Italian luxury car manufacturer Lamborghini is known for some outrageous designs and out-of-this world supercars. The company pushes boundaries with every model, and it has inspired some of the most talented designers in the world to create and augment Lamborghini pieces for various purposes. One particular piece of Lamborghini design that has stirred the fascination of the world since its creation is the Golden Lamborghini. This automobile is exactly as it names—it’s a Lamborghini masterpiece that’s been turned into gold. Not even King Midas could’ve created something as spectacular, but this customized Lamborghini is surely fitting for a king. Let’s take a closer look into what this golden car is all about.
There are a few Lamborghinis that have become extremely iconic. Some of them have made or changed the automobile industry for the better over the years. Some of these names include the 350 GT, the Miura, and the Countach. While the Aventador is more of a modern invention, it’s slowly climbing the ranks as one of Lamborghini’s best creations. The Aventador is probably most famous for its ultra violent shifts. This feature is a total departure from Lamborghini’s usual mechanisms. In the Aventador, Lamborghini uses a completely new gearbox, which uses Independent Shift Rods or ISR. This is in replacement of the double clutch machine that Lamborghini had been using before the days of the Aventador. The Aventador is also known for its modern and progressive exterior design. It took cues from the Reventador and the Estoque to become the magnificent piece of industrial art that is the Aventador today. At $400,000 apiece, the Aventador is a slice of luxury reserved for only the most luxurious. Most would think that there was no way to make the Aventador even more opulent, and most people were completely wrong about that.
The Lamborghini Aventador model used for the golden car was the LP700-4. This model was the first iteration of the Aventador, and it saw production from 2011 until 2016. Designed to replace the Murciélago, the Lamborghini Aventador was first introduced to the world at the end of 2010 when it was unveiled at Sant’Agata Bolognese. It was still called LB834 at the time. Five months later, the Aventador LP700-4 was officially launched at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Filippo Perini, Brand and Design Director for Lamborghini at the time, designed the original Aventador. Considered to be one of the most iconic car designers of all time, Perini has worked with the world’s top luxury car brands including Alfa Romeo. He was chief designer for Lamborghini from 2006 until 2016 upon the end of the Aventador’s production. Perini has since moved on to work with other brands, but this work with Lamborghini remains to be an influence in the brand.
Originally, Lamborghini set production for the Aventador at 4,000 units. By the end of production in 2016, there were a total of 5,000 units made. Interestingly enough, there’s another Aventador unit that was created before production ended, and that became the Golden Lamborghini.
German designer Robert Gulpen is not new to recreating luxury supercars. In 2010, Gulpen designed and created a solid gold and diamond-accented Bugatti Veyron. But here’s the catch: it was a 1/18thscale model of the real thing. This Bugatti Veyron was basically a $2.93 million toy, and it even cost more than the real Bugatti.
So Gulpen struck again with the Lamborghini Aventador. The scale model builder created what would then be known as the Golden Lamborghini. It’s a 1/8-scale model of what was still a new LP700-4. The Aventador model project was made out of precious metals, precious gems, and carbon fiber. The end result was an immaculate recreation of an incredible car. Gulpen cast the wheels out of platinum. The body panels were made out of carbon fiber and carved out of 500kg of solid gold. The cast model was encrusted with over 2,000 diamonds weighing about 75kg—an unbelievable addition to the already impressive model. The gems on this model alone add up to $2.64 million. Gulpen also added a nice and fun tidbit: 700 diamonds out of the 2,000 are placed on the Aventador seats, and that 700 stand for the particular Lamborghini model—the LP700-4.
It’s been labeled as the most expensive model car in the world. Model cars have always been subject to collectors’ tastes. A model car can become a collectible item due to rarity and make, and there have been many collectible model cars since the beginning of the industrial age. The Golden Lamborghini, however, is not just another item on a long list of collectibles. This Gulpen-designed model car is truly a work of art. It’s a unique piece that also symbolizes many things. For one, it symbolizes luxury to the nth degree. Products such as the model Lamborghini require immense wealth for ownership.
Apart from that symbolism, this creative piece from Gulpen is also a symbol of craftsmanship and skill. There are only a handful of designers throughout the world that can pull this model off. Gulpen has successfully created and sold quite a number of luxury model cars throughout his career, and his legacy has been solidified with his creation of the Golden Lamborghini.
But for Gulpen, the project meant more than just art and profit. He hoped to raise more than $670,000 for charity through the auction and sale of the model car. Gulpen definitely created something that could produce that amount for charity. However, there’s no information on what the charity earnings areat this time.
