Why, you ask? How? The answer is surprisingly stupid.
Fire marshals at the show, quite reasonably, won't let any car enter the building with more than a quarter-tank of fuel. The Gallardo attempted to enter with an undisclosed greater amount, however, and was refused. Makes good sense so far.
That's when the story gets stupid. Instead of figuring a way to extract the fuel from the tank, taking it for a quick 50-mile spin, or just swapping it for another Gallardo, the display staff decided it'd be a good idea to just sit in the car and rev it to redline in neutral. Not so good for the car, but, in a pinch, excusable--perhaps.
The person behind the wheel soon grew tired of the limiter-popping, however, and decided to automate the process with a piece of wood lodged between the seat and the gas pedal.
Yes, a piece of wood. After sitting idle at full song for several minutes, the completely predictable, inevitable, and foreseeable occurred: it overheated and caught fire. It was immediately loaded on a truck and removed from the scene.
Chalk up another win for idiots, another loss for exotic sports cars. [Sigh].
Photo credit: Lary Coppola.
Lamborghini Gallardo on fire at 2012 Portland Auto Show. Photo credit Larry Coppola.