Monterey | Lot 108
1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400S Series I
$1,012,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
15 August 2014
- The final U.S.-delivery LP400S Series I Countach
- Only 864 actual kilometers
- Single-family ownership since new
- Extraordinarily original and well preserved
- Original tools, spare, and delivery paperwork
375 bhp, 3,929 cc DOHC V-12 engine with six Weber horizontal two-barrel carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, unequal length A-arm front suspension with coil springs and an anti-roll bar, upper lateral-link rear suspension with lower A-arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5 in.
This title is in transit.
It is easy to forget how earthshaking the Lamborghini Countach was at its introduction at Geneva in 1971. Marcello Gandini’s design literally made the mold from which nearly every supercar would be modeled after for the next two decades: a sleek flying wedge, short but wide, impossibly low to the ground, with a mid-mounted engine and upward-opening “scissor doors.” In the United States particularly, where the streets were still filled with muscle cars and full-sized sedans, it resembled nothing less than a road going spaceship.
The Countach had lost none of its power to astonish when the production version, the LP400, debuted in 1974. Four years later, the company introduced the second variant of the model, the LP400S. This model added wider Pirelli tires that were covered in muscular but subtle arches. Three distinct series of LP400S were produced, with the first two series retaining ground-hugging low suspension and much of Gandini’s original beauty. Most desirable of all these was the initial Series I, a limited run of 50 cars that were equipped with the famous Campagnolo Bravo wheels, which were lovingly nicknamed “telephone dials” by enthusiasts.
The last Series I LP400S built was chassis number 1121100, a right-hand-drive car delivered to the United Kingdom. The car offered here, chassis number 1121098, was built immediately prior, and thus, it is the last left-hand-drive, U.S.-delivery Series I built.
The paperwork that accompanies the car tells its story. It was finished not in red or white but in a spectacular and seldom-seen shade called Rame Colorado (Colorado Copper); this was the same color used on the Countach that paced the 1980 Monaco Grand Prix. The car was also equipped with special-order upholstery and an early use of the concave disc wheels, which were shod in P7 tires.It was imported to the United States on February 26, 1980, and it was sold a year later, on March 17, 1981, by Auto Palace Sales, of Pittsburgh. The car’s price when new was $95,000, all in.
From Pittsburgh, the Countach made its journey to its new home on a transporter, and there it has remained, owned by its original owner and his family, ever since. It was stored with scarcely more miles than it had when delivered, and today, it records 864 kilometers, or about 537 miles, from new. Incredibly, the car has never been road-registered, it still has its Euro-spec 45-millimeter Weber carburetors, and it is still on its “EE” export plates, which were installed by the factory on automobiles that were being sold out of Italy. Almost all of these were changed out for dealer plates and discarded, with an exception being this Countach, which not only still has the plates, but they are still on the car!
Not surprisingly, the car’s unusual, spectacularly beautiful paint color, which is set off by a tan interior, is still deep and unfaded, with none of the road rash earned by many surviving “original examples.” The interior is similarly mint, with seats that are still tight, smooth, and soft and dashboard gauges that are clear, and it is all surrounded by crystal-clear original glass.
The Countach is accompanied by its original keys on their original fob, as well as the support booklet for the Alpine CM-630 High Fidelity stereo, which is still in its original plastic sleeve, and the aforementioned importation and sales documentation. Having been in storage essentially since new, it is advised by RM Auctions that the car be professionally inspected and serviced before being returned to the road.
For the Lamborghini enthusiast who demands purity of line and unquestioned authenticity, there is no better opportunity to own this purely original supercar.