A Lamborghini GT1 homage so good, even the original Murciélago designer approves

A racecar on the road. Yes, there are all sorts of reasons why it’ll be impractical, but you can’t help but be seduced by the charms of a sleek, purposeful racing machine driving on the streets...

Back in March 2015, Phil Morrison, co-founder of legendary British tuning company Driftworks, purchased a rather tired Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 E-Gear. Phil famously can’t leave cars alone: previous projects have included the first V10-powered E46 BMW M3 in the UK and a screaming E30 M3 track car that runs a 430bhp, S65 V8 engine and seven-speed DCT gearbox from the E92.

Move forward to 2017 and Phil’s brain was whirring. Having researched the relatively small amount of race history attributed to the Murciélago, a plan was made to create a homage inspired by the Reiter Engineering R-GT GT1 race cars that raced at Le Mans. The internet is a wonderful place and thanks to newfound friends all around the world, information, photos and even original parts were sourced to help bring this epic project together.

The main build started in 2018. First, the E-Gear system was removed in favour of a manual gearbox and the quad throttle bodies were replaced by a fully independent setup. Phil is the first to admit he “completed the internet” when researching the race cars, and there was one in particular he just couldn’t get out of his mind. “My favourite of all the R-GT cars is the pre-livery GT1 Le Mans-spec car in dark metallic grey, seen at the Salzburgring testing in 2007. This to me was one of the best-looking race cars I’d ever seen”. 

The bodywork actually features some panels from a 2008 Le Mans car; the big challenge was fitting them to a standard body. Phil adds: “There was a huge amount of fabrication that needed doing just on the parts you don’t see. Then,we had to completely redesign from the door to front wing and the wings themselves. Blending the R-GT and standard LP640 sideskirts, making our own design, wider rear quarters, and so much more”.

Since images of the car were revealed to the world last week, Luc Donckerwolke, the designer of both the Murciélago and its R-GT variants, has been in touch with Phil, commending him on the amazing results of this insane project. Don’t expect this car to remain untouched; as more information is uncovered, I have no doubt the car will continue to be developed and I can’t wait to see it on the road.

Phil would particularly like to say thank you to his team at Driftworks, as well as Dynotorque, TJR Bodyworx, Emerald, 3SDM and Reiter Engineering.

Photos: GF Williams © 2021