By on August 11, 2012

Remember the DIY Lamborghini? In a garage somewhere in the less picturesque parts of Beijing, a man built a Lamborghini Diablo replica, fiberglass on hand-welded frame. No industrious Chinese will allow something like that to be forgotten as a one-off lunatic hobby project. Half a year later …

… Diablo Auto was born. Today at the Auto Tuning Car Show in Beijing, the industrious welder had his coming out as the CEO and owner of “the first supercar builder in China.”

Got that? In case you did not, Diablo thinks it’s so nice and says it twice: “The First Supercar Builder.”  “The First Supercar Builder in China.” While on the topic of twins: The engine is a Toyota v8 1uz twin-turbo engine, tuned up to some 450 horsepower.

The owner is Li Lin “Joe” Tao. According to Carnewschina, Joe built his first Diablo because he couldn’t afford the real thing. He had some demand, and built some more. According to Carnewschina, “the Lamborghini Diablo was never exported to China,” a fact that could come in handy just in case Lamborghini/Volkswagen will take Joe to court. Did you register the Diablo as a design patent in China, Lamborghini? Nein? Pound sand then.

This is Diablo Works, Beijing.

This logo, found by Carnewschina on the bodywork just behind the door would be more actionable.

That logo, found on the hood, is an improvement, however, the bull still shines through.

More pictures at If anyone needs Carnewschina owner Tycho as a witness, I have his number. For a fee. This is industrious China, after all.

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20 Comments on “Fake In China: Lamborghini Diablo Goes To Hell...”

  • avatar

    I’m surprised the bull wasn’t hanging on a meathook.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought it would just be a regular steer

      These folks could take over the world… if they could just come up with 1 original idea

      • 0 avatar


        I live in China for short stints. How can their people ever come up with original ideas if they are taught from birth to think/ act alike?

        I do like how the government controls tv their, because the children aren’t exsposed to filth, but the drawback is a bunch of people acting like drones.

      • 0 avatar

        No filth? You need to watch Chinese TV more ….

        Of course, this is righteous filth

      • 0 avatar

        The terrorists have won: the people believe their television is free.

      • 0 avatar


        Sohu and CCTV are two totally different things. You don’t have access to most networks in China unless you are in a 5-start international hotel. The average Chinese person doesn’t even have a TV because the vast majority of the population is living in poverty. Not the 400,000 we see and equate with “modern China”. There’s a billion of em living in poverty.

      • 0 avatar

        This is a clip from network television.

        BTV stands for Beijing TV, a government owned network.

        According to populstat (2004 data, outdated) there were 247 – 321 TV sets per 1000 people in China – pretty much one set per family.

        The 2009 China Statistical Yearbook puts the number of TV sets at 314 per thousand, i.e. one per family.

        China has more than a billion cell phones in use, 78 percent of the population …

        Tho old story of 400,000 well-to-do and a billion in abject poverty needs be be rethought quickly.

      • 0 avatar

        What has always stuck out to me is Apple advertising in China, it isn’t “Think Different”, b/c in China, conformity has become the in (cool) thing and in China conformity means the Party, so following the ideology is cool. (whatever China did after Tianamen to reprogram the populous sure did work)

    • 0 avatar

      does this even merit a story and the ensuing response? how is it different from the legions of cheaply made porsche speedster, ford gt40, and ac cobra replicas? a few weeks ago i came across an aston martin vanquish replica built on a mustang platform. big deal.

      then you get the resident know-it-alls/xenophobes which cite one nonstory, then go off to explain a foreign, atavistic culture. one tip, read up on the history of the usa, namely the 19th. century.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not really about cars, but about the human condition. We can laugh because we’ve seen it here and we see it in a foreign and emerging place… it’s just one of those things that shows that people are the same everywhere you go.

      • 0 avatar

        stuntmonkey’s explanation makes sense. unfortunately it’s still happening today, as kitsch is ALWAYS available in everything from Juicy pants to chromed chrysler 300s.

        many people point to this faux lamborghini as a cultural flaw endemic to some inferior foreign group. read the comments regarding any nonoccidental culture and its supposed lack of originality.

        the maybach commentary is priceless. an ugly german car explained away by its unoriginal japanese design, its chrome laden korean nose, and appealing to unclassy arabs, african-american rappers, russians, and chinese. yes, people are really this delusional.

  • avatar

    And probably just as good as, or better than the “real one”.

  • avatar

    This example of trademark appropriation is hilarious. China hall of fame

  • avatar

    Imitation is the sincerest form of parody.

  • avatar

    > The owner is Li Lin “Joe” Tao. According to Carnewschina, Joe
    > built his first Diablo because he couldn’t afford the real thing

    First – wait, isn’t it simply a replica? These seems to be commonly accepted when done by the Western World but stoned when done in China.

    Second – car guys tend to be strongly biased in their thinking that Chinese blatantly copy everything. This stereotype is augmented by occasional headlines like this one which do not necessarily represent the state of affairs yet are taken as such.

    The truth is different, though. China, as a country of endless engineering potential, sucks all the western know how they can encounter and soon after that comes up with their, IMPROVED designs. A perfect case in point: high speed rail. China enforced cooperation with local manufacturers when allowing European train makers entrance to their market. Ten years later, Chinese CSR beats them all with their new high speed trainset:

    This is how it really looks like.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    “I live in China for short stints. How can their people ever come up with original ideas if they are taught from birth to think/ act alike?

    I do like how the government controls tv their, because the children aren’t exsposed to filth, but the drawback is a bunch of people acting like drones.”

    Are you sure you have been in China or even outside your home? Nothing in the above 2 sentences is true or even makes sense.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    That Lexus V8 for sure sounds awesome. I’ve heard a couple of them uncorked down here and… me wants a Soarer.

    Never expected the guy was going to start a business out of them. What’s next?

  • avatar

    I wonder about the underlying engineering. Still, it’s a knockoff, perfectly acceptable if you know that it is. There is a reverse snob factor going on with people actively seeking out the fake Hermes bag or even the Rollexs and Sornys. Sometimes, it can work out well.
    I’d love a followup in a years time to find out how it’s going.

  • avatar

    Nice purple ;)

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