Yes, this bright orange Lamborghini Murcielago lived a glorious life racking up an unfathomable 258,098 miles. Unfortunately a high speed crash turned it into an exotic paperweight in 2012, but after months of labor and a ton of money it’s now better than new. Want to guess how much?
As we reported years ago this Murcielago belongs to Simon George– the owner of British track day rental service 6th Gear Experience. Now you can see how the car got so long in the tooth– it actually worked for a living, unlike most Lambos which spend their lives as enormous slabs of garage decor.
George says his company “owns around 30 supercars which we use on supercar driving experience days and we see around 45,000 customers a year.”
The incident that put this one out of commission involved a little too much speed through a chicane, resulting in a collision with “the only tree within 100 metres,” according to George. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Except the car, which, as you can see from the photograph above caught a bad black eye.
And the damage was a lot worse than a ripped off fender. As George explained to me in an email:
“...the chassis... was so badly bent the doors wouldn’t shut, the roof was warped and even the seats and dashboard twisted totally out of shape. The engine block and gearbox casing were cracked, the whole front suspension completely shot and the wheels broken in half such was the impact of a 50 mph collision with an oak tree.”
His insurance company was willing to pay out, but would be taking the car to presumably liquidate it and recoup as much of its cost as possible. George wasn’t having that.
He was however able to convince the Manchester, UK Lamborghini dealership he’d originally bought the car from in 2004 to take it on “as a ‘project’ for their apprentice technicians.” George was able to come to “an agreement” with the shop regarding parts cost “given the huge amount it would need.”
But before the Lambo lackeys could get to work, that frame had to be straightened out. So an outfit called Chartwell in Derby, UK “the only authorized company [that] had the computer controlled jigs and setting necessary to pull the chassis and frame back arrow straight,” spent a month doing exactly that.
As the car was put back together, George made some tweaks to update it without messing with originality too much. A beige interior was converted to orange and black, the dash and steering wheel were wrapped in Alcantara, LED lights from a later-model Murcielago were dropped in and front brakes from a Gallardo were added.
With a rebuild of the V12 engine, a completely new set of internal wiring added, a strip-to-bare-metal repaint in Arancio Atlas orange applied and a new face installed, the car is now back in service as George’s daily driver.
He thinks he can hit 300,000 miles within the next 12 months “given I’m now back to using it every day on a 200 mile commute,” he wrote proudly. Now the car looks like this:
As for the final tally, get your wincing-face ready:
- Chassis/Frame straightening : $10,000
- New body shell parts : $15,000
- New mechanical parts : $75,000
- Upgraded mods (brakes/rear lights) $12,000
- Paintwork : $10,000
- Engine/gearbox rebuild : $45,000
- Total cost in region of : $167,000
That’s just about the price of one Jeep Wrangler shy of what the one 2004 Murcielago on duPont Registry is listed at right now. Newer Murcis are actually a lot more, so while I’m sure it would have been “easier” to just buy another one I’m not completely sure whether or not this restoration was a good idea financially.
Actually, hang on, the salvage title would almost definitely cripple the car’s value enough to make this job an irrational decision. But where does “rationality” factor in when we’re talking bright orange Lambos? Besides, it seems like the vehicle will be doing laps as a hire car until the day it disintegrates at this rate.
I say George is a legend for sticking with his insane car so long, and I sure hope he makes it to 300,000 miles.