Lamborghini loans an Aventador S to father and son building 3D-printed replica

Jonathon Ramsey

In October we shared the story of Sterling Backus, the physicist in Erie, Colo., who was building a Lamborghini Aventador replica with his 11-year-old son Xander. In progress for nearly two years, Backus — who designs lasers as his day job — fabricated a steel chassis, sourced an LS1 V8 from a Chevrolet Corvette for power, bought lights on eBay and 3D-printed the body panels that were then encapsulated in carbon fiber. Backus and son call the coupe the Interceptor, and Sterling said he subtly changed every exterior panel to avoid legal issues with Lamborghini. The Sant'Agata automaker was paying attention to the Interceptor, though, as an exec phoned Sterling about it before Christmas. The subject of the call: Lamborghini's marketing chief wanted to know if he and Xander would like to borrow an Aventador S for a couple of weeks and shoot a video.

The Italian automaker has been known to go on hunts for deep-down Lamborghini fans. Last year Lamborghini had a surprise for one lucky kid going Christmas shopping at a store in Italy; kids that said they wanted a model Lamborghini were told the store was out, and almost all the kids accepted a different model instead. One child made it clear he didn't want a substitute if he couldn't have the Lamborghini, so he not only got a the model he wanted, he got it delivered in a Lamborghini driven by factory driver Marco Mapelli.

Xander's devotion to the Aventador in "Forza Horizon 3" is what compelled him to ask his father if they could build a real-life version. For that, Xander and Sterling earned Lamborghini's #RealLover distinction this year. Katia Bassi, Lamborghini's CMO, said, "Automobili Lamborghini is against any attempt at counterfeiting. However, a true story of such authentic passion deserves to be featured, which is why we chose to tell of Sterling’s and Xander’s project in our 2019 Christmas video."

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The Interceptor build continues, documented on Facebook. The senior Backus aims to turn his work it into an educational tool. "Ultimately, I want kids to get interested in STEM, and this is a great platform for it because of all the disciplines involved in a project like this." But after 20 months of effort, he and Xander will probably enjoy taking a holiday break in the car that started it all.

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