… Saved by the Moon!

The Lamborghini men had some amazing adventures during the first, top-secret tests on the Diablo prototype. Years later, Luigi Marmiroli recalls what incredible lengths they had to go to, to avoid the lenses of the photographers chasing a scoop.

Photos courtesy of Luigi Marmiroli Archive

As explained in previous articles, I was hired by Automobili Lamborghini with a mission: to design a new supercar to replace the legendary but now obsolete Countach. Having studied all the designs of my illustrious predecessors, engineers of the calibre of Bizzarrini, Dallara, Stanzani, Alfieri, and having met the founder himself, Ferruccio Lamborghini, I threw myself whole-heartedly into the P132 project, the future Diablo.

The first thing I did was send the mechanical layout of the car to two of the most important stylists of the period: Giorgietto Giugiaro and Marcello Gandini. Traditionally, at any car manufacturers the burden and honour of the choice of style lay with the shareholder. And Patrick Mimran, the young shareholder, with all my support and approval, chose Marcello Gandini. I think readers will be pleased to see Gandini’s first P132 rendering, which he kindly dedicated to me.

In April 1987, the P132 prototype was rolled out into the factory courtyard for the first time, for the tests on the road and in the wind tunnel. And no-one could have imagined that the moon could have influenced the development of the design...!