Lot 126

Amelia Island 2023

1983 Lamborghini Countach 5000 S by Bertone


$625,000 - $675,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • One of just 321 5000 S examples produced, and one of only 38 examples delivered new to the US market
  • First owner believed to be Chicago Bears football great Walter Payton; gifted to him by sponsor KangaROOS upon setting the NFL all-time record for career rushing yards in 1984
  • Presented in black over black trim; originally finished in Blu Acapulco over Champagne leather upholstery, one of just two 5000 S models so equipped
  • Powered by its numbers-matching rear mid-mounted, 4.8-liter V-12 capable of 370 horsepower and a sub-six-second 0-60 mph time
  • Offered with extensive documentation, including research from Marcel Wallenburg of the Countach Registry, strongly suggesting Payton’s ownership

The quintessential supercar of its era, the Lamborghini Countach needs no introduction. Marcello Gandini’s wedge shape, pop-up headlights, and showstopping scissor-hinged doors graced teenage bedroom walls and glossy magazine exposés throughout the 1980s, helping to define an entire generation of automotive enthusiasm.

Another icon who graced similar domains during the 1980s was professional football legend Walter Payton. Nicknamed “Sweetness,” Payton once held records for career rushing yards, touchdowns, carries, yards from scrimmage, all-purpose yards, among many others, and is widely viewed as one of the greatest football players of all time. Upon breaking the all-time career rushing yards record in 1984, one of Payton’s sponsors, the KangaROOS sneaker company, gifted him a brand-new, Blu Acapulco-over-Champagne Cruscotto Testa di Moro leather Lamborghini Countach 5000 S.

Payton, who played his entire career for the Chicago Bears, became well known throughout the Windy City for his dark blue Lamborghini, license plate “WP 34,” and was photographed with the car in numerous KangaROOS advertisements of the time.

The 5000 S presented here, chassis number ZA9C00500DLA12593, was built in July 1983 before being imported to the US through Rarewala Enterprises of California. Originally finished in Blu Acapulco over Champagne, it was sold to its first registered owner, an Illinois resident, in 1984. Per research by Marcel Wallenburg of the Countach Registry, only two Countach 5000 S examples were built in this specification: this car, and one other which was not built until late-1984, after Payton was gifted his.

An article from the Journal Gazette of Mattoon, Illinois dated 14 October 1987 (a scan of which is on file), later discussed Payton’s car being listed for sale at Lake Forest Sportscars displaying 19,000 kilometers and with an asking price of $79,000. Additionally, another article from the Chicago Tribune dated 22 October 1987 (also on file) references the Walter Payton Countach being listed for sale in the Robb Report. This coincides with the second CARFAX entry, which shows DLA12593’s second titled owner residing in Addison, Illinois, in December 1987 with 19,000 registered kilometers.

After its initial life in the Midwest, the car made its way to Texas before being exported to Europe sometime in the 1990s. Approximately 10 years ago, the Countach was treated to a full restoration by an owner in Germany. Work included a complete disassembly and rebuild of the engine along with a bare-metal repaint in its current shade of black. The interior was likewise refinished in black with blue piping. During the restoration, the car’s United States-specified side reflectors were filled in for a European-spec appearance. Accompanying the car is a bound album of photographs documenting the restoration.

Another fascinating piece of evidence pointing to Payton’s ownership lay in the aftermarket door speakers. Visible in KangaROOS advertisements of the period, with Peyton perched on the sill, were small speakers he had custom-installed into the door panels. As confirmed by prior owners and period photographs, this car had the same aftermarket speakers in place prior to its restoration and interior retrim.

In May 2022, the engine and gearbox were serviced by Lamborghini of Copenhagen in Denmark before the car was imported back to the United States in August 2022. Immediately following its arrival, in September 2022, it was a featured “RADwood Royalty” car at the RADwood show during the Detroit Concours. In October 2022, it was driven by the current owner over 200 miles on the Drive til Dusk Rally in upstate New York. After the rally it received a new battery, detail, paint correction, and undercarriage steam cleaning treatment. Additionally, it is offered with a space saver spare, original exhaust, and a German Fahrzeugbrief (title) from 2022.

Fascinating provenance aside, this 5000 S presents as a well-sorted example, wearing a strikingly sinister appearance—and offering the perfect avenue into Countach ownership.