DIY Lambo That Made The Real Lamborghini Take Notice

When you start sharing your projects with the world, you never know who might take notice. [Sterling Backus] and his son [Xander] have been building a functional Lamborghini Aventador look alike in their garage, and the real Lamborghini company caught wind of it and decided to turn it into an awesome Christmas ad.

Named the AXAS Interceptor by its creators, the car is built from scratch around a custom tubular space frame chassis. Most of the body panels are 3D printed and then skinned with carbon fibre, with a few sheet metal panels mixed in. The interior is mix of parts from other cars and aftermarket components, with 3D printing to pull everything together. The drivetrain consists of an engine from a Corvette, a transaxle from a Porsche 996, with the rest of the chassis components being either aftermarket or custom-fabricated pieces.

[Sterling] got an unexpectedcall from Lamborghini, and they arranged to secretly sneak a real Aventador into the garage in the dead of night to surprise the rest of the family, and let them borrow it for a few weeks. Lamborghini got some marketing out of it, which most people would probably agree is a pretty good deal. We would admit that we’re quite envious.

The car is driveable, but still many hours from being complete. [Sterling] admits that he is no car building professional, but we’re impressed by what he has been able to achieve so far with this ambitious project, and we’re looking forward to the finished product.

If you want to get your feet wet with your first project car, here’s how you pick one.


33 thoughts on “DIY Lambo That Made The Real Lamborghini Take Notice

  1. That top picture looks like a lambo that’s been in a bad accident with an even worse bondo rescue attempt. But he keeps at it and it will be a thing of pride and beauty.

  2. Credit where it’s due, it’s an amazingly impressive build so far. But I have to take issue with their “marketing” it as a 3D printed car, which is what all the news outlets picked up on. It’s just a bit misleading. One instance I saw, he posts a video titled “3D Printed Interceptor Interior bits”, showing a REAL center console he PURCHASED. There was no 3D printing at all. In another, he shows more factory parts he bought used, someone asks him how many nozzles he’s gone through and he says 5 or 6 or whatever, not clarifying that the part he was showing was NOT 3D printed when the people commenting were clearly misunderstanding that.

    Again, the frame/chassis is absolutely impressive. It just bothers me when people misrepresent something because it’s more likely to increase publicity. If 3D printing wasn’t mentioned, or if it was accurately described, it would never have garnered the publicity it has.

  3. When I saw this the first thing I thought of was the kid’s response: “can I have the car my dad and I built back?” Other than that it was a nice change in response from other manufactures responding to a ‘clone’ or look alike…

    1. I was thinking this too! “They took my awesome home-built car, before I was even done!” As a kid, I would have looked sad before I looked happy.

      Because it’s about a thousand times cooler to build a car than to fix up a junker, which is in turn a thousand times cooler than to just go out and buy something. There’s no _pride_ in just buying something.

      Still, I’d take the car rental for two weeks, especially if I get my project back. :)

      And as everyone else is saying, this is a ton cooler than issuing a cease-and-desist.

      But still and ad. I see the fnords.

  4. Wow! I think this is an awesome and beautiful response of Lamborghini to a maker doing a replica or clone. Instead of accusing him for a (potential?) copyright infringement, Lamborghini took it as an opportunity to promote their brand in a unique, positive and creative way. Very well done! Both on he maker side (I’m truely impressed by that replica) and by the company Lamborghini (they have not replaced their creative people with lawyers). And indeed it is a nice change in response from a manufacturer compared to what happened with and other maker projects.

      1. I’m not a laywer, but imho: Patents are one thing, copyright another. I’m sure Lamgorghini has lots of patents which are technical descipriptions of how things work. And yes, there are many questionable patents in the world too. But Lamborghini (very likely) has a ‘Copyright’ on their design, how the car looks, how it feels, etc. As soon as do a ‘clone’ or ‘copy’ an existing design, you might get a nasty lawyerly letter about a ‘copyright infringement’. Even if this is just for a hobby or yourself, and even if you are not making any business, and not making the construction details available or public: you are a target for lawyers as a maker. I admired Lamborghini, and now even more the way how they have reacted on this maker here.

