Classic Lamborghini's come to Red Lodge - Jack Riddell shakes his head at the very thought of the last five months, the length of time it’s taken him to put together last weekend’s event which saw 22 drivers from the Lamborghini Club America take their valuable and artistic vehicles on a road trip starting in San Diego. Riddell, who grew up in Billings and graduated from Senior High, but now lives in San Diego, said the whole project was spurred on by a Canadian friend who got him to organize the trip since he was a native Montanan, and the run would be good.
Due to the hard work, and Riddell’s efforts, the response bought out an amazing collection of vehicles from Canada and at least another half a dozen states. Riddell was even surprised to find a Lamborghini owner in Columbus. Riddell has been an owner of a red 1966 400 GT 2+2 for 41 years. He originally bought it for $6,250 and now calls it his “rolling IRA’ with it valued between $250,000 - $300,000. Unfortunately Riddell’s car blew a cylinder head traveling between San Diego and Las Vegas and he’s had to “bum rides” with others. “It’s a bit embarrassing being the organizer,” he laughed.
On show at the Civic Center were some of the cream of the crop of yesteryear, a black 350 GT with a V12 engine from 1964, the first Lamborghini ever built, to a white 1969 Espada, a 1972 orange Espada and a couple of Countach 5000 QVs from 1986-87, with the flip up doors and frequently referenced in the Cannonball Run trilogy.
The group also took a trip up to Vista Point although one driver had to turn back while the others “puttered on,” said Riddell. The problem lays with the Lamborghini’s penchant for leaded gas and without the lead lubrication the driver’s have to pull the cylinder heads. “The mixture got richer the higher you got and they lose power,” said Riddell. “You have to change the cylinder heads to accommodate for this.” Audi now owns the Lamborghini brand, and makes some very “high end” vehicles but to Riddell, “they’re nothing like these old guys, these are more fun.” Riddell runs a website forum called Vintage Lamborghini Garage to share information with other owners about Lamborghinis. He started it 10 years ago with 6 members, today there are 1,112. For more photos please click here .