1996 Lamborghini Diablo SV-R

The Diablo was introduced in 1991 under Lamborghini’s brief period of Chrysler ownership, preserving but refining its layout, smoothing out the body’s humps and bumps and improving occupant accommodations. In the middle of the ’90s, Lamborghini built 31 Diablos prepared for use on the racetrack. The race version, known as the SV-R (for Sport Veloce, Race), was for competition in the new one-marque Lamborghini Diablo Supertrophy series. Customers could purchase an SV-R along with a season of racing. Lamborghini carried out all maintenance and repairs itself.

Built alongside the production Diablo SVs, the Rs were 191 kilograms lighter than the regular model and used OZ Racing one-piece, hollow spoke, cast magnesium 18-inch wheels with slick tires. The engine was tuned to put out 540 bhp, with the additional power mostly derived from a revised fuel injection and, for the first time ever on a Diablo, variable valve timing was used. Inside the cockpit, the SV-R is pure racecar, without any superfluous sound deadening or comfort items.

This car finished second overall in the 1996 series and third overall in the 1997 series, and campaigned at many distinguished tracks including Le Mans, the Nurburgring, Brands Hatch, Spa and Vallelunga. It was submitted for restoration after retirement from the series. All exterior, interior and mechanical systems were gone through and restored with exception of the mechanicals, which needed very little except a thorough tune, as the car had been under factory care throughout its racing career.

This Diablo was painted by well-known French artist Georges Wolinski, whose work was preserved by the manufacturing of stickers, so any future scrapes can simply be repaired. New race seats, harnesses and tires were installed, making this completely race-ready.

Stephen Serio

Stephen Serio - SCM Contributor

Stephen is the president and owner of Aston Martin of New England / Lotus Motorsports Inc. in Waltham, MA, although for the most part, vintage European cars are where his heart is. His need to over-indulge in vintage European cars of the 1950s and 1960s inevitably leads to coveting one more car. Recent garage inhabitants include a Porsche 356A Speedster and 356A European coupe, Ferrari 275 GTS and 246GT, BMW 2002 and a Hudson Hornet. HIs vintage-Porsche-driving wife, Amanda, tolerates this all nicely.

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