In 2013, the Dubai Mall displayed a prototype of the original Golden Lamborghini model. The prototype was a gold plated version that was significantly less valuable than what Gulpen had planned. Though that may have been the case, Gulpen’s prototype still cost $350,000. The purpose of the prototype was to give potential buyers a chance to visualize the model car before production. The standard model was going to have all the bells and whistles already, but interested buyers also had the option to add more customization. Gulpen meant the Golden Lamborghini to be built according to the wishes of the buyer.
While the prototype was on display at the Dubai Mall in 2013, Gulpen spent some time traveling in order to promote the Golden Lamborghini. Although Gulpen traveled throughout the globe, starting off in Dubai was a good move considering the amount of wealth that’s in the area. Gulpen was hopeful that he would find a buyer during his tour, but he had a plan in place just in case he couldn’t sell it without the prototype. The prototype would remain on display until it could be auctioned off. And that’s exactly what ended up happening.
Priced to sell
When Gulpen announced his plans for his next model car, he said that it was going to be the most expensive model car ever built. Because of Gulpen’s history and reputation, he got a lot of backing for his project including a tremendous amount of support from Lamborghini itself. Gulpen was able to use a computer model of the Aventador in order to create the mold for his model.
The model car took 18 months to build in Gulpen’s base in Germany. With 10 talented engineers from 7 different countries working together, the model car emerged a huge success. It was a work of engineering and art. The Golden Lamborghini was made with about $1.5 million worth of gold and $1.5 million worth of diamonds. In addition, the model also had other materials such as glass, gold, platinum, and other gems. Other intricate car details such as the chassis were also made in solid gold. The rims were cast in platinum. With all the materials, work hours, and expertise that went into the creation of the Golden Lamborghini, Gulpen priced the model car to sell for $7.5 million USD.
Gulpen achieved what he set out to do in 2011. He successfully created the world’s most expensive model car. The Golden Lamborghini’s final cost ended up being more than 18 times the amount of the actual car. Many people scratched their heads thinking how a model car could be so expensive. But the model car isn’t nearly the most expensive collectible item there is. Even some antique Faberge eggs cost more than the Golden Lamborghini, so the price is clearly not an issue for the wealthy citizens of the world.
The primary target buyers, obviously, are car aficionados and avid collectors. But after being on display for a week in 2013, there was a lack of real interest from potential buyers. Gulpen’s tour efforts also didn’t produce a buyer. The Golden Lamborghini was put up for auction in 2014 in New York, but there’s no further information on whether a buyer put up a bid for the piece of collectible model car.
Aside from creating the world’s most expensive model car (and possibly most expensive toy), Gulpen had other goals for the Golden Lamborghini. He also created the Golden Lamborghini to procure three new Guinness Book of World entries for himself. Guinness has been known to have some of the most trivial records in the world. In essence, Gulpen’s achievement would extend to the buyer as well. With the Golden Lamborghini, Gulpen hoped to create the most expensive model, which he did. He also hoped to create the most secure container and show case, which he also did. After all, you need to have the most durable and safe container to hold the most expensive model car. Lastly, Gulpen also aimed to create the most expensive Lamborghini logo, which he also did.
Success or failure
There were so many achievements with the creation of the Golden Lamborghini. Some might call the entire operation a failure because the model car didn’t fly off the shelves as soon as the prototype was launched. Gulpen hoped to create 3 of the actual solid gold models, but there’s no news as to whether he even got to create 2. But the achievement comes with the fact of its creation more than anything. Gulpen has been creating model cars since the 90s, and his reputation definitely precedes the designer and engineer.
The fact that a Golden Lamborghini exists is a testament to many things. First off, it’s a testament to the skill and dedication of Gulpen and his team to design and engineering. Without their work, there would be no progress of this kind in the industry. Next, the model car is also representative of creativity and imagination. It takes a lot of ingenuity to turn an idea as such into reality. What’s more incredible is the fact that Gulpen took the initiative to gather ideas from luxury sports car manufacturers throughout the globe in order to get it done properly. It’s the kind of humility that only those who are serious about success will commit to.
Finally, even though the Golden Lamborghini hasn’t found a buyer just yet, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a successful endeavor. The Golden Lamborghini has inspired various other projects throughout the globe that’s either related or unrelated to the original work. In fact, we’ve seen an actual Lamborghini Aventador receive a gold plating on the exterior. It looks a lot like Gulpen’s prototype, but even this gold-plated luxury car isn’t worth as much as the original Golden Lamborghini.
Perhaps the right buyer for the Golden Lamborghini is just around the corner. For now, the record-making model car is still up for grabs for whoever is willing to pay the fortune that it costs.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith