Lamborghini Talk banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my first post although I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks. I still have a year plus left on my Acura NSX lease, but when that is up I'm going to consider getting a Diablo. So I'm starting to do research very early. :p

I've always loved Lamborghinis but never figured I'd be able to afford one (actually, this is what I said 5 years ago about the NSX and now I have one). It seems that an early model (1991-1994) Diablo would be in my price range, which will be $1000-$1300 per month after financing/leasing whichever I decide to do. Although it's possible my finances could change for the better by then.

So I have many questions:

1) How easy is it to find an early (12-14 year old) Diablo in "like-new" condition? A few years back I wanted a 5-10 year old Porsche 911 and could never find one in good shape. The interior leather was always worn, or the dash dirty, or the paint scratched, or the engine compartment just looked very dirty and worn. Although these were typically cars with 30-60k miles and I've noticed that most Diablos have very low miles. I looked on Autotrader and it appears from pictures that most of the cars look perfect, but pictures can be deceiving.

2) What kind of maintanance costs am I looking at? Also, are there any common/known repair issues on these cars? And if so, how much am I looking at for these typical repairs? If purchasing from a dealer, do they offer used-car warrantys on Diablos like other used cars, or are you on your own from the very beginning?

3) About how often (how many miles) do you need new tires front & rear? My NSX is awful -- I need new rears about every 6-8k miles and new fronts after around 10k.

4) How are insurance costs? I'm 31 years old with a perfect driving record (no points or accidents in over 10 years). Just for reference, I have State Farm insurance and currently pay $1600 per year for my NSX and about another 850 for my daily driver Chevy Equinox. Can you use a regular insurance company like State Farm or Allstate or do you have to get insurance from some specialty exotic car insurance company?

5) Is there anything else or any advise anybody has....

Sorry to bombard you all with so many questions. Thanks for any info you can provide. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,166 Posts
There are two older Diablos on E-Bay right now that look pretty good. Clutch and electrical gremlins are the things to look out for. But you better have some resolve anyway, and expect to shell out some bucks for the unforseen.

It'll eat tires, just like your NSX, as will any high performance car. As far as insurance, I pay about $2K a year through farmers with $5K deductable, low use 2,500 -5,000 miles a year clause thingy :) mines a 98, but I'm sure insurance in Oklahoma is miles cheaper than in NY.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
don't do it.

I own a 91 Diablo. My advice is as follows :

Only consider making the purchase if you can buy the car outright. Perhaps then allow for annual maintenance of $10000 US per year. You should also be in the position AFTER doing this to absorb a major repair bill such as head gasket, clutch, gearbox/drivetrain, engine rebuild issue, these issues can be $10000-$25000 to deal with. If this prospect does not put you off, then go for it !!

Who will look after / maintain your vehicle ? In my experience, even Lambo appointed dealerships have difficulty providing appropriate service for my vehicle.

Purchase of an early diablo is a hoot, IMO one of the best value supercars on the market. The early diablos are still among the quickest ! One of the worst aspects of owning a Diablo is the level of interest from the public that it attracts. You should be prepared to be mobbed wherever you go.

If you are having to even think about raising / financing the capital, my advice is to stay away.

Remember that when you acquire your Lamborghini, you do no OWN it, you are merely the custodian, and you will massage and soothe it before eventually passing it on to the next custodian.

Hope this helps
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,166 Posts
Bob $10K a year? That's if you have to replace the clutch every year right? ;) I agree with you though about financing it, I wouldn't do it unless I had money to burn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
The suggestion of putting aside $10k US per year to maintain the car is based on my experience, I hope that my personal experience is not misleading. My clutch is now done for some considerable time to come !!!! [see previous posts] . Anyone thinking of acquiring one of these cars should be aware that [dealer prices], a distributor cap costs perhaps $600, a rotor arm $200, a water pump $1000, an oil cooler radiator $800.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the info guys. $10k sounds very high for the maintanance. Is that if you use it as a daily driver?

I don't plan to drive it that much. Probably around 3000 miles per year at most. How long does the clutch usually last? Keep in mind I don't intend to take it on the track. Just a fun/weekend car. How much do oil changes cost and how often do you need a major service and how much does that cost? In general, how is the reliability? Is it possible to purchase a drivetrain warranty on it from a Lambo dealer?