          1. (legal disclaimer: this is not a legal advice ;-) )

            For me “copyright” ist different from “trademark”.

            A copyright is established at the time you do something ‘creative’. For example I have the copyright of the text I’m typing up here. I have the copyright as I did it. No need to file anything or register anything.

            “Trademark” is different that you have to actively register it and ‘Trademark’ it to protect it. You can trademark logos/names/etc to prevent someone using it, as long that name/logo is creative enough. Check the bottom of this web page: ‘Hackaday’ and the Skull and Wrenches are claimed trademarks, and they even might force me to use it as Hackday(TM) or Hackaday(R). Clearly I cannot start a business with the name ‘Hackaday’ or use their logo without their permission, on anything.
            Can I put that skull logo on a maker thing and show that I am a fan of Hackaday? Legally (imho) I have to ask, and if Hackaday would be nasty they could sue me.

            It all gets very awkward if lawyers get involved.

          2. Just to be a smarty-pants: Are you sure you have to register a trademark? I thought the circle with the R in the middle was for a registered trade mark, and the TM was for a trademark, registered or not. Naturally if you register your trademark you have another official instance to use in case your trademark is infringed upon, however I didn’t think it was absolutely necessary to do so – just prudent if you really want to defend your trademark. Any patent attorneys here (or whomever would know the law)?

        1. I’m pretty sure the issue here would be a “design patent”, but I’m absolutely positive that nothing useful ever results from amateurs trying to figure out intellectual property law based on a mix of their experience of the world around them, and well-meaning ethical principles.

          It’s such a thing unto itself… there’s no point in speculating, there’s no useful or relevant information that can arise this way! You can espouse your ideals, for all they’re worth. But if money’s involved you need an actual lawyer, a specialist in the field, and the specific subfield of that field, if you want to get anywhere. It’s why lawyers can charge so much, they know their onions in a completely unintuitive and often paradoxical field.

          Lambo could probably have taken the bloke’s kids into slavery and you or me wouldn’t be able to put together a single sentence against it.

      2. Not in any way, shape or form defending corporate (ab)use of the patent system, but I honestly don’t think US companies would have had an issue with this either for one simple and critical reason: he’s not using the car/build to promote a business or producing it to sell. I suppose that’s two reasons… in any case there are no laws that prohibit someone from replicating any product for *personal use*. It’s when they use someone else’s trademark/trade dress/copyright to sell, in their own products or as a means to promote their own business that legitimate issues arise.

        Not saying US companies would have been as cool as Lamborghini, but I don’t think they would have sicked their lawyers on the guy either, and it wouldn’t have surprised me if they saw it for the same publicity goldmine that Lamborghini did.

        1. This reminds me of the issues YouTuber Samcrac had with rebuilding his salvaged Domino DXP car – Dominos insisted he cease and desist because the car had their logo on it. Or the time Deadmau5 built his nyan-cat inspired “purrari” and was also sent a cease and desist letter. Both of these cases were trademark issues, but I struggle to understand what Samcrac is selling or promoting with his pizza car rebuild – other than YouTube video views. Deadmau5 didn’t seem to be using his car to promote his brand either. So apparently car (and pizza) companies are willing to take legal action against personal use of their products.

    1. I’ve got to agree with you on that one Erich, it’s great to see such an intelligent response from Lamborghini. That’s the difference between entrepreneurial and protectionist thinking.
      I’m surprised they didn’t make a job offer.

  5. I like the self-made car better. Its looks suit me. The “real thing” is … meh. But hats off to Lamborghini for their reaction and treatment of the “infringers”. If more companies would behave like this, the world might be a much nicer place to live in.

  6. The only thing you need to build a not-so-great copy of an Aventador is a large garage fitted with a car lift and various tools that would put real auto shops around to world to shame.

    Nah, cool story. Though it could have done without the Coca Cola ad vibe.

  7. To me this was about a father/son bonding doing something together. As someone where my father deserted us when I was a baby, I appreciate a father that shared a love of building things together. I have tried to do that with my kids and now grand kids. Great story.

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