Used supercars: buying a Lamborghini Gallardo

Published: 20 March 2013

The Lamborghini Gallardo is ten years old this year. Can you believe it? Only a true geek could tell this early £65k Gallardo apart from a new one costing 150% more. Okay, so the baby Lambo’s unusually long lifespan has something to do with that. But that’s not the only reason. It simply looks as crisp, modern and desirable today as it did in 2003.

So it still looks like a new car, but what do used Gallardos cost?

Even the cheapest Gallardos have barely fallen below £60k, roughly half what they cost new. These examples were built before the 2006 upgrade that improved the steering, shortened the gear ratios and added another 20bhp to the V10’s original 493, so they’re not quite as rapid, or as incisive through the bends. But let’s get some perspective: an early Gallardo like this one is still a fearsomely fast and thrilling supercar, and benefits from not having the gaudy switchgear trim of the later cars.

Which transmission should I chose in my Gallardo?

Many buyers opted for the E-gear paddle-shift ’box, but the six-speed manual alternative, its huge chrome ball-tipped wand sprouting through the metal gate like a 250 GTO’s, is infinitely more enjoyable to use, and much less of a problem in town than the visibility.

What do owners think of their used Lambos?

‘We bought this one with 9000 miles on the clock and we’ve added 40,000 to it. It’s our most popular car,’ says Chris Burbidge of Club GT’s bright yellow manual, which cost them £74k at the height of the recession and is still worth at least £60k now. And since we know the Gallardo’s successor won’t be along for another couple of years, values are unlikely to plummet any time soon.

CAR's Lamborghini Gallardo buying tips

Those VW genes mean the Gallardo is far tougher than earlier Lamborghinis, but sadly doesn’t mean you should expect to run one on a Polo budget. Here’s what to look for:

Shared parts – Some parts are shared with others in the Volkswagen Group meaning there’s potential for savings on repairs. Finding out which ones is the trick, and tapping into the knowledge bank in owner’s forums is the best bet.
Clutches – Clutches can take a hammering, expiring in as little as 5k miles when abused, and replacing one will cost at least £3k at an independent, nearer £5k at a main dealer. Either will be able to plug a laptop into an E-gear car to determine how much life is left. Other problems include stiff gear linkages and overheating front diffs.
Hoses – Ferrari doesn’t have the exclusive on exotic barbecues: Gallardo power steering hoses have been known to leak, spraying fluid onto the hot exhausts resulting in a molten supercar. You can fit a tougher replacement part for around £350.
Rear lights – The heat and vibration from the engine can play havoc with the rear light bulbs. Sounds like a simple fix? It should be, but you need to take the wheel and arch liner off to get at the rear cluster.
Brakes – A set of drilled discs and pads all round could set you back £2k fitted. When that time comes, many cars, like Club GT’s, have been upgraded to a set of slotted Brembo discs for the same money.

Parts:

Rear tyre £320.68
Damper £547.02
Disc/pad (f) £395.77/£300.24

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker

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