As far as the attention, I am already used to that with my NSX. I have an '03 NSX which is the newer style and they are very rare. In fact, nobody ever seems to know what it is. They usually ask if it is a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
you raise several issues,...here goes

1.Clutch....look at this issue on this site/the old site. There is loads of history, all you need to know. Look at the current Gallardo / Murcie owners who are running into clutch issues at 1-5000 kms. Lamborghini clutches last about as long as a prawn sandwich ! If you explore this issue you will see that you can inexpensively upgrade the diablo clutch. Sadly you have to pull the engine and tranny to make the change. Remember that before this there is much you can do do avoid having a failure. There are lots of owners who have tens of thousands of miles without a failure.

2. Engine oil / oil changes - get your head around doing this, it can easily be done with a simple "trolley jack" and some axle stands. You can even vacum out the sump oil via the dip-stick. If you can't personally contemplate changing the engine oil on a diablo,-----dont go there!

3. Major service cost. As the car gets older, this gets more difficult to quantify. Items expire on a time basis although they may not have completed 'mileage'. In Europe, a major service will cost around $10k US. I would expect to do this every other year with a minor service $2-3k US in between.

4. The diablo is as reliable as any other car that I have ever owned. Most problems are electrical, and as a result of poor quality of the original product in this area.

5. Forget any warranty issues for any diablo unless your lawyer represented OJ Simpson.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
dosent sound like your ready to do this to me yet. I dont want to be negative but as the old saying goes"If you have to ask you probably cant afford". Finance charges, tires, maintance, etc really shouldnt be a concern if your buying one. Its fair to ask and there are great answeres here but if you weigh them into the equation of should I do this? your not ready, If you wanted to know so you know what to expect and the cost dosent matter then go buy one they are great cars for the price.

It isnt drivable everyday and the attention is fun once in a while but trust me you'll get sick of it. Which means you'll need a different car for a daily driver. Diablos are a bit much to drive daily and it will wear you down after a while.

Another point youll need a second car whilst the Diablo is in the shop 2 months out of the year. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
LV Eric said:
dosent sound like your ready to do this to me yet. I dont want to be negative but as the old saying goes"If you have to ask you probably cant afford". Finance charges, tires, maintance, etc really shouldnt be a concern if your buying one. Its fair to ask and there are great answeres here but if you weigh them into the equation of should I do this? your not ready, If you wanted to know so you know what to expect and the cost dosent matter then go buy one they are great cars for the price.

It isnt drivable everyday and the attention is fun once in a while but trust me you'll get sick of it. Which means you'll need a different car for a daily driver. Diablos are a bit much to drive daily and it will wear you down after a while.

Another point youll need a second car whilst the Diablo is in the shop 2 months out of the year. ;)

Agree 100% very true!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
So basically what I am hearing is that I should expect this to be a very unreliable car which is constantly breaking down and needs to be fixed all the time, at a great expense. I guess if that is the case then it is not for me.

Mike: you said "The diablo is as reliable as any other car that I have ever owned", but then you list "head gasket, clutch, gearbox/drivetrain, engine rebuild issue" and "distributor cap costs perhaps $600, a rotor arm $200, a water pump $1000, an oil cooler radiator $800". Perhaps you have just had really awful luck with your cars. I've owned many sports cars in the past 10 years: Mitsubishi 3000GT, BMW Z3, Toyota MR2 Spyder, and now an NSX and I've never had to replace any of these parts that you list. I've never even had to replace a clutch as I've never put more than 35k on any of these cars. The 3000GT had an electrical problem once which was fixed under warranty. Other than that, I have paid for oil changes, factory recommended service, and tires, and that's it.

I do have a daily driver, a Chevy Equinox which is also my more practical vehicle. If I was to get a Diablo, I would only put around 3000 miles per year on it. But from the sound of it, maintanance and repairs cost as much as the vehicle itself does, and if that is the case, then there is no way I can afford to get one. I'm not super wealthy. I'm what you would consider upper-middle class, but I'm single so I also have no kids or wife to support. It's just me, and in the past I have always liked to spend my extra cash on cars. From the advice I hear in this thread, it sounds like a Lamborghini is for only the super rich who don't even have to think about money and can spend anything they want at any time. Well, that's not me and will most likely never be me, so perhaps I should look at other cars. Another one I was considering is an F355 which is a bit cheaper.... :confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
988 Posts
Where in NY are you?

