Used car buying guide: Lamborghini Gallardo

If you think Lamborghini Gallardos are crazy, you want to respond to their owners. As the sinister nuances of many cars are famously painted in, there was no shy between them.

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The model attracts all kinds, from the track-day hero who roasts the car brakes, the vinyl fetishist, which encapsulates in “chrome”. This is why you need to be very careful when buying one, especially considering the way in which, when the bull mascot of hoves in sight, the heart can take more of the head.

The more sensitive the soul may pop to a Porsche showroom the most rational of supercars, a 911 – 2013 – reg-S PDK with only 10 000 km on the clock is yours for £ 75,000. The same money will just about buy rare and sought after manual Gallardo coupe, but it will be nine years more than the Porsche, have covered 32 000 miles and is being powered by the less well regarded 493bhp 5.0-litre V10, not the improvement of 552bhp 5.2, which was replaced in 2008.

The same sum will also buy the more plentiful (thus cheaper) Spyder auto – 06-reg with 27,000 miles and slightly fruity 513bhp of 5.0 liters, which appeared in 2005.

Older, higher-mileage Gallardos such as these that make the 911 look a shoo-in, but for the fact that the Porsche will never turn heads like a Lamborghini. And this is the Gallardo-in-chief of the call.

Well, that and the fact that below these eye-catching lines, this is an Audi, except the name, but with, most importantly, Lamborghini’s DNA running through it.

With the removal of the eyes, explosive performance and the promise of A3 levels of quality and reliability, the Gallardo has been a success from the moment it was launched in 2003.

It had a light but rigid aluminium chassis, aluminium panels and a mid-mounted 5.0-liter V10 powering the four wheels on demand, via a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed E-gear paddle-shift automatic. In 2005, with the upgrade engine, the gearbox ratios have been shortened and the suspension is more sporty. In 2007, the thinning Superleggera has arrived with a 523bhp V10.

Nice, but the Ferrari F430 craved a more serious response and, in 2008, it came in the form of the Gallardo LP 560-4, a revised model powered by one of these 552bhp 5.2 V10. Lighter and with uprated suspension, it breathed new life in the Gallardo, which now faced competition closer to home in the form of the Audi R8 V10 (now there’s an idea: today, 70 000-miler is around 50 000 pounds).

The recovery of the Gallardo spawned a multitude of derivative products, including the LP 550-2 Balboni, a rear-drive version with 536bhp and named for Lamborghini’s legendary test driver. In 2010, the Superleggera is back, this time with 554bhp.

She and other rare spin-offs ensured the Gallardo would end his days in 2013 as easily Lamborghini’s best-selling car. Cue some great used car pick-ups, but beware of the crazy gang.

How to get it in your garage:

An expert from the sight of the PINK MARK, HR OWEN:

“Gallardo prices are all over the place. The model is far more complicated to purchase than anything else. We are not dealing with the older lot, but make sure you check for track-day use — the feathers of the tires, condition of brakes, of gravel stuck in the panel gaps. A lot of Gallardos get vinyl wraps in order to check for paint nicks where it has been de-wrapped. A surprising number were timed, so if the steering wheel is shiny or the driver’s seat bolster is worn, but the odometer shows 5000 miles, on foot. Check that the seller has the title to the car; the fact of being the keeper on the logbook is one thing, but who actually owns it? I would like to buy a 2013 Superleggera LP570-4—around £115k in the trade, but £140k retail.”

Buyer beware:

ENGINE – Start 5.0-liter engines are prone to oil pump problems, so as to have the compression and oil pressure checked. Some owners fill the dry-sump engine, so dip in and verify. The engine management light may indicate overheating after the deactivation of the exhaust air of the reduction of the valve noise. Low mileage, the car may stick throttle body, causing the engine to “hunt”.

The TRANSMISSION can be Expected in the auto, action feel a little sticky and slipper clutch. A new clutch is around £3000, including a new steering wheel (a must). The auto”, the box can be queried with a laptop, this should reveal if any updates have been made. Few manuals can suffer from cable stretch, but that is all.

The SUSPENSION AND BRAKES – Front pads and discs to get a hammering, ball joints, anti-roll bar bushes and track rod ends too. On post-2005 cars check optional before the end of the lift works. Verify the parking brake holds.

BODY – Aluminum body is difficult to fix to avoid bumps. Side oil cooler vent to the seam to corrosion is not unknown. A stonechip without nose is protected with a film, or has been repainted; in the latter case, the check box, hit on”. Check the side vents for the stone chips. Non-function of the hood can be a simple solenoid failure.

INTERIOR – Most of the controls from Audi and hassle-free. The trim is difficult, but the Alcantara steering wheel wear for a gloss and a driver’s seat side bolster look scabby.

Also useful to know:

Properly applied paint protection film on the nose and the rear cooling ducts is almost invisible. It needs smoothing before application to check the edges lift and cut marks in the paint where the editors have, literally, to cut corners.

How much to spend:

£50,000-£69,995 – Cut 05-reg and 60k miles; manuals the more expensive. And a 46k mile, 07-reg 520bhp Spyder for £66k.

£ 70,000-£79,995 – Early cut with 35k km. Also an 09-reg, 38k mile Spyder auto for £73k.

£ 80,000- £94,500 – earlier cut off manuals, a lot of 07-08 Spyder car with 25k km.

£95 000- £109,950 – Up to 2010-reg Spyder, and low – mile early cut, more a 2007-reg Superleggera with 28k for £100k.

£ 110,000 – £114,500 – Up to 2013-reg Spyder cars, more a 2010 cup manual 24k € 113.

£115,000-ON – The best of the car, from 2012.

The one that we found:

LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO 5.2 COUPE AUTO, 2009, 9000 MILES, £104,500 – A private sale, one owner car with full history, never used on track and was bought new from HR Owen. The same dealer has a 2010 with 24,000 miles and one year warranty, for £113.

John Evans

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