The world’s most expensive Lamborghini, the $ 7.5 million Aventador carved in gold
To each their own: if there is one thing that experience has taught us, it is that there is always a market for gold-plated or even gold items, including cars. Plus, buyers in this market will be paying incredible amounts of money for something the rest of us consider a bad joke in very bad taste. Like the famous 1: 8 scale model of the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4.
July is self-evolutionis Italian Month and you can’t celebrate Italian automotive excellence without talking about Lamborghini. This golden Lambo is not a real car, but it still finds its place here as it has been officially sanctioned by Lamborghini itself. In fact, it was even exhibited at the Lamborghini booth at a few international auto shows during the short time it existed. Having said that, this is not an example of Italian automotive excellence, but rather a sample of communication delay that does not work as it should.
It all started in mid-2011. German engineer Robert Gulpen of RGE Robert Gulpen Engineering had built a reputation for building model cars since the 90s. His car models were unlike any other, as he had found an unlikely niche, in the intersection of the automotive industry and jewelry, right there, in the land of outrage. Using precious metals and often gems, he carved miniatures on the world’s most expensive supercars, and they would sell for as much as $ 20-25,000 each.
Before the Lamborghini, Gulpen had built a Bugatti Veyron model in solid gold and in doing so understood a very important fact about the customer he was serving: build something even more expensive, and the right buyer will come. So, for the Lamborghini project, he decided to do everything possible in terms of the materials used, to create a record car model that would be more than a toy and more than a jewel. It would be a work of art, as he proudly stated in the press release that came out at the time.
For this it would use the latest Lambo model, the Aventador LP 700-4, a work of art in itself. He would carve the body out of carbon fiber and then plated it in real gold, and that would be the most amazing thing there is. And that wasn’t all: it would also use around 1,400 diamonds for the seats (700 for each), platinum for the wheels, more diamonds for the steering wheel and headlights, and sterling silver here and there.
Gulpen’s Aventador would be a 1: 8 scale model of the real thing, measuring around 60cm (23.6in), but it would strive to be as striking as the real thing. More importantly, the prices would also be on the same level: the first figure reported against the car model was $ 350,000, close to what you should have paid for the new Aventador – you know, the one you actually could. drive.
In September of the same year, Gulpen brought a prototype of the golden Aventador to the Frankfurt Auto Show at the Lamborghini booth but, as you can see in one of the videos at the bottom of the page, he was not gold. It was made of carbon fiber, but had the gemstones inside and out. Gulpen later clarified that he would leave the model like this, so that the future owner can decide exactly what materials he wants and where he wants them – after all, what is a luxury item if it doesn’t. does not come with customization options?
In December of the same year, Gulpen said, Sotheby’s would sell the real model car (not the carbon fiber prototype) at auction, in Dubai or in Europe, and it could fetch up to $ 7.5 million. Over the years as the news passed through the vineyard the amount has undergone changes, but it has never been less than $ 5.5 million. If someone wanted to buy the car before the auction, they could do it right away, but they would have to pay $ 1 million off the auction’s starting price of $ 5.5 million.
The news made headlines around the world, and for good reason: it was about a car model (a fancy and overpriced paperweight, some say) that would sell for a crazy price, made of materials. crazy and offered with the blessing of Lamborghini. Still, he failed to convince one of those eccentric multimillionaires to part with that kind of money.
In 2013, the model car Gulpen resurfaced: for the first time, Gulpen’s work was exhibited outside Europe, in Dubai. Also with Lamborghini’s approval, the model was on display there, now coated in gold and with its own smaller model. But it still wasn’t the real model car: it was a prototype, and the real deal, it was now said, would be carved out of a giant block of gold. A 500 kg (1,102 lb) gold block would be used, but the finished model would weigh only 25 kg (55.1 lb). It would take a year and a half to build it, and a team of 10 people would be needed. Of the $ 7.5 million the model would sell for, Gulpen pledged $ 650,000 to charity.
The auction would also include Lamborghini memorabilia for the longtime Lamborghini lover: a piece of stone wall from Lamborghini’s first building in Italy, part of the first engine prototype, an early design drawing of the Aventador and its engine, and “a few more subtle surprises” that have never been publicly disclosed. The auction would take place in 2014, and once the miniature car was built (it hadn’t until now), it would instantly land three Guinness World Records: the most expensive and valuable miniature car in the world. world ; the most secure display case to display it, in bulletproof glass; and the most treasured Lamborghini logo ever created.
It was eight years ago. Today there is no record of the most expensive Lamborghini car model in the world, neither with the automaker nor Guinness. We have contacted Lamborghini and will update the story when we have a response. It is not known if it has ever been made or, if it has, if it was auctioned off for the advertised $ 7.5 million.
It seems like it was, at best, a dream that never came true or, at worst, a communication delay that didn’t work out as planned. Either way, it proves that some things are just too outrageous to exist. Or, as they say, all that glitters is not gold.