I am in the final stages of a total restoration on my 91 Diablo. I bought my car in June 04 and it left in August to rebuild the engine and get a new interior. I get it back in about 5 weeks. The numbers you are hearing regarding costs are right on target. However, your comment about the Diablo not being reliable is untrue. The Diablo when properly maintained is very reliable. I think what you are being told is that if you need to have work done it's going to cost you...big! As any exotic would. If you get into a Diablo or any exotic, make sure you know what you are purchasing. You will pay in the beginning or in the end, but one thing is for sure, you are eventually going to pay.

I live in New York City. If you have a good driving record you can get classic insurance for less than $2000 using Haggerty. It's based on the value and use of the car. But, if you are under 25 and, or have any tickets within the last 5 years you propably won't get insurance in NY.

In my opinion, you could purchase a Diablo that is in good shape that just had major service done for a fair price. JRV is advertising a 1994 VTthat sounds like it's what you may be looking for. Look in the classified section.

Your yearly costs will be:
Insurance 2000
Gas 1000
Service check and oil 500
depreciation and wear 4000

Driving 120 MPH with the radio blasting----PRICELESS!

Oh, by the way, YOU CAN'T (SHOULDN'T) COMPARE THE F355 WITH A DIABLO. I suggest you delete it from your post... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
If you are comsidering a F355, don't think about and even go and test drive the Lambo because once you've drive one, there is no turning back. That is just what happened to me. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
91lamborestor said:
I am in the final stages of a total restoration on my 91 Diablo. I bought my car in June 04 and it left in August to rebuild the engine and get a new interior. I get it back in about 5 weeks. The numbers you are hearing regarding costs are right on target. However, your comment about the Diablo not being reliable is untrue. The Diablo when properly maintained is very reliable. I think what you are being told is that if you need to have work done it's going to cost you...big! As any exotic would. If you get into a Diablo or any exotic, make sure you know what you are purchasing. You will pay in the beginning or in the end, but one thing is for sure, you are eventually going to pay.
Thanks for this info. Your post seems to contradict what some of the earlier ones say, but I guess everyone has their own opinion. I have a question though: why the need to "restore" the 1991 Diablo? Was it in bad shape when you purchased it and you got it for a good price with the intention of putting a lot of money into it?

From what I have seen in the few classifieds I have looked at, most of the 1991-1994 Diablos have very low miles (under 25k) and look imaculate. For example, there is a beautiful 1991 White Diablo on Autotrader with 12k miles for $102k. I haven't seen any of these cars in person, but from the pics they look like they just rolled out of the showroom. That is why I ask this question. I understand that a 1991 car is 14 years old, but with only 12k miles, I would think all the mechanics would be fine and perhaps only need to have the oil and other fluids checked/changed. Am I wrong?

91lamborestor said:
I live in New York City. If you have a good driving record you can get classic insurance for less than $2000 using Haggerty. It's based on the value and use of the car. But, if you are under 25 and, or have any tickets within the last 5 years you propably won't get insurance in NY.
I live up in Rockland, I am 31 and haven't had a ticket or an accident in over 10 years, so it sounds like that would work for me.

91lamborestor said:
In my opinion, you could purchase a Diablo that is in good shape that just had major service done for a fair price. JRV is advertising a 1994 VTthat sounds like it's what you may be looking for. Look in the classified section.
Yeah...I saw that. I'm not ready to get one now. Probably in another year. I'm just doing some early research at this point. I'm not made of money the way some people here obviously are and if I'm going to do this, it's going to take some financial planning beforehand, so it's not a bad idea to start looking around and getting an idea of costs. My NSX lease expires in early 2006 and that is when I would be ready to get one.


91lamborestor said:
Your yearly costs will be:
Insurance 2000
Gas 1000
Service check and oil 500
depreciation and wear 4000
Well, that doesn't sound so bad. Obviously gas and "depreciation and wear" are not out-of-pocket costs that I was talking about. All cars need gas, and even my Chevy Equinox will depreciate at least $4000/year.

91lamborestor said:
Driving 120 MPH with the radio blasting----PRICELESS!
Yes....I know. My NSX is kind of quick too you know. ;)


91lamborestor said:
Oh, by the way, YOU CAN'T (SHOULDN'T) COMPARE THE F355 WITH A DIABLO. I suggest you delete it from your post... :D
Well, it is still something to consider. Basically, I'm looking to upgrade from the NSX. So what is the next step? Perhaps I can take the leap up to a Lambo. If not, a Ferrari is a nice intermediate step. We'll see..... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
The clutch issue hasnt been clairified here. Depending on your habits/skill a clutch might last you 15000 miles or 500 miles. They are expensive and the weak link of the Diablo. When shopping for a 91 Diablo you must see how much wear there is on the clutch, thats more important than how nice the leather is. It will also give you insight to how the car was driven and what else to expect.

