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Sunday , April 22 2018
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The Motoring Life: The problem with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Part II

After spending a quiet night in the garage of our rented duplex, (which is worth less than the sum of the vehicles in the garage) I cracked open the door to make sure the orange monster was still in there. Upon opening it, I got a strong smell of the finest Italian leather that money could buy.

Apparently, I left the windows down on the Lamborghini, and the rich aromatic odor of the leather interior managed to change the way the entire garage smelled. Unfortunately, it didn’t last much longer after I closed the windows. Either way, it was a pleasant way to start the day. A passing thought entered my head: “I could get used to this…”

Italian cows are specially bred for leather interiors of Ferrari and Lamborghini
Italian cows are specially bred for leather interiors of Ferrari and Lamborghini, which is not true.

With the car show only a day away, and check-in being at 7am, I made time after work to take the car for a fresh hand-wash. Obviously (to most) among many other makes, this isn’t the type of car that would survive an automated wash with much success.

I’m excited to get home, wait for traffic to die down and safely get the car to the local self-wash. Even at 8pm, the entire journey was full of thumbs ups, and remarks like “wanna trade,” “are you like rich, bro?”and “how much was it?

I begin to to understand more comprehensively, as to why exotic car owners never drive these types of cars around El Paso. I felt as if the car was enough motivation to turn a regular person into a full-blown carjacker. The fear was real, so I quickly washed the car and returned home.

 

 

Upon pulling into my driveway, an unknown truck pulls in right behind me, blocking me from leaving (if I wanted to). I get out of the vehicle and the Texas in me kicks in, as I begin to think about “gettin’ my gun.”

You can take the car, but you're not gonna fit, "bro."
You can take the car, but you’re not gonna fit, “bro.”

The truck door opens, and out steps one of the largest, most muscular dudes I’ve ever seen outside of a gym or nightclub.

Distress enters my mind until he puts his hands up and says “nah bro, I just want to take a few pictures.” I could have thought of a better way for him to approach, but at this time I am just happy that I’m not breathing through a tube.

He asked every question that I mentioned in both parts of this article, and several more before a crowd begins to gather and I insist on hiding the car.

The car show came, and our security detail guarded the cars all day. He was scoffed at by everyone that wanted to pose with the cars, especially photographers that had a personal model entourage. The cars were sectioned off with barriers, and for good reason.

Afterward, we took the cars out of the civic center and headed home — yet another annoying task with cars pacing us dangerously on the interstate, just to snap a few photos.

 

People slowing down when they saw the car at a stoplight, missing their green lights, even a child and her grandmother stopped playing hopscotch to point in amazement. Perhaps in another setting, this car would be more enjoyable, but in the world we call El Paso, the citizens just aren’t ready for exotic cars.

Ultimately, the owner sold the car because it did not perform as it was advertised to him. At one of our club’s private track days, he brought it out to run among other high-line exotics and really push the performance factors of the car on the track.

While the car was fast, the massive brakes would heat up too quickly, and the oil temperatures began to rise until finally it completely depressurized, dumping all of its contents onto the surface during a hot lap.

The car had to be towed off the track, and sent to Scottsdale — to replace a hose. An entire track day ruined by a failed hose, in a six-figure supercar. This was the deciding factor for the owner to do what most Gallardo owners do after they unload their car — buy a Murcielago (the bigger, faster, far more expensive Lamborghini).

Because I can, that's why.
Because I can, that’s why. Photo courtesy: Lamborghini

In short, the problem with the Gallardo (or possibly any Lamborghini) is that it seems to be built more for the automotive enthusiast that is interested in attention, more than performance, reliability or drive-ability.

On several occasions, other Gallardos in our group will always get the most attention out of a gas stop on a group drive (but always break).

 

 

Spectators never see the 911 Turbo, GT3, or McLaren — they get tunnel vision on the Lamborghini, which ironically is exactly how the owners see from the inside of one, out.

