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Crashed 12K-Mile 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster Could Be a Salvage Auction Score

The V12 sounds good, most of the panels are intact, the interior is perfect… what could go wrong?

byBeverly Braga|
For Sale photo
Copart
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Want a Lamborghini Diablo on the cheap? Perhaps that's silly to ask when your response is likely to be, "Yeah, but what's the catch?" Of course there's a catch: it's more than a little messed up. Still runs fine, though!

We spotted a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster listed on Copart, with a current high bid of just $82,500. The Lambo is listed as a "pure sale," meaning there's actually no reserve price. And listen, I know salvage auction supercars are generally far more trouble than they're worth. But depending on how this one goes, it actually could end up being a great deal for someone.

No need to extoll the virtues of the Diablo, the V12 poster child for 1990s supercars and the first production Lamborghini with a top speed over 200 mph. And the VT variant was the first Diablo to feature a viscous all-wheel drive system that could send up to 20 percent torque to the front wheels. Hence, VT is short for "viscous traction." Handling notably improved, but the Diablo remained a devil. There's no shortage of owners crashing them then and now. A quick search pulls up an endless scroll of these mangled beauties. Actually, don't hit the Googles or Bings or whatever. The results might make you cry.

Now we've covered a Diablo ruin for sale before, but it was in far worse shape. Water got into its engine and sadly, the overall vehicle damage can't be fully documented with superficial photos. That was going to require a full restoration and then some. But this currently listed one is, dare I say, salvageable?

Its external injuries appear limited to body damage on the front, rear, and driver's sides, plus a collapsed suspension and damaged wheels. The passenger panels look A-OK. And it even comes with a pile of pieces and parts that broke off in the crash. A peek inside shows a clean interior with an odometer reading of 12,302.4 miles. That's about 492.1 miles driven per year. So, it's been driven—just not very far or for very long. 

The vehicle is listed as a "run and drive." It starts on its own, can be shifted into gear, and moves forward. The fine print says this doesn't mean the supercar is roadworthy, but hey, moving without crutches is half the battle. Based on this video walkaround, the most important piece, its 5.7-liter V12, appears in good shape and sounds equally healthy! 

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How this 530-horsepower, 446-lb-ft of torque Italian beauty sustained its blemishes is anyone's guess. Perhaps the owner was looking to sell, let a hothead leadfoot take a test drive, and the Lambo subsequently became enamored with a curb. It's all lower body damage, so it couldn't have been a jealous lover wielding a bat. It's also unlikely the VT Roadster came in contact with another vehicle. The sheet metal destruction would've been more severe, exhibited paint transfer, and probably left an impression somewhere. Of course, I'm guessing. Having watched every episode of every CSI variant doesn't qualify as credit toward a forensic science degree. If only…

As for the Lambo, the Copart auction lists its estimated retail value at $505,000. According to classic car expert Hagerty, a '99 Diablo VT in good condition can fetch $419,000, but its year-over-year price is trending upwards at almost 42 percent. 

If I had the spare change, would I buy it? Yes. Would I repair it? Of course. Would I drive it? Not in a way that would have it ending up on Copart again. Unlike the pro drivers of the internet, I know my limits.

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