Passion Pastime

Why I’m Obsessed With… Supercars

As told by Sameer Aswani.

Why I’m Obsessed With… Supercars

Real estate investor Sameer Aswani is the chairman of Aswani Group Holdings. Together with wife Dimple Hiranandani, they have two children and several pets including some pretty awesome macaws and a dog. He lives his life with a passion. From real estates to fast cars, when he’s into something, there’s no stopping him. Here, we find out why he has this need for speed.

It all started when… I was 15 years old, after watching the movie Cannonball Run, which featured the Lamborghini Countach. I was one of those teenage boys who had a poster of a Lamborghini up on my bedroom wall.

I knew I fell in love with fast cars when… I saw a Lamborghini on the road. In those days, to see a Lamborghini was like seeing the ‘Holy Grail’. I still remember one night when I gave the security guard at the old showroom some food so he would let me sit in this white Lamborghini Countach on display.

Aswani’s love for handmade elegance extends to his Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead

I’ve owned a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, Porsche Ruf BTR, a couple of Rolls-Royces and like four Lamborghinis before, including the Murcielago, Murcielago LP 670-4 SV, Aventador and now the legendary iconic Diablo SV. It is limited to just 100 in the world, out of which only around 10 come with right-hand drive, from what I gathered on the road. My current Rolls-Royce is a Phantom Drophead — which is now coveted by collectors as there is no more replacement model and it was built in very limited numbers.

The amazing thing about a supercar is… that you feel like a rock star; everyone gives you that look when you are driving it.

There was never a time growing up when… I would have thought this legendary car – the Lamborghini Diablo SV – would be considered ‘iconic’.

Aswani with one of his previous Lamborghini models, the Murcielago LP670-4 SV, on display at the 2014 Singapore Airlines Light Up The Night Carnival during Formula One

This is so important to me because… while the new hypercars are amazing, the older cars are so special. I cannot replicate this feeling anymore with the new cars; I have a visceral conviction to the previous generations of Lamborghinis. With the new safety rules, emission regulations and all, the makes are now different. The older Lamborghinis were hand-built. The Diablo’s roaring V12 engine was designed by the ingenious automobile engineer Giotto Bizzarrini and is just a few inches behind your neck. You can’t have a proper conversation with the passenger without getting a sore throat. Your arms will get a workout from driving it and you don’t have to do a leg press at the gym either because the clutch weighs a ton. If you are above 5’ 10”, your head will be touching the headliner and your back will ache after a good 45 minutes’ drive — and this is exactly how a proper race car built for the roads should feel.

Those who want comfort can buy a Sports Mercedes-Benz or a Bentley Continental GT. With older models like the Diablo, there are no safety nets like traction control to help you drive. But you are being strapped into a very proper Italian muscle car with race straps and cocooned by a beautifully crafted body designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini. It is just a pure, raw Italian race car built for the big open highways where it truly belongs. Its legs are long enough to take you over 300km/h if you have a big enough heart, and technically, even to the moon and back within a day. The V12 heart of this engine is just huge.

Aswani’s factory visit with the Chief Test Driver of Lamborghini, Valentino Balboni, back in 2008 just before the legend retired.

I love it because… they just don’t build them like they used to. Especially with the “analog” Lamborghinis, you don’t just own another supercar, you are owning a piece of Lamborghini history. The last “analog” Lamborghini of its kind is the legendary Diablo. And my Diablo SV is the last one to roll out of the factory out of around 100 built — which appeals to collectors because it’s already earned its rights being a collector’s item.

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