To read Part One, Click -> HERE

The Motoring Life: The problem with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Part I

Nothing quite blows the minds of nearly everyone (even non-car nuts) like the sight of a Lamborghini. In our driving club, several members own such vehicles and, for good reason, do their best to not drive them on the streets of El Paso.

Oh they exist in plenty of numbers locally, but if the locals had to decide to cause an accident over seeing a bonafide alien UFO invasion vs taking pictures of a Lamborghini (while driving), the exotic car wins every time.

Look mom, a spaceship!
Look mom, a spaceship!

Ok, to be fair, the latest Lamborghinis (starting from MY2004) do in fact, look a lot like a UFO rolling down the street with the odd angles, massive vents and bright colors — not to mention a factory exhaust that could wake the dead.

Regarding the loud colors: most people assume that the bright colored exotic cars are just an attention grabber for the owners to show off what they have – and to be fair, it is indeed – but on purpose, because these cars so small and hard to see otherwise.

The colors are a way for the owners to say “LOOK AT ME, DON’T HIT ME OR PARK CLOSE TO ME,” without sounding like a pompous fool, despite the stereotypes that already exist.

Smaller than a Ford Fiesta!
Smaller than a Ford Fiesta!

The small size is only half of the problem, having been personally loaned a Gallardo, I very quickly discovered that there is no such thing as a blind spot, but rather a blind curtain — as in entire sections of absolutely zero visibility from the driver’s seat.

Changing lanes on any roadway is like playing Russian roulette, two-fold, because A. you can’t see, and B. chances are, somebody is pacing you trying to take pictures, of course in your blind curtain.

So keep in mind, the next time you get cut-off by a Lamborghini, it’s really because the driver cannot see you. It is a lot like driving with a race-horse’s blinders on.

Perhaps the auto designer’s secret motto is “nothing behind you matters.” But, it may not matter that you cannot see anything around you, because it is highly likely that everyone is staring at your car anyway.

Back to my personal experience: A sponsor of one of our events asked us as a favor to bring several not-so-common cars to display at the entrance of his car show. After assuring the owners that the cars would be blocked off and guarded from: selfies, buttoned-jeans, greasy half-naked car models and everything/one else that uses car shows as a background to promote themselves, we secured a few cars to get down to the location.

No really, get off of the car.
No really, get off of the car.

One of the owners said he couldn’t make it, so he asked politely for me to “come pick up my Lambo and take it.” As exciting as it sounds, driving an exotic car across El Paso can be daunting, if you haven’t done it before. So I met him at a local sushi spot on the eastside, late night, to avoid traffic.

The Arancio Borealis Pearl (Orange) Gallardo was illegally parked under a light, which didn’t matter because of the constant flashes from cameras upon it (this was one of the first Gallardos in El Paso).

It was as if a celebrity was standing in the parking lot, posing for pictures, except structured and more mysterious.

The attention it was getting was a good indication as to why some people own these cars, but this wasn’t his reason (which will be discussed later). My wife dropped me off, and my daughter stared in amazement, “Dad, you get to drive that?!? Can we keep it?!?” I quickly went inside, took sake shots during a short conversation about life with the owner, before heading outside to the car.

Driving a Gallardo (at the time) wasn’t like any other automobile — especially since this one was fitted with the E-Gear transmission — if you don’t know how to engage the gears correctly, you can easily combust the entire vehicle with the clutch alone.

Gear selectors are for peasants. Look at my mighty buttons!

After explaining the intricate details of the space-craft’s operation, I was ready for lift-off. I put the car in gear and drove away carefully, with several paparazzi pacers in tow, taking blinding pictures.

I quickly lose them in a few neighborhood streets before finally landing the car back home, in which my wife’s Scion xB was temporarily evicted from our garage, to make space for the smaller Gallardo.

It was a proud sight, to have both garage doors open with a Porsche 911 on one side, and a Lamborghini Gallardo on the other.

Neighbors that never spoke to me before started peeking out and making their way over. I hastily closed both doors and retired inside to avoid job/income inquisitions and requests for “rides around the block.”

End of Part I. To Read Part Two, Click ->HERE

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