The original Lamborghini Gallardo is a mesmerizing and eminently collectible piece of automotive art. The work of Luc Donckerwolke, Lamborghini's head of design, its sweeping lines, aggressive stance, and stylish good looks made it instantly recognizable as an Italian luxury supercar. But Donckerwolke, ever the designer, aimed to wring even more outrageous looks from the Gallardo when he tinkered with his original blueprints to produce the Gallardo S concept; a radical, split-cockpit roadster that thrilled at its first showing in Geneva in 2005. Now, after nearly a decade in the hands of one owner, this Italian sportscar icon is going to auction.

First shown as a non-functioning prototype, the Gallardo S concept generated so much interest that – much like the Maserati Boomerang concept of more than a decade before – it was soon converted to a fully-operational, road-going car and shown in that form for the first time at the Concorso Italiano at Monterey California in 2006. Since then, the fully road-legal Gallardo S has traveled a mere 180 km (112 miles) of short-term testing and driving around in the paddocks of various concourse events.

To be offered for sale by RM Sotheby's auction house, the Gallardo S is the original and only one of its kind, and sports the "001" chassis number to prove it. With a distinctive split windscreen and a solid spine that runs down the center of the vehicle to completely separate the passenger and driver into their own compartments, a comparison to the original batmobile is not hard to make.

However, unlike the batmobile, the Gallardo doesn't have an asthmatic, push rod 1950s V8 under the hood, but a 5.2 liter, 500-plus horsepower, V10 that can slingshot the Lamborghini from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4 seconds.

Originally designed with a limited production run planned for the Concept S, the exceptionally high cost and labor-intensive (read, expensive) production required meant that Lamborghini only produced the one road-going version. With just one owner since new, the Gallardo S concept has been so popular with motoring enthusiasts that it has been consistently invited by Lamborghini to be shown at events around the globe, including twice at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Prepared to go under the hammer at Sotheby's New York on November 18 this year, no reserve price or estimated sale value has yet been announced.

Source: RM Sotheby's

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