When the new Diablo was presented to the public back in January 1990, the late Mr Malcolm Forbes was present in Monte Carlo, he actually was Grand Marchall for that occasion.
He was so pleased with the Diablo, he ordered one to be finished in custom 'money green' over a gold leather interior. The car was built by Automobili Lamborghini SpA, but it was finished in 'Verde Gonna Mica" over a Champaign leather interior, the 'gold' interior was dropped because they apparently couldn't get the leather in the quality required.
Unfortunately, by the time this special car was finished, Mr Malcolm Forbes had already passed away, so he never actually took delivery of this custom ordered Diablo.
The car, bearing chassis number 12231 was eventually shipped to Hawaii, were it remained in storage for several years, the Diablo was then purchased by another Lamborghini enthusiast and was shipped to the United States mainland, the new owner had the car very well maintained which explained why the car was still in 'as new' condition after nine years. During an auction in February 2000, the car was available for sale, but the reserve bid wasn't attained and the car remained unsold.
This Malcolm Forbes special had several unique features, not found on any other Lamborghini Diablo, like the custom made floor mats, with a raging bull emblem combined with the Forbes logo. Also on the central transmission tunnel, an small engraved plate was mounted stating the chassis number and the Malcolm Forbes name as the first owner of this custom made exotic.
Another less well visible feature was found underneath the engine hood, the cover over the fuel injectors, the Lamborghini scripting on both valve covers and the injectors themselves were also finished in the light green metallic exterior color, a very nice looking detail.
As far as we know the car still exists today, it has recently been photographed in a Lamborghini workshop in the United States, still looking as fresh as when it was offered for auction back in 2000 ... which can only mean the current owner takes care of this rare Lamborghini.
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Alessandro Filippani tells the story behind the most legendary Lamborghini models ... like the V12 masters, the Miura, the Countach and the Diablo.
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June 2. 2006
Text © Mark Smeyers
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