From political campaigns to "Veronica Mars" to the endless supply of star-crossed Nigerian princes, the Internet has made begging strangers for money a cornerstone of 21st-century economics. One man has decided to push the boundaries of online generosity by politely asking the world wide web if it would be so kind as to buy him a Lamborghini Gallardo. Why? Because it's a Lamborghini, of course.
At Help Me Get A Lambo, the would-be Italian sports car driver sets out his goal of raising enough money to buy a Lamborghini and pay for a year's worth of maintenance, fuel and insurance, with any proceeds after that going to charities if he can raise the funds by July 31. There's nothing cloying or indirect about his approach: "I want you to give me money so I can buy a Lamborghini Gallardo."
I'm just a guy in his 20s who lives in New York, where I work for a non-profit. I went to a top university and this job is just a temp job to pay the bills while I try to find what I love. I've always wanted a Lamborghini and the Gallardo is my dream car. Now, clearly, I can't afford this on my own, so I made this site to see if total strangers would help me make my dream come true.
The rest of his FAQ is equally straightforward and occasionally funny, reminding visitors that "I'm just a dude with a Paypal account" and advising of the many risks of giving him money: there will be no refunds, no tax deductions and that no corporate entity has backed his efforts: "I think I've made it abundantly clear that you don't get anything in return by donating. If you can't afford to donate, then don't."
In an email conversation, Mr. Free Lambo declined to reveal his real name, saying he wanted the focus to be on the effort itself. As the site's only gone live this week, he's had no donations yet, and since he hasn't settled on a particular used Gallardo he doesn't have a target posted (although his preferred LP 560-4 coupe will be hard to find outside a salvage yard for less than $150,000). And he says he'd gladly use said Gallardo for worthy causes, as long as he has the keys.
As for why he's asking the Internet for a free Lamborghini rather than, say, a free Kia Rio: "I think many people can identify with dreaming about owning an exotic supercar. Lamborghinis are what are on the posters that kids hang on their walls. While the M3 is probably my favorite non-super car, I just didn't think asking people to help me buy a Beemer had as much of a ring to it. Plus, if I'm going to do this, I may as well go big or go home."
Even if this campaign results in the requester getting only gall instead of a Gallardo, it takes an admirable portion of marketing chutzpah to pose the question publicly at all. I would suggest that owners of free Lamborghinis tend to overestimate their driving skills and underestimate the difficulties of life with a 552-hp supercar. And if the Internet doesn't feel so generous, there's always a way to have that Lamborghini shape in your driveway for a fraction of the cost.