I only hammered a clutch once in a Murci when grandpaw in his Benz pulled out in front of me with 5000rpm's and I hesitated for a second, the cabin filled with smoke and poof about 30% of my clutch went on .5 seconds of hesitation on my part. It was the right move otherwise I would have hammered him from behind.


As an after thought I remember that I was lookig at a 95 Diablo SE the purple one. It didnt have any service records or paperwork period. While I was cheching out the car I noticed by looking at the tire wear that the car spent more time going sideways than in a straight line, I had seen enough right there and passed on it.


You dont have to be rich like you stated. Its just how much passion you have and what else your willing to sacriface to step up to the plate. My first Lambo was a streach for me but it lead to other things that no other car will.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
988 Posts
Beware!

Eric,
As with any car. They will all look nice in pictures. I wanted to do a restoration on a Diablo and found one that needed attention for the right price. I have found that they're several different Lambo owners that each treat their respective cars uniquely. Some don't care and drive them hard, but most baby the car. Also, you can't always go by what is on the dial.

Collectors will tell you, keeping an exotic is not easy or cheap. Care is hard to do. It takes time and money. If you have four or five exotics it could be a real part time job. A friend has several cars that he keeps locked in a garage. He lost interest several years ago but won't get rid of his collection. He recently took out his 63 corvette that was once a show car. Just getting it to run cost him over $4,000 after not starting it for 7 years. Further, the one time he took it on the road in seven years, it was snowing. He also left it outside his garage in the snow all winter. Go figure. It doesn't look close to show quality anymore and it has only 4,000 miles. Further, driving 3,000 miles in NYC is a bit different than 3,000 miles in New Mexico!

I have three boys that love Lambo's and my restoration is a family project. Even if we are not doing most of the work ourselves, it's a project that educates them in many different ways. The end result is what is important and the time spent together talking about what to do with the car as a family is priceless. I will probably do it two more times and when they get married give them each a car. When it is complete in the spring of 2005 I anticipate we will go to many events as a family, with the new addition, and hope to have lots of good memories.

Obviously, you at a young age and have a different motive I'm sure. :cool: Buy a car from someone you trust and don't strap yourself. Remember, a car is not a good investment...enjoy it.

Good luck! :wave:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Erik - I've also noticed that every car you've owned so far has been Japanese. Be aware that true exotics are VERY different in character and build quality, even from the NSX. I like and respect the NSX, but Honda engineered it just like they would an Accord. With any exotic (Ferrari, Lambo, Lotus, whatever), these companies don't have even a tiny fraction of the R&D budget of Honda or Toyota or Mitsu to get things right the first time. As a result, the owners of exotics will always be beta-testers to one extent or another. If you go into your purchase expecting anywhere near the build quality of what you've owned before, you will be very disappointed.

Yes, the performance and attention garnered by the true exotics is fun (and by the way, whatever attention you got in the NSX won't be 1/10th of what you'd see in a Diablo) but there is a price to pay. I would suggest following the advice of everyone above, but in addition, if you are not the type of person who wants to work on their own car, stay with the Japanese or German brands. Even if you don't actually DO the work, you must be familiar enough with how the mechanisms in a car work that when you do need work you can research it intelligently.

It would also be well worth your time NOW to start looking for local mechanics who can work on the car. Talk to them about others they've worked on, and get references if possible. I guarantee if you take every problem to the dealer you will be broke quite quickly. A good independent mechanic is your lifeline with an exotic.

My personal advice if you want to take the leap into something more fun and rare would be a late Ferrari 328. This car gives you the exotic look, performance about on par with your NSX, but also a relatively inexpensive way to get exposed to handbuilt cars. The 328 is as close to bullet-proof as an Italian car ever got, so if you can own that for a year or two and be happy, then you will be ready to step up.

I would NOT look at a 355 as a first alternative. It sounds like your price range would get you an early model, and almost all the 355s had potential problems with leaking shock absorbers, bad valve guides, bad headers and bad catalytic converters, plus interior pieces which turn to sticky goo for no reason.

I'm not trying to talk you out of an exotic - God knows I love them - but I do want you to go in with your eyes wide open. I bought my Testarossa when I was making $40k/year, against every piece of advice the boards gave me. I listened carefully, bought it smart and maintained it smart and have been very happy - but I knew about every potential pitfall going in, and I was prepared to abandon the car if it started doing irrepairable damage to my long-term finances. You need to do the same. I just bought my dream Diablo this year, and there's nothing like it, but you will enjoy it a LOT more if you can buy it and not be constantly worrying that if something fails you can't make rent next month or the car has to sit for four months while you save up for repairs.

