In the Eighties, the bedroom wall of Classic Cars reader Matthew Burrup was exclusively adorned with Lamborghinis. Three decades later his dream drives list is much the same – so we let him loose in a Diablo VT
Matthew Burrup’s dream drive list is star-studded – but his affinity for lairy Lamborghinis is stratospheric. Will this wild, special-order Diablo VT send him to seventh heaven?
Early morning, and Classic Cars reader Matthew Burrup fidgets nervously in the passenger seat of our modern commuter wagon. ‘You know, I’ve been seeing the number 666 everywhere in the build-up to this,’ he states, as we crawl through a nondescript industrial estate in Preston. The sky is a dull grey, doing its best to dampen our spirits. Then we turn the corner and there it sits outside Amari Supercars, dazzling like a supernova in all its special-order Yellow Skirt Hic glory – El Diablo.
‘Wow, look at that!’ screams Matthew, practically exiting before we’ve fully stopped. ‘It’s a colour only a Lambo could pull off, I mean it’s not for a shrinking violet is it?’ Sitting against a backdrop of super- and hyper-car royalty – including a Mclaren P1, numerous Lamborghini Huracans, an Mcmerc SLR and the world’s only road-legal Ferrari Enzo FXX – the Diablo’s hue instantly renders all other colours as dreary as the Lancashire heavens, ensuring all eyes remain firmly upon it. ‘The dimensions are insane,’ he adds. ‘And that rear view, with quad exhaust pipes and massive 335-section tyres is proper old-skool supercar.’
Proprietor Sheikh Amari greets us and has a discreet fiveminute conversation with Matthew before handing over the keys and popping the Diablo’s driver’s door for him; it swings open with a powerful sense of theatre, in that trademark Lamborghini scissor style. Matthew lowers himself down into the Bianco leather-clad interior, slots the key in and there’s a chirrup of the starter motor before the big V12 fires with a hollow bellow and immediately settles down into a deep, low burble. You’re aware of the machinations going on in the rear, accompanied by fans continuously kicking on and off.
Like many a Diablo newbie the centre-mounted seatbelt catches him out, but once engaged he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pair of aviators. ‘I’m such a poser at heart,’ he explains. ‘And that’s why a Diablo had to be on my list.’ It takes a couple of attempts to disengage the handbrake, and we’re off; only to stop a few feet further forward. ‘The mat’s catching on the throttle,’ he explains. ‘You know, I Googled Amari Supercars, and read an article about a photographer putting an Aventador through its front window not too long ago.’
Caution being the better part of valour, we finally crawl out onto Preston’s roads. ‘I was concerned about a heavy clutch, but Amari reassuringly told me this later 5.7 VT has assists on the clutch and gear change, making it easier to get on with at low speeds. There’s no need for the accelerator as you pull off slowly; just let out the clutch and let it ride on the torque.
‘The throttle is heavy though, almost like a safety feature telling you “push down too hard in town and you’ll end up buried underneath the lorry in front.”’
‘The heavy throttle is like a safety feature to stop you burying yourself under the lorry in front’
Matthew says the Diablo is the automotive embodiment of his extrovert personality