Lamborghini Murcielago

A slightly nervous meeting with some traffic cops, and an even more worrying starting problem for the now-out-of warranty Murcielago

Heading north up the A1 recently, I noticed a scamera van parked on a bridge overlooking the road. I was fairly sure I’d seen it in time – until, through the Lambo’s rear slats, I spotted a Volvo police car accelerating down the slip-road behind me. Sure enough, on came the lights, whereupon I pulled into a lay-by.

Fortunately I was greeted by a smiling face. As it turned out, it was one of the group of evo-reading traffic cops who had stopped me over a year ago (evo 080) having recognised the Lambo from these pages. After spending a good bit of time catching up, I was back on my way, albeit a little more slowly this time…

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

SG54 has been running faultlessly for the last couple of months, but I had noticed the starter motor labouring badly and the oil pressure light flickering occasionally, especially when the V12 was idling and hot. All slightly worrying, of course, with the warranty now expired.

Booking the Murciélago in with Lamborghini Manchester quickly resulted in the starting problem being traced to a couple of corroded earth-straps, and a faulty oil pump diagnosed as the cause of the low oil pressure. This was very bad news as a new pump is an engine-out job. How does four and a half grand grab you?

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

There was a glimmer of hope, though, as service advisor Saj Hashmi thought it worth putting in a request to the factory anyway as a ‘goodwill’ claim. And hats off to Lamborghini Italy, a few days later they authorised it. Result! Since the lump is now coming out, I’m going to replace the clutch plate at the same time for the sake of the additional £300 or so that will cost.

Talking of Lamborghini Italy, I paid a quick visit to the factory at Sant’Agata recently. Walking up through the LP640 production line with Cristina Guizzardi, curator of Lamborghini’s in-house museum, I was all ears for a couple of hours as she talked of her years with Lamborghini and her first noisy introduction to the marque, courtesy of a young Valentino Balboni. As a schoolgirl back in 1973 she used to see and hear Balboni hammering a green ‘periscope’ Countach LP400 prototype through her village a couple of times a day. Coincidentally, that same Countach now resides in the Lamborghini Museum she looks after. Marvellous stuff and well worth a visit.

Memories of Le Mans are now fading fast, and with the Union Jack gone from the roof I didn’t have a problem when asked to add a couple of Ford GT-type stripes to SG54 for a recent photo-shoot. They’ve really grown on me and go well with the anthracite wheels, which were painted at the same time.

Now, I realise that orange is becoming ever more popular, but recently I’ve been amazed by the number of orange Focus STs travelling in the opposite direction that flash their lights at the Murciélago. After scratching my head a few times I’m now responding likewise and am even first off the mark occasionally. Just hope the B&Q trucks don’t start doing the same…

Running Costs

Date acquiredSeptember 2004
Total mileage35,952
Costs this month£520 (rear tyres)
Mileage this month938
MPG this month10mpg
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/news/18843/car-pictures-of-the-week
Toyota

Car pictures of the week

This impromptu trip to Germany included the unlikely chance to drive a rare Japanese icon
8 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019