Lamborghini Diablo: Born in Italy, Designed in Detroit
Everyone likes to credit the Italians — especially Lamborghini — for creating some of the most eye-catching, jaw-dropping supercar designs to date. And for the most part, that credit is very much deserved. But there is one car in particular for which Lamborghini can’t take all the credit. Flashback to 1985; Lamborghini internally dubs their replacement to the Countach 'Project 132.' And they all know their newest sportscar definitely has some big shoes to fill if it wants to be half as successful as the Countach. So Lamborghini calls upon master designer Marcello Gandini. PHOTOS: See More of the 1990 Lamborghini Diablo
Gandini was a genius with the pencil, along with the Countach he also penned the equally iconic Miura and Lancia Stratos. So the man knew his way around a supercar. But in 1987, when Chrysler took over Lamborghini, they decided Gandini’s Diablo design just wasn’t up to par. It was a shock to Gandini, to say the least.
So in order for Chrysler execs to be completely happy with Lambo’s latest creation, they ditched Gandini, and sent the design back in-house to have it finished in, you guessed it, Detroit.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1993 Lamborghini Diablo VT
There, Chrysler’s design team smoothed out many of Gandini’s sharp and edgy lines, creating the Diablo that they believed would appeal to a mass market. When it was all said and done, the project cost about $2.8M, and the Diablo finally went on sale on January 21, 1990 with Chrysler's design in place.
Gandini was heartbroken by the look of the Diablo. So much so, in fact, that he went ahead and created his own company using the original Diablo sketches. It was called Cizeta Automobili, and only 20 units of his V16T supercar were ever produced between 1991 and 1995 before the company folded.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1999 Lamborghini Diablo GT
As for the Diablo, it proved to be one of Lamborghini’s most fruitful ventures, leading to an all-time sales high of 673 cars sold in 1991. The supercar lived on for just about 10 years before it was replaced by the Gallardo, but it won't soon be forgotten.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0