My Car Quest

February 28, 2020

My Car Adventure – Lamborghini Gallardo

by Mike –

Every since I saw the Lamborghini Gallardo (pronounced ga-yar-doh) for the first time I have wanted one. My desire for a car starts with the looks but the car must be able to back up those looks with performance and technology. The Gallardo indeed does back up the beautiful style with stellar performance.

Lamborghini Gallardo

Powered by a mid-engine 5-liter V10 producing 500 + hp, depending on the year and model, just getting behind the wheel and starting up a Gallardo is an adrenaline producing experience not to be forgotten. The Gallardo comes equipped with either a six-speed manual or the Lamborghini E-Gear (paddle shift) transmission.

Italdesign-Giugiaro did the initial styling of the first Gallardo, the 2004 model. Fabrizio Giugiaro drew the original sketches, but the car was then restyled by Luc Donckerwolke, the same Lamborghini designer who styled the Murciélago.

Lamborghini Gallardo Loaner

About twelve years ago I was offered the use of a new Lamborghini Gallardo for a few days by the local Lamborghini dealer. They made the offer because I had agreed to trade in one of my cars for a new one (not a Lamborghini).

Lamborghini Gallardo

My new car, still on the boat, was a few days away from arriving when the salesman called and said he needed my trade in car right away because he had sold it and he wanted to close the deal before the buyer changed their mind. I told him that this was my daily driver and I needed it. He then offered an extended demo of either an Aston Martin DB9 or the Lamborghini Gallardo just so I would not have to hitch rides around town. I jumped at the chance to spend a few days with the Gallardo.

Lamborghini Gallardo

My good friend, Michael Menetto, and I drove the Gallardo with an E-Gear transmission all around the Santa Cruz Mountains for a few days.

During this Lamborghini adventure:

* Every where we stopped we drew a crowd of car lovers who wanted to look at the Lamborghini – this was when the Gallardo was a rare sight, even in Northern California.

Michael Menetto and the Lamborghini Gallardo

Michael Menetto and the Lamborghini Gallardo

* We were followed by the police in a small town into a gas station (they just wanted to look at the car). Fortunately they did not see us speeding and I am not admitting that I did speed.

* Despite the previously mentioned gas station stop we ran out of gas; when a Gallardo gas gauge says 1/8th of a tank it really means empty. This same thing happened to Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear in what looked like an identical Lamborghini, even the same orange color.

We were driving up Highway 9 out of Santa Cruz toward Skyline Boulevard, I could feel the sputter of the engine and I knew we were likely running out of gas (not a good feeling especially on a mountain road with few turn offs). Fortunately we made it to Skyline, turned left and immediately came upon a wide area on the side of the road and I pulled over knowing we could not make it any further.

Mike Gulett and the Lamborghini Gallardo

Mike Gulett and the Lamborghini Gallardo

Cell phone connections are not very good in the mountains and when I called my wife to ask for help with the empty gas tank situation I did not know if she would come save us or not.

She did drive up to rescue us and by the time she arrived we were on the way to the gas station north on Skyline Boulevard driven there by a nice couple who stopped to look at the Gallardo, another Lamborghini advantage. My wife waited with the Lamborghini (being the only orange Gallardo on the road she assumed it was ours) and when we returned with the gas we discovered that the gas container spout would not fit in the Gallardo gas filler opening, which was only about one inch or so in diameter. Fortunately my wife had a plastic water bottle with an opening that would fit in the Gallardo opening and Michael Menetto had a pocket knife to cut the plastic bottle in half, which allowed us to turn the bottle into a funnel for the gas.

We were saved and we drove straight to the gas station to add more gas to the Gallardo and return the gas can to the station owner and claim our $20 deposit on the gas container.

* We covered more than 250 miles in this Gallardo in two days of driving going nowhere, arriving very quickly and in style.

* I still want a Gallardo.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Lamborghini Logo

Lamborghini Logo

My Car Adventure - Lamborghini Gallardo
Article Name
My Car Adventure - Lamborghini Gallardo
Despite a gas station stop we ran out of gas; when a Lamborghini Gallardo gas gauge says 1/8th of a tank it really means empty.


  1. As the first in the world to be an owner of both a Ferrari and Lamborghini franchise, I knew my friends and customers would all ask the inevitable “which is better, Ferrari or Lamborghini?” So I bought a 2004 Gallardo for my personal use. At the same time I also owned multiple Ferrari’s. I loved the look of the Gallardo, and I soon experienced the benefits of owning a car with great Italian design, backed by German engineering and quality.

    I drove the Gallardo hard, drove it to track days and Drove it hard on the track, then drove home many, many times with no problems whatsoever! I drove it the rain, in the snow, across the desert from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas, ran it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, tracked the Gallardo, then drove back to Santa Barbara.

    Drove the Gallardo back to the DC area, and continued to drive the car hard. Used it as an everyday driver, driving in rush hour traffic, lots of stop and go, etc. overall put nearly 30,000 miles on the car without any problems. The clutch was fine. The Gallardo seemed to need to be driven hard. I actually pushed the car beyond redline a number of times, drove on bad road surfaces, and tracked the car in an attempt to see if the car would break!!

    In the end I was able to tell friends and customers that I found the Gallardo to be nearly unbreakable! I only let the Gallardo go when I took delivery of one of the first Huracan’s to arrive in the US.

    • SS,

      Very interesting. I owned a Ferrari 360 Modena with the F1 transmission for a few years in 2000-2003 or so – before the Gallardo was introduced. I drove it a lot (a few thousand miles) and it was nearly a daily driver. I liked the 360 but grew tired of the F1 transmission. I loved the E-Gear Gallardo transmission (I know it was a few years later than the Ferrari transmission) but it is a paddle shift transmission that I could love on a sports car. The Gallardo also has much more power and torque than the 360 and the sound of that V10 is awesome. After the 360 I drove a Ferrari 550 Maranello daily for one year and did love that car and the manual 6-speed transmission.

Speak Your Mind