A special Lamborghini Diablo custom built for Donald Trump almost 30 years ago has sold at auction for more than five times the car’s estimated value.
The limited edition 1997 Diablo VT Roadster – one of just 132 made for the US market – sold at the weekend for a staggering $1.1million (£870,000) at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale Arizona.
Having Mr Trump, 77, as the first keeper in the owner’s manual triggered ferocious bidding, which eventually saw the hammer drop at a price well above what experts say the car would be worth without the former president’s name associated to it.
Donald Trump’s 1997 Diablo sold at auction for $1.1million. That’s a lot more than the car is worth without the former POTUS’ name associated with it
Donald Trump’s famous custom-ordered Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster is one of only 132 produced for the US and the only to be customised in this blue paint colour. Pictured: Trump in 1995 with a similar car
The auction provided an extremely rare chance to own a piece of automotive and presidential history
Trump made special requests when he ordered his Lambo, including a plaque on the inside of the car door with ‘Donald Trump 1997 Diablo’ inscribed. On the outside, the vendor has added a ‘Trump 2016’ motif
The weekend’s auction presented an extremely rare chance to own a piece of automotive and presidential history.
The Diablo – a poster supercar of the nineties – was delivered to the former US president in 1997 and even has a ‘Donald Trump 1997 Diablo’ plaque mounted to the inside of the door.
The Lamborghini has just 15,431 miles on the clock and has had two owners since Mr Trump parted with it in 2002.
The auction house had not set a pre-sale guide price for the Lambo, though there had been an indication of its value based on its last sale figure seven years ago.
When the Italian supercar was purchased by the vendor in 2016, they paid $460,000 (around £360,000 at the time).
However, the sale – which incredibly took place on eBay – happened in September that year, which was four months before his presidency reign began.
As such, we predicted earlier this month that it would far exceed its previous sale price when the gavel dropped over the weekend. And our forecast was correct.
John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty Price Guide – which measures the value of classic and collectible vehicles based on auction and private sales – said the winning bid is five times what the Diablo VT is worth without a POTUS’s name on the history file.
‘This car was unusual anyway, being a rare VT Roadster model with just three owners from new and 15,400 miles on the clock,’ John told us.
‘But the sale price of $1.1million (£870,000) is five times the Hagerty Price Guide ‘excellent’ value of £174,000, meaning Donald Trump’s ownership had a huge impact on value.
‘Each year, Hagerty publishes the Power List, showing the premium celebrity ownership has on car values.
‘This sale puts Trump just below Jay Leno but above Simon Cowell in that list.’
The former president, 77, snapped in 1995 filling up a Lamborghini Diablo – likely loaned from the brand during a partnership – similar to the one he ordered for himself
The Diablo succeeded the fabled Countach which also featured supercar scissor doors
The VT variant of the Diablo arrived in 1995 with four-wheel drive to improve handling and cornering
At the time Donald Trump ordered this very car, he had already formed a special relationship with Lamborghini.
In the late 1990s, the Italian marque provided him with loan Diablos for brand and model promotional purposes.
Lamborghini indulged Trump to uniquely customise his Diablo and make it the standout Donald version.
The Diablo supercar was first introduced in 1993 as the successor to the Lamborghini Countach and was offered as a coupe or as a roadster. The VT (standing for ‘Viscous Traction’) arrived in 1995.
It stood apart from other Diablos for its all-wheel drive system, which was managed by a viscous centre differential – hence the nameplate.
This was a modified version of the all-wheel-drive setup in Lambo’s LM002 SUV.
It was officially the first Lamborghini capable of surpassing 200mph, so is fondly remembered and valued by collectors.
The 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster is finished in the brand’s ‘Blu Le Mans’ paint. It was custom built for Trump
The Diablo VT mixes celebrity and supercar culture with the Presidential power – which is why it sold for a figure well above guide price
With a 5.7-litre V12 engine, the Diablo VT was the first Lamborghini to surpass the 200mph mark
Trump enjoyed a special relationship with Lamborghini that allowed him to custom-fit his Diablo
The interior is finished in cream on black leather with a retro CD player and a 5-speed transmission
This scissor-door VT model is powered by a mid-mounted 5.7-litre V12 engine, which produces 492bhp and is linked to a five-speed manual transmission.
Zero to 60mph takes just 4.1 seconds and the top speed is a claimed 202mph.
This VT was one of the rarest derivatives of the first-generation Diablo.
The second-gen version ran from 1999 onwards, with Diablo production ending in 2001.
With the Diablo Lamborghini continued its tradition for naming its cars after fighting bulls; the Diablo takes its name from a legendary bull that battled matador ‘El Chicorro’ in the 19th century.
The car’s manuals, original books, pair of tool bags and rain cover were included in the lot.
History files sold with the cherished motor will likely also include the name of the former POTUS.
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