined the Diablo in numerous ways, among them the engine. Prices today for Lamborghini Diablos in good condition vary greatly, but it's possible to spend upwards of $500,000 in some cases.
This LS3 V8 Diablo, however, has an asking price of $105,000. If you're not extremely religious in terms of Lamborghini authenticity, then it might be tempting to pull the trigger.