Realizing dreams, souls and tire smoke in a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
I thought it was broken. I mean, I knew they were meant to be aggressive, but this violent? SNAP, went another, as my right fingers twitched, orchestrating a twelve-cylinder symphony that resonated more powerfully than one of Pink Floyd’s lead guitar solos. The vertebrae in my neck tingled, and the sun rising over the mountains impaired my vision to the point where I would go blind if I didn't turn back. Powering next to cliff faces, nestled within a carbon-fiber cocoon, I continued. I wasn’t going to turn back. Not ever. I felt like Keith Moon circa 1968—on top of the world, and yet perilously close to the edge.
That’s what driving a Lamborghini does to you.
When I was six, I dreamt of playing left wing for Manchester United, scoring the winning goal against Arsenal in the UEFA cup. I never did that. Primarily because I didn’t like soccer — an aversion that developed shortly after realizing that I wasn’t very good at it. I also dreamt of being President of the United States. But once I learned that politics involved more than just making smart decisions and leading a nation, my enthusiasm dropped. Plus, I’m British. That probably wouldn’t have gone down well.
In the end, I became a professional race car driver; the dream I’d dreamt most about since age three. I got to race in the Indy 500, drive a McLaren Formula 1 car, win awards, sign autographs and pretend to be important. It was all very fun.
And yet, despite this, I never had the opportunity to drive a dream within a dream — one that was plastered to my bedroom wall: The iconic Lamborghini Diablo.
I was six when the Diablo debuted, and by the time I was eight, to me, it was everything — wild, loud, impractical, imposing, and above all else, special. Who knows whether I'll ever wheel a Diablo, but until recently, I'd never driven any Lamborghini at all. Ferraris, McLarens, Porsches—sure; Mercedes, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Maseratis, absolutely.
But never the brand that graced my bedroom walls.
My smile was obvious from the other side of the parking lot. A group of early workers were already beginning to form: “Is this yours?” they’d ask. “Are you famous?”
A 2013 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster was parked outside the Yahoo offices in Sunnyvale, Calif. I stood in disbelief at the attention we were both getting. Most of this derived from me pulling up in a white Nissan Altima, shaking hands with a stranger, signing my name, and then grabbing the keys to a $445,000 supercar while the man strolled off into the distance without so much as a goodbye.
One guy said to me, “You must be a drug dealer.”
“And a good one at that,” said another.
It was time to drive. While this wasn’t a Diablo, it was a spiritual successor and mechanical descendent. It’s the Diablo of today; a car as savage and formidable as the one it replaces. The surrounding crowd, now topping 15, proved this, desperate to hear the car roar. Or score some cheap weed.
I pulled out of the office block, petrified I’d ding a curb. I could see nothing except protruding wheel arches, a hulking rear-end housing a 700-hp V-12, and a dashboard akin to a F-16 fighter jet. It was totally foreign. And yet I felt at home.