11 Apr How Did I Afford a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo?
In May of 2014, I bought a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Alpine Edition. The car is Monterey blue and beautiful! I was able to buy the car thanks to my real estate business and serious goal setting.
I started this blog because I thought it would be cool to see how people afford exotic and extremely expensive cars. I am not talking about Mercedes sedans or a BMW 7 series, but Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Maserati’s, Bugatti’s, McLaren’s and other exotics that you don’t see every day. A BMW may cost over $100,000, but is the car really an exotic? They are easy to find, easy to buy, you see them all the time and relatively easy to maintain. A Lamborghini, on the other hand, takes some guts to buy. They are not easy to buy, not always easy to drive, not easy to maintain and you will get more attention than you know what to do with.
I know many people see an exotic car and wonder: how did that guy or girl get that car? Did they inherit it, have rich parents, marry rich or maybe they worked their butt off to make a lot of money. If you want to get an exotic car someday, maybe this blog will give you motivation, information and possibly a plan of how to make a lot of money to afford a really expensive car. Or maybe you will discover some exotic cars are not as expensive as you thought and in reach.
How did I make enough money to buy a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo?
I always wanted a Lamborghini when I was a kid. I loved cars and Lamborghini’s were always the coolest most exotic cars when I grew up in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Somewhere along the way in college, I stopped believing I could afford a Lamborghini. Society convinced me that cars like that were reserved for someone who was special and I was not that person.
After getting a degree in finance I became a real estate agent because I could not find the job I wanted in finance. My dad was an agent and the first five years of my career I struggled to gain much traction in the business. I never had any goals or real direction, but for some reason assumed things would just happen for me. Then around 2005, I started setting some goals (by accident) and a couple of years later I started seeing things change.
I started listing REO properties and making really good money. I hired an assistant and my career kept improving. I had flipped houses with my father and after my REO career took off, we started to ramp up our flipping business. In 2010 I started buying rental properties and I continue to buy them now.
Things really changed in 2013 when I took over the real estate team and started Investfourmore.com, a real estate blog. I have been growing my real estate team, growing my flipping business, growing my blog and buying as many rentals as I can. I am also a huge believer in goals, planning our lives and positive thinking.
Here is a great site that I use to help me find good deals on exotics, as well as financing and other help: Exotic Car Hacks.
When did I feel comfortable buying a Lamborghini?
A good income is nice, but you never know what will happen in the real estate world and incomes can decrease greatly through no fault of our own. I made a deal with myself that after I bought ten rental properties I would buy another car. I already had a 1991 Ford Mustang 5.0 convertible with a supercharger, a 1986 Porsche 928 and a 2010 Audi S4.
When I had ten rental properties I had over $5,000 a month in monthly income coming in every month, with very little work from me. The blog was also making a few thousand dollars a month on top of my real estate team and flipping business. Even though I was not making millions of dollars a year, I felt comfortable that I had enough passive income to afford a Lamborghini. I did not want just any Lamborghini.
Why did I want to buy a Lamborghini Diablo?
When I was a kid and an adult, I wanted a Lamborghini Countach. I loved the looks, the rarity and it was the coolest thing on the road when I was younger. I did a lot of research on the Countach and saw many mixed reviews. Some people loved it, others hated it and most thought it was very finicky, hard to drive and hard to maintain. On top of these issues, it was small and I am 6’1″ with size 14 shoes. Then prices skyrocketed on the cars. The values went from $100,000 for a decent car to $300,000 in a few years.
In late 2013 I was at a conference in Dallas when I decided to take a field trip to a Lamborghini dealership. At the dealership was a 1994 Lamborghini Diablo. I wanted to sit in it to see if I fit because I knew the Countach was smaller and if I didn’t fit in the Diablo I could not fit in the Countach.
I was still a while away from being able to afford a Lambo, but I was happy doing some preliminary research. At the dealership, I was greeted by an awesome salesman who was happy to help and talk, even though I was honest that I was not going to buy the car. The good news was I fit in the Diablo, but it was really tight and my feet barely fit after I took my shoes off.
A few unexpected things happened at the dealership.
1. I realized the Diablo was beautiful in person. It was incredibly wide, had gorgeous lines and incredibly low. It started to grow on me and was only $109,000, which was 1/3 the price of a Countach.
2. The dealer told me about financing available on these cars. You can get up to 12-year loans on exotic cars at really low rates. A loan extended that far out makes the payments as low as a $50,000 car over a four-year loan.
All the sudden I was a bit dizzy and a lot of thoughts were going through my head. Affording a Lamborghini as a lot closer than I thought it once I learned about the Diablo and financing. I researched more on the Diablo and liked what I read and discovered.
The Diablo was designed by Marcello Gandini when Chrysler owned Lamborghini in the late 1980s. But Lee Iacocca (the CEO of Chrysler at the time) did not like the design from Gandini and had it changed. I think Iacocca made a really good choice because Gandini’s design was a little weird and can be seen below. Gandini later made his original design into the Cizetta V16.
The Diablo was the first production car to go over 200 MPH and had a V12. The car was made from 1990 to 2001 with between 2,000 and 3,000 total cars made. In 1998 Audi bought Lamborghini and things changed significantly with the model that replaced the Diablo; the Murcielago. The Diablo is thought to be the last true Lamborghini before they became more refined, more electronic and more like a modern car. Lamborghini also began making many more cars when Audi took over. In 2014 alone, Lamborghini made close to 2,000 cars.