-- Charles
-- 87 Testarossa
-- 98 F355 Spider
-- 99 Diablo VT Coupe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I would not buy a non jap exotic unless you are very handy or totally loaded. I have had a 83 countach, 97 lotus v8 twin turbo and now a 91 diablo. I love this car, it is a blast to drive and just makes me smile from ear to ear when I hear the intake howl. This being said I have had the car for one month and have spent 5 grand on it and I do all of my own work and maintenance. Mostly this is because the previous owner did not do anything. It has all the usual things wrong that a 91 anymake of car would have, it's just with a diablo these things cost a lot more money. I find the car reliable and solid, but these things are not built with the quality of a toyota or a honda. Some things you see look like it was cobbled together in a garden tool shed. If you decide to buy one you must keep a good sense of humor and not take it too seriously. It will be the coolest thing you have ever been in. It will break, It will cost lots of money to fix, it will be down a few months out of the year. If you don't mind these things then buy it! If you are not a mechanic or rich, do not buy this car. There are so many things that you can fix yourself if you are mechanically inclined that it saves you down time and thousands of dollars in repairs and it is cheaper than a crack habit.
good luck
dave :wave:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
"He recently took out his 63 corvette that was once a show car. Just getting it to run cost him over $4,000 after not starting it for 7 years." - 91Lambo

327/ 365? My dream car. Well, I'd really like a 1957 150 283 / 283 but i don't think they made any. Couldn't swing one if they did. :D

Anyway, if you have a good understanding of how your vehicle works, are willing to work on it and have a nice garage why not? Parts will be $$$. Tools will be $$$.

BUT, Eric, it sounds like you don't want to get your hands dirty? If that's right you should stay with the less demanding marques, it's a car for the wealthy to get ass in if you can't wrench on it. And you will need some dough to even make that happen.

Good luck and have fun whatever you decide.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Lamborghini Diablos are extremely reliable.

That's not the point.

Your 1991 Diablo will be almost 15 years old soon.

FIFTEEN YEARS OLD!

Cars arent meant to last that long with no problems. You can expect to have your share of wear items fail and time sensitive items fail. Lots of things happen to something in 15 years.

Take a house for instance, a 15 year old house probably is ready for an entire new roof, which is usually 10-15% of the houses value. Plumbing needs work or upgrading, your appliances are failing, etc...

Same thing with a car.

Hope this puts it into perspective.

-Ben
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
bentasm1 said:
Take a house for instance, a 15 year old house probably is ready for an entire new roof, which is usually 10-15% of the houses value. Plumbing needs work or upgrading, your appliances are failing, etc...

Same thing with a car.
In my experience, things wear due to use, not time. The roof wears due to 15 years of weather, i.e. rain, snow, wind, etc. If you purchased an applicance and left it in the box and only used it a couple of times, it would still be as good as new. From what I can see, that is how those old Diablos look -- barely used. I know if a car has sit idle for some time then you need to change all the fluids and perhaps the battery, but how does a clutch, or exhaust, or engine, or suspension go bad from not being used most of the time and just sitting in someone's garage?? It should not wear like a 15 year old car that has 120k miles.

I'm not trying to purposely be argumentative. I'm just trying to understand this all. One of the other members PM'd me and suggested that I spend the extra money to get a 96-98 Diablo and he said the extra money spent would pay off in saved money on repairs and maintanance. He said he owns one of those later models and they are much more reliable.

I suppose this all comes down to how bad I want one of these. My NSX goes back next year and then I will be looking for a new sports car -- something better and more exciting than the NSX. I doubt that I'm going to find that in another Japanese car, so it seems that Italian cars and maybe a few German cars are the contenders.

If the car I decide I want is too expensive for me, I'm the type of person who would wait a year or two and save up a sizable down payment rather then just go buy a cheaper car instead. I'm just trying to determine if this is the car for me.

Let me put it this way...My budget for a vehicle, including monthly payment, maintanance and insurance is going to be around $1500-2000. With the NSX, this all costs me around $1200/month. What is the next step up from there? And no, a Ferrari 328 is not a step up from an '03 NSX. I want something faster, better performing, and rare like my NSX. Am I completely wasting my time by looking at Lambos?
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top