|From Lamborghini D...|
As you can see, it wasn't the Gallardo as my wife thought she'd booked, but instead a Diablo. To be honest, I was far from disappointed at the news, since the Diablo was the last of the true Lamborghinis, with the evolution of the classic V12 engine and the rough and ready feel coupled with extravagant styling. There's more pictures if you click on the link below the picture above.
The first thing I thought when getting in the car was "Oh no... there's not enough space in here for me!". The car simply wasn't designed for people of my height, so I had to seriously bend my head down and squeeze my legs around the steering wheel to get to the pedals. Although the car is far larger than a Lotus Elise, the driving position and effective space is about the same. But the owner of the car who was to be my passenger for the hour drive convinced me that I'd be OK, so I started up the engine and was introduced to the V12 engine... what a beautiful sounding thing that is!
The first thing you notice when driving the car away is how heavy the clutch and steering are! This is not an easy car to drive at low speeds. Also, the gearbox has the dog leg 1st gear at the bottom left of the fabulous polished gear gate... what a fantastic sound that thing makes as you clunk through the gears! The gear shift is a little tricky, with a fair throw distance and 1st and 2nd gear being a bit tricky to engage, requiring a little blip on the throttle and some confident pressure to persuade these gears to engage.
To be honest, I drove the car very timidly for most of my journey. I am always weary of these cars at first until I get a feel for them, since they pack so much torque and power that it's easy to get them out of shape. But my biggest concern was having the owner sat next to me, who would only allow me 20km/h over the speed limits and to utilise only 5000 rpm of the available 8000 rpm range. So I really didn't want to upset him. But by the end of the journey, I was starting to feel more confident in the car and certainly would have liked to continue driving the car longer to really get to grips with it. But my hour was too soon over when I found myself back at the starting point.
It was a great experience to drive this car, which is pretty rare with only 2900 made, or which only about 30 are in the Netherlands. I'd love to try the car on the track, since the speed limits and excessive enforcement of these in the Netherlands mean that you can't really try out the car properly. So it really needs a trip to Zandvoort or across the border to Germany.
If anyone's interested in trying out this car for themselves, here's the website of the owner.
So... all that remains is to say a very big thank you to my wife for organising this for me!