I also thought the Diablo was at the bottom of its price curve when I bought it. I think many supercars will drop in price after they are bought, but then start to increase after a certain amount of time. The amount of decrease and increase in price will depend on the rarity, the demand for the car and many other factors.
What are the details on my Diablo (top speed, headlights, interiro)?
My Diablo is a 1999 VT Alpine edition. The VT stands for Viscous Traction and means the car has all-wheel drive. The Alpine edition means they added fancy stereo equipment from Alpine including a backup camera and subwoofers. My car has a five-speed manual transmission as do all Diablo’s (modern Lamborghini’s do not even come with a manual transmission). The car has 530 horsepower and came with an aftermarket exhaust when I bought it. I heard about half of Diablo’s had an aftermarket exhaust installed at the dealerships when new, because the stock exhaust did not do the V12’s beautiful sound justice.
The best part about the car is the color. Most Lamborghini’s tend to be white, silver, black or red with a few crazy colors mixed in. My car is Monterey blue, which is gorgeous in person. The color is bright blue in the sun and a darker blue or almost purple in the shade and at night. Lamborghini does not publish the number of cars produced in each color, but my color is very rare. I have not seen another Diablo for sale in Monterey blue since I bought my car. The interior is snow corn white, which is actually a tan color and the seats have blue piping. The carpets are blue and the dash is black leather.
Unfortunately, my car did not come with the toolkit, car cover or other goodies that came with the car when new. The owner before me kept those items (who knows if it was on purpose or an accident) and then tried to sell them back to me after I bought the car. I did not buy the car directly from the previous owner, but a dealership. The previous owner found me through my blog and I was not real happy about him trying to sell me items that belonged to the car for more than they are worth.
How did I buy my Lamborghini Diablo?
After I visited the dealership in Dallas, I decided to buy a Lamborghini Diablo. When I decide I want something I always make a goal and a plan on how I will buy it. I decided I would buy a Diablo at some time in 2014 and I wanted to be able to pay for all the payments, insurance (only $900 a year) and maintenance with income from my blog. I started making more than enough from my blog to pay for those expenses in early 2014 and I kept an eye on cars for sale.
My car had been for sale for a while at a great dealership in Seattle; Cats Exotics. I noticed the car, but I had really wanted a 2001 Diablo or a 1999 roadster. The 2001’s are supposed to be the best cars, although 1999 models are supposed to be very good as well (they did not make a 2000 model in the US). The cars before 1999 are a little less comfortable and reliable and the early cars are much less reliable.
The thing that really caught my eye on this car was the color and the price. It was listed for $134,900, which was one of the lowest priced Diablos for sale in the country. I was not really thinking about buying a Diablo at the start of 2014, I thought it would be at the end. My business was doing well, the car was an awesome color and the price was right so I started considering it more and more. Then I decided to talk to the dealership and get pre-qualified for a loan. I was then notified the car was going to be listed in the Mecum Auction in June of 2014 if it was not sold before then.
I did not want to wait for the auction, because I would have to pay a buyers premium, could not get a pre-purchase inspection done and had no idea what the reserve would be or what other bidders would pay. I decided to start negotiating for the car and we agreed on a $125,000 price contingent upon the car passing an inspection from a Lamborghini mechanic.
The mechanic found the car needed new plugs, a new door strut, and some suspension work. The car had only 22,000 miles but was 15 years old. The dealer agreed to make all the repairs if the price was $126,000 and we agreed. We finalized the loan which was 12 years long at 5.99 percent interest with 15 percent down. The car was shipped to me a couple of weeks later after all the work was done. I saw the car for the first time on father’s day of 2014 when it arrived in my neighborhood on an enclosed truck. I had also never driven a Diablo before I bought my car, so it was quite a treat!
How has it been owning a Lamborghini Diablo?
I have had the car almost one year. I still love and can’t believe I own a Lamborghini. I had to have some work done on it to pass emissions when I first got the car, but the dealer helped me pay for that since he guaranteed it would pass. I am in Colorado and I think the altitude messed up the tune.
The car has 24,000 miles on it now and I drive it a couple times a week to work when the weather is nice. I had to get used to everyone taking pictures and videotaping the car when driving. I am in a town with 100,000 people and there are not very many exotic cars around.
I also talk to a lot of people at stores, when getting gas and any time I take the car out. It is fun if you are a people person and since I am in the real estate business it works out good for me. I took the car to one car show in Denver and won best Lamborghini! Of course, I was the only Lamborghini there and it was an Italian car show. There were 26 Ferrari’s, another reason I love the Lamborghini because it is so much rarer than even other exotics.
The car needs an oil change every 7,500 miles, which is coming up soon. The cost for the 7,500-mile service is about $1,000 from what I am told. Every 15,000 miles the car needs a major service, which is about $2,500. My car had a new clutch when I bought it, which is good because those run $8,000.
I was not expecting to buy a Lamborghini so soon in my life (I was 35), but setting goals, working hard and owning my own business helped me make the income and set up a passive income that allowed me to afford the car. The nice thing is values have already gone up and someone offered me $150,000 for the car, but I am not selling anytime soon. I do plan on buying more cars in the future and would love to get a Countach at some point. If you want to see numbers on my rentals, information on my flips and how I make money as a real estate agent, check out my blog investfourmore.com.