There is simply no car in this world like the Lamborghini. When I first pried open the 2003 Lamborghini Murcielago's gull wing to jump in, I spied a corner of golden-black silk peeking out from over the side compartment. On closer look, the steering wheel cover that was mistaken for lingerie, reinforces fact number two. The Murcielago is pure, unadulterated sex.
The Spanish word for a bat, the Murcielago was named after a fighting bull whose life was spared in Cordoba in 1879 by the famous matador Rafael "Lagartijo" Molina. The bull sustained 24 sword wounds, and went on to break all the rules by charming the masses to cheer for him - and survived. Following in the tradition of the Miura, Countach and most recently the Diablo, the Murcielago is the first "audified" German-styled Italian exotic supercar on the market. That's fact number three. Squat, sinewy and sleek as a bat, the Murcielago wraps around a rigid chassis reinforced with a carbon honeycomb central tunnel and undercarriage. From the throaty sound of the V-12 engine that can set off parking lot alarms when revved hard, to the whopping output of 570 horses, the Murcielago's license plate should read "Warning: Rock Star Inside." That first-hand discovery came one sunny Dallas afternoon, in an enthusiastic but nervous response to a fellow aficionado's offer to "check it out". When the "check-it-out" moment turns into "Go-ahead-drive-it-part" there's serious hesitation. After all, fact four is that the sticker reads at north of a quarter million. "Let's just drive it, if it comes to it (long pause) we'll take care of it, "the owner assures me, and all remaining modesty falls to the side. An older truck-driver follows us as we switch seats. A suburban mother leans forward to get a look. An acned high school boy watches, open-mouthed. At first, you don't notice the stares, or the slowing traffic. That builds up as an improved six-speed gearbox mated to a shifting action better connected than Bill Clinton, helps the Lambo ricochet from 0 to 50 mph in 2.8 seconds. Then, engine howl takes center stage, you lapse into a time warp, and the city goes into slow motion. Fact number three: the Murci is the most powerful series production supercar available. I pull a U-turn at 80 mph (you can't feel it inside) over the feeder from Preston Rd. to catch 635 east, and see kid in a passing Camaro say "Sonuvabitch," as his eyes widen. I punch out more tricks on loops and straights and decide I better stop before my luck runs out. Fact number five - This Lambo has no plates. I spot a turn into a strip mall, a couple hundred yards ahead. Equipped with jarringly responsive custom brakes, this car requires a conservative exercise of one's intentions, because what you think, it will do. I think of turning sharp and fast, hear the passenger say the word "Sweet" and, before I know it I'm standing outside and taking off my ball-cap. It's warm in the cockpit, and the muscles in my neck and arms are bunched up. Driving super cars take a lot out of you, but the excitement's without compromise even though realists will often indicate that no car is worth money that can buy a house, or houses. Forgive me, for fact number six is borrowed from fellow auto forum aficionados. You can live in a car (see Jewel) but you can't drive a house.