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Autotrader Find: Lamborghini Diablo Replica for $50,000

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2017

The vehicle you see above isn't a Lamborghini Diablo -- though it sure looks like one. Instead, it's a rather comprehensive replica that's based on a Pontiac Fiero -- and it's available for sale from a private seller in California for a not-so-cheap $50,000.

From the outside, this Diablo replica looks pretty good: The ad says it's built on "a stretched Fiero with perfect dimensions," and I'm inclined to agree, as it really, seriously looks the part -- right on down to the factory wheels, which most replicas skip because they can't make the bolt pattern work. Regardless of your thoughts on replica exotics, you have to admit the exterior of this one is pretty well done.

Unfortunately, things aren't quite as perfect on the inside. While the interior has been dramatically revised from a Fiero's insides, it's not very close to a Diablo's cabin -- and the typical General Motors automatic shift lever is still sitting there, poking out of the center console, reminding people that a) this isn't a Lamborghini, and b) this isn't even a stick shift. But then again, many people haven't seen a real Diablo -- and this interior is likely good enough to fool most onlookers.

With that said, the engine is appealing: The Fiero's power plant is gone, replaced instead by a reliable, powerful "Chevy 350" -- though the listing doesn't mention what vehicle the engine comes from or how old it is. Either way, it's certainly preferable to a Fiero engine -- and some exhaust tuning might give it a sound that could fool many people into believing it's a Lamborghini V12.

Perhaps the most interesting part about the listing is that the owner says the car is titled as a 1974 Lamborghini Diablo, even though the Diablo didn't go into production until 1992. The main benefit is that the "1974" Diablo isn't subject to California's strict emission control laws, which exempt any vehicle built before 1976. As a result, says the listing, "you can customize it any way you want."

Unfortunately, all this customization and DMV trickery comes at a price: The seller is asking a cool $50,000 for this Diablo replica, which is more than half way to an actual used Gallardo. Then again, it's probably a lot more reliable.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: Lamborghini Diablo Replica for $50,000 - Autotrader