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Supercharged Diablo wins Best in Show award at London Concours 2024

WORDS: DAVID LILLYWHITE | PHOTOGRAPHY: LONDON CONCOURS

A stunning 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 prototype has been awarded Best of Show at the 2024 London Concours at the Honourable Artillery Company from a field of over 80 cars of all ages.

The winning Diablo was fitted in period with a specially developed prototype supercharger upgrade. Lamborghini Hoecker in Landau, Germany worked in collaboration with the Lamborghini factory in Italy to create one of most, potent Diablos ever created, with 634bhp from its supercharged V12 – up from 525bhp in the standard car – at a cost of 200,000 Deutsch Marks in 1994 – 180,000 Euros in today’s money. Other upgrades included brakes taken from the McLaren F1, a specially adapted ECU to make the most of the supercharger, a carbon intake and a 400km/h speedometer.

The Diablo had already won its class, Purple Reign, sponsored by Magneto, before the team of judges voted that it should be Best of Show.

Chairman of the Judges, Peter Read, handed the Chairman’s Award to a Formula 1 car with a famously politically incorrect livery: the Penthouse sponsored Hesketh 308E. Designed by Frank Dernie and Nigel Stroud, the 308E was powered by one of the greatest racing engines of the era; the Cosworth DFV 3.0-litre V8 allied to a Hewland FGA400 five-speed gearbox. Of course it was the livery of the Hesketh’s sponsors that captured most attention, depicting a ‘Penthouse Pet’ from the popular men’s magazine, cuddling a packet of Rizla cigarette papers. As Pater pointed out, all that was missing was alcohol – which was swiftly rectified by the presentation of champagne to owner Frank Lyons.

The rest of the class awards were as follows:

Best in Show – 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Supercharged Prototype

Chairman’s Award – Hesketh 308E

Great British Racing, Presented by Hilton & Moss – 1986 Jaguar XJR-9

Highly Commended – 1967 Ford Escort Mk1

Carnaby Street, Presented by Intapp – 1977 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante

Highly Commended – 1970 Ferrari 365 GTC

Coachbuilt Greats – Zagato, presented by DRVN – 2001 Ferrari 550 GTZ Barchetta

Highly Commended – 1991 Alfa Romeo SZ

Purple Reign, Presented by Magneto – 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Supercharged

Highly Commended – 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’

The Hypercars, Presented by Apollo Capital – 2023 Ferrari SP3 Daytona

Highly Commended – 2006 Porsche Carrera GT

Corvette – A Design Icon, Presented by Classic & Sports Car and The Classic Corvette Club UK – 1971 Chevrolet Corvette C3 Stingray LT-1

Highly Commended – 2006 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06

Aero Front Enlightened, Sponsored by Concours of Elegance – 1973 De Tomaso Pantera GTS Group 4

Highly Commended – 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400

The Legendary V12, presented by EMM London Private Office – 1972 The Beast

Highly Commended – 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

Wild Cards, presented by Adrian Flux – 2007 TVR Scamander Amphibious

Highly Commended – 1966 Iso Grifo GL350

Classic & Sports Car Editor’s Award – 1966 Iso Grifo GL350

A full report will follow after the three days of the show has concluded.

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