We all know 2013 is a very important year for Automobili Lamborghini SpA, being founded by the late Ferruccio Lamborghini back in 1963 the company is celebrating their 50th anniversary ... subsequently a lot of special events have been organized all over the world to join the festivities, and in the Netherlands the yearly Viva Italia event was the perfect opportunity for this.
Just about every year the famous TT Circuit in Assen, the Netherlands is transformed into an Italian Motor City ... hundreds of cars and bikes that once left the factory doors in Italy are on display and can be seen driving on the track during an action packed day, the paddock area is overrun with some of the most amazing cars ever seen, ranging from race prepared Fiat and Alfa Romeo to the very exclusive Ferrari and Lamborghini super cars ... the latter being the most interesting for me naturally.
I can really enjoy the more beautiful cars from the 'competition', but a Lamborghini still stands out of the crowd ... and once again this became very obvious during the 2013 Viva Italia event on Sunday ... 'Piazza Lamborghini' was an appropriate name for the area surrounding the Lamborghini Club Nederland hospitality truck as nearly 40 Sant'Agata built exotics would be on display during the day, and not only the modern Gallardo but also some of the more classic models.
We'll start the list with the second production model ever built by Lamborghini, the 400GT 2+2 finished in a nice black paint over a tobacco brown interior ... this car just returned from Italy in fact as it participated in the Grande Giro only a week earlier, the successor to this classic GT was also present in Assen, a nice silver metallic Islero in S trim joined the Bulls on the paddock.
Now here I have to apologize ... there was also a nice looking blueish silver metallic Lamborghini Jarama that arrived late to the party ... and for some reason I didn't get a photo of it, shame on me, but still I do list it here as it was present nonetheless ... in fact the Jarama concludes the list of early, classic Lamborghini as we now take a jump in time to the early Eighties with a stunning dark red metallic Lamborghini Countach LP500S.
One of three Countach present at Viva Italia this year as there was also a pristine looking white 25th Anniversary edition ... which seemed to have a little identity crisis as it was proudly wearing the 50th Anniversary logo on the doors and hood. In fact it was hard to believe this car is already 25 years old today, this white unit had an amazing looking red leather interior and optional sport seats while the second 25th Anniversary Countach in Assen was an equally pristine looking red one over a black leather interior ... this latter one did have the optional rear wing.
From the same era a bright red Lamborghini Jalpa showed up, with the classic tan leather interior and removable roof section this car was the V8 powered ancestor to the current, very popular Gallardo model, little over 400 were built during the Eighties, hence we don't see too many of them these days anymore.
Lots of Diablo were available to be admired too, a very early black finished car with the 'rough' engine bay and the large dashboard pod and also a silver metallic and a yellow one with the clean engine bay and the smaller dashboard also used in the Diablo VT model, so these 'updated' Diablo were built from 1993 on.
A magnificent looking blue metallic Lamborghini Diablo with a white leather interior still proudly showed the '042' entry number from the Grande Giro, another participant that had just returned from Italy after driving 1,200km over the most beautiful roads from Milan to Bologna and Sant'Agata ... a once in a lifetime experience that gathered over 350 Lamborghini in one place.
If memory serves me right I think I have seen two black Diablo, two silver Diablo, a yellow one, a dark green metallic Diablo Roadster and a nicely tuned yellow Diablo Roadster in 1999 trim, this latter in fact had a stunning black rear wing installed and innovative LED taillights and the so-called 'Angle eyes' in the headlights ... a very nice touch to modernize this 14 year old open top flagship.
Towards the end of the production run of the Countach in the late Eighties we saw another Lamborghini model leaving the factory doors ... the mammoth LM002, intended for military use this high end off-road 'monster' soon caught the attention of wealthy Middle Eastern customers who really appreciate the 455hp V12 engine, four Countach style seats and massive Pirelli Scorpion tires to take a drive in the sand.
According to most sources only 301 units of the Lamborghini LM002 were built, first with the Countach engine but the very last units, like the 1991 model that arrived in Assen, received a fuel injected Diablo sourced engine with a power increase to 490hp, some nice alloy rims from OZ Wheels and small bumpers on the corners ... these massive LM's are a rare sight these days.
Back in 2001 the Lamborghini Diablo was replaced by a new V12 flagship, the Murciélago ... the first, new Raging Bull to be released under Audi AG ownership ... many feared the Italian soul of the car would be lost under the German guidance, but the Murciélago would become a very successful model in the end, with the stunning LP670-4 Super Veloce limited edition being the swansong before the impressive Aventador took over in 2011.
At the Viva Italia event you could admire a nice dark grey metallic Murciélago 6.2 model and a bright yellow one from the same first series, the latter did have an very good looking two-tone interior combining yellow and black leather ... today known as the BiColore Sportivo option, however the most attention went to a pearl white metallic Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster boasting a simply stunning black leather interior with Q-Citura stitching.
As could be expected the majority of the nearly 40 Lamborghini that took the trip to Assen came from the Gallardo series ... with over 13,000 units built to date the chances of seeing a Gallardo is much greater than any other model from Sant'Agata. Several showed up on the Piazza Lamborghini in the paddock area ... from the early series a yellow one arrived, at least three black ones (with various shades on the wheels) but also a bright green Spyder version, a silver metallic Spyder and a dark red metallic open top V10.
In the Spyder range I also saw two LP560-4 Spyder models, one finished in the popular white shade over a black leather Q-Citura interior while the second was a blueish silver metallic shade ... with a black interior too, a very nice combination in fact.
Early on Sunday morning one of the most impressive, and probably the ultimate Gallardo ever arrived, finished in white combined with red roof pilars this Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica was picked up at the factory last week, participated in the Grande Giro and was driven back the Netherlands just in time to be shown at Viva Italia ... were it was driven on the track by the owner.
A second Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera had me looking twice in fact, finished in a beautiful orange metallic it puzzled me a second ... but I caught the issue ... it had the early Superleggera wheels installed instead of the new Fuchs wheels used on the LP570-4 Superleggera ... and I have to admit these 'older' wheels still look very nice on the new Superleggera ... in fact these wheels are also used on the LP560-2 50th Anniversary Gallardo presented in China a few weeks ago, so I guess Lamborghini likes them too.
I'm sure I might have missed a Lamborghini or two in the overview, but it was so overwhelming to see such a high number of Raging Bulls together on the paddock of the TT Circuit ... and even more impressive to see most of them taking a stint on the track during one of the three 'free driving' blocks spread over the day, when people could be a passenger in one of these super cars.
Viva Italia 2013 was another great event in the Netherlands, 402 events who organized this Dutch 50th Anniversary celebration together with the Lamborghini Club Nederland did a great job ... can't wait to do it all again next year.