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 132 examples made for the US market – sold this weekend for a staggering $1.1 million (£870,000) at a sale at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Having Mr Trump, 77, as the first custodian of the owner’s manual sparked fierce bidding, which ultimately saw the price plummet to far more than experts estimate the car would be worth without the name of the former president associated with it.
Donald Trump’s 1997 Diablo sold at auction for $1.1 million. That’s way more than the car is worth without the former POTUS’ name associated with it.
The famous Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster custom-ordered by Donald Trump is one of 132 examples produced for the United States and the only one to be customized in this blue paint color. Pictured: Trump in 1995 with a similar car
The auction offered 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 inside the car door reading “Donald Trump 1997 Diablo.” On the outside, the seller added a “Trump 2016” design
The weekend’s auction presented an extremely rare chance to own a piece of automotive and presidential history.
The Diablo – a 90s supercar – was delivered to the former US president in 1997 and even has a ‘Donald Trump 1997 Diablo’ plaque attached to the inside of the door.
The Lamborghini has just 15,431 miles on the odometer and has had two owners since Mr. Trump parted ways with it in 2002.
The auction house had not set a pre-sale guide price for the Lambo, although there was an indication of its value based on its last sales figure seven years ago.
When the Italian supercar was purchased by the seller in 2016, they paid $460,000 (around £360,000 at the time).
However, the sale – which incredibly took place on eBay – took place in September of that year, four months before his presidential reign began.
As such, we predicted earlier this month that it would far surpass its previous sale price when the hammer fell this weekend. And our predictions were correct.
John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty Price Guide – which measures the value of classic and collectible vehicles based on auctions and private sales – said the winning bid was five times the value of the Diablo VT without POTUS’ name in the historical record.
“This car was unusual in any case, being a rare VT Roadster model with only three owners since new and 15,400 miles on the clock,” John told us.
“But the sale price of $1.1 million (£870,000) is five times the Hagerty Price Guide ‘excellent’ value of £174,000, meaning Donald Trump’s property has had an impact huge on value.
“Each year, Hagerty releases the Power List, which shows the importance of celebrity ownership on car values.
“This sale puts Trump just below Jay Leno but above Simon Cowell on this list.”
The former president, 77, photographed in 1995 the filling of a Lamborghini Diablo – probably loaned by the brand during a partnership – similar to the one he had ordered for himself.
The Diablo succeeded the legendary 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.
By the time Donald Trump ordered this same car, he had already established a special relationship with Lamborghini.
At the end of the 1990s, the Italian brand lent him Diablos for brand and model promotional purposes.
Lamborghini allowed Trump to uniquely customize his Diablo and make it the standout Donald version.
The Diablo supercar was first introduced in 1993 as a successor to the Lamborghini Countach and was offered as a coupe or roadster. The VT (for “Viscous Traction”) arrived in 1995.
It was distinguished from other Diablos by its all-wheel drive system, managed by a viscous central differential – hence the nameplate.
It was a modified all-wheel drive version of Lambo’s LM002 SUV.
It was officially the first Lamborghini capable of exceeding 320 km/h, so it is remembered and appreciated 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 presidential power – which is why it sold for well over the sticker price.
With a 5.7 liter V12 engine, the Diablo VT was the first Lamborghini to exceed the 200 mph mark
Trump had a special relationship with Lamborghini which allowed him to personalize his Diablo
The interior is finished in cream over black leather with a retro CD player and 5-speed transmission
This scissor-door VT model is powered by a mid-mounted 5.7-liter V12 engine, which produces 492 hp and is linked to a five-speed manual transmission.
Zero to 60 mph takes just 4.1 seconds and the top speed is 202 mph.
This VT was one of the rarest derivatives of the first generation Diablo.
The second generation version was launched starting in 1999 and Diablo production ended in 2001.
With the Diablo, Lamborghini continued its tradition of naming its cars after fighting bulls; The Diablo takes its name from a legendary bull that fought the matador “El Chicorro” in the 19th century.
Included in the lot were the car’s manuals, original books, a pair of tool bags and a rain cover.
History files sold with the coveted engine will likely also include the former POTUS’ name.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationships to affect our editorial independence.