After decades of financial turmoil, in 1998, Lamborghini was purchased by Audi. This opened up a new world of engineering resources and cash reserves for the brand but also forced Lamborghini to get on a track where they could begin more mass production of their vehicles. With the Diablo replacement, the Murciélago already in development, Lamborghini was encouraged to sell a sports car that slotted below the mid-engine V12 supercar. What they developed was a mid-engine, V10-powered, all-wheel drive Ferrari 360 Modena beater known as the Gallardo. As with many Lamborghinis, the Gallardo was named after a breed of fighting bull, provided exhilarating performance, and looked like nothing else on the road. In short order, the Gallardo became the brand’s best selling model and over its 10-year production run, over 14,000 cars were sold.
This 2004 Gallardo was first sold in Colorado but has spent the majority of its life in California. It is finished in one of Lamborghini’s most stunning colors- Arancio Borealis- which is a rich, metallic orange that makes the car absolutely glow in direct sunlight. Even though it is going on 20 years old, the design stands out and still has a very contemporary look with its over-the-top wrapped tail lights and Showing 6,627 miles, this car is being offered with its original books and manuals.
The Gallardo’s simple interior is finished in eye-catching black and orange leather. As soon as you open the door, you see what truly sets this Gallardo apart from the majority- a gated 6-speed manual transmission with 3 pedals in the footwell. From its debut, the Gallardo was available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-Speed “E-Gear” paddle shift gearbox. Because the F1 paddle shift was hot at the time, an overwhelming number of Gallardos were specified as such, making a true manual car a rarity.
Mounted in the middle of the car is a 5.0 liter 90-degree V10 that is rated at 493 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Able to rev to nearly 8,000 rpm, this V10 produces an unbelievable sound and has proven quite reliable over the years. One of the things that made the Gallardo unique in its class when it first came out was that it was only available in all-wheel drive- although this has now become almost expected, at the time it wasn’t particularly common and made for both better handling in the dry and all-weather usability.
When the Gallardo’s production run ended in 2013, so did the option for manual transmissions from Lamborghini. Recent reports indicate that in their next generation of cars, Lamborghini will be moving to hybridized drivetrains and with that, further away from the visceral, engaging driver’s cars they built the brand on. This 2004 example has been immaculately kept and is sure to be a welcome addition to any collection thanks to its exciting driving dynamics and appealing color combination.