There are certain people that look at the Sistine Chapel and say “there really needs to be more chrome in it. And lasers.” That’s exactly the mentality of the owner of this Lamborghini Diablo replica, because it started life as the most desirable Japanese sports car in the last 20 years.
This 1991 Acura NSX is the reason why people turn up their noses at replica cars. It’s not because it goes against the grain of the purists, but it takes a giant step backward in terms of quality. With the hacked (yet apparently rust free) NSX body underneath, this car is worth it only if you’re someone who wants to fool drunk party-goers at a night club valet that you’re a lot of fun.
Bidding has just started and it’s at an eye-watering $27,000, but my gut tells me it’s not going to increase much in price because if the extreme niche that this market requires.
This mish-mosh of parts does look clean-ish, but the panel gaps, especially on the inside are a bit nutty and the seller seems to think that destroying the car’s iconic body to create a fake Lamborghini adds to the value.
Here’s an excerpt from the description:
If you don’t have $300,000 just laying around, here is an exotic car that you can actually drive down the road and absolutely turn heads everywhere you go without breaking the bank! Leave your real Lambo in the garage, and fool everyone with this one.
Unlike most replicas that use a Pontiac Fiero that can’t pull itself up a hill, the base car for this exotic is a 1991 Acura NSX that was purchased brand new by Baseball slugger Jose Canseco. This car obviously won’t touch a real Diablo in performance, but it will perform every bit as well as any stock Acura NSX. It Screams!
Today’s value on the donor car alone is over $40,000.
This car is money in the bank! The value will just keep going up every year, and these are much more fun to own than that the CD’s you have that are not earning you any money! You will get “thumbs up” everywhere you go, and your car will be the most photographed car at any car show you attend. (Not to mention that you will win every local show you enter!)
There are a lot of words I’d use to describe this car, but none of them would combine to read “money in the bank”. When you have a $40,000 donor car and you hack away the body panels, install fake engine accents, reduce cooling efficiency and add extra weight, you’re not adding to the car’s appeal and value. What’s even worse is that the car took the equivalent of $70,000 to build. When the market was lower, the combined amount of car and labor could’ve netted a buyer a for realsies Lamborghini Diablo.
While I can’t knock the effort, I also can’t stop looking at the horrid execution, especially on a base car that’s so sought after and rare in the first place. Friends don’t let friends buy replicas.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.