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1984 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S by Bertone

€300,000 - €350,000 EUR

Lot Location: Paris, France

RM | Sotheby's - PARIS 13 FEBRUARY 2021


Chassis No.
ZA9C00500ELA12740

Documents: Cancelled German Fahrzeugbrief

  • Finished in its original colours of Bianco paintwork over Bianco leather
  • European delivery example, delivered new to Monaco
  • Well-kept by Californian owners until 2013, when purchased by the consignor
Please note this car is titled as 1985.

“Hide the women and the kids…There’s a Lamborghini Countach 5000S on the loose, looking for heads to turn”. Car and Driver, 1983.

Although the original LP400 Countach had been striking with its combination of angular lines and wedge-shaped bodywork, it was an automotive introvert when compared to the LP400 ‘S’ that appeared in 1978, subsequently becoming the LP500 S in 1982. Sporting extravagant flaring to the wheel arches to accommodate the widest rear wheels ever fitted to a road car and an optional arrow shaped rear wing, it took the Countach from a design language disrupter to the pin-up of choice for an entire generation of car-mad teenagers.

The biggest change for the ‘5000S’ was underneath the rear engine cover where the V-12 was enlarged from 3,929 cc to 4,754 cc and fed by six dual throat 45 DCOE side-draught Weber carburetors. Although power remained the same at 375 bhp, it arrived 1,000 rpm earlier at 7,000 rpm and peak torque grew from 266 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm to 302 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. These increases lowered the 0-60 mph time to 5.6 seconds and increased top speed to 164 mph, which enabled it to compete on a level playing field in the performance stakes with its main rival, the Ferrari 512 BB.

This Countach was purchased by its current owner in 2015, acquiring the car in California and exporting it back to Europe shortly thereafter. It was originally delivered in 1984 to Monaco in its very 1980’s colour scheme Bianco over Bianco, but subsequently exported to the United States. Its DOT federalisation plate and California BAR sticker suggest that it may have always resided in the Golden State. The accompanying CARFAX report from its time in California shows it was initially registered in 1996 at the latest, and also shows a potential odometer rollback in 2004.

Its previous owner acquired the car in 2013 and proceeded to spend in excess of $30,000 on mechanical work, which included a full engine-out overhaul, new clutch and a myriad of sundry tasks to bring the car into a very presentable state. All of the work was carried out by the well-known specialists at Fast Cars of Redondo Beach and is documented in great detail in the history file. It is noted a previous sales description, of which a copy resides in the file, that the car was in very good condition cosmetically, especially inside where the interior was said to have been excellent and recently completely retrimmed.

Since being brought to Europe in early 2016, it has benefitted from further fettling at marque specialist Top Motors, with invoices in the file showing that the car was fully prepped in June 2016 during which, in addition to the routine service, the gearbox was removed and rebuilt with new seals and synchros, the front and rear suspension refreshed with new bushings and shock absorbers, the wheel bearings replaced, the fuel tank removed for treating and the carburetors cleaned. At around the same time, it was shod with brand new set of Pirelli tyres all round.

It has been lightly used since this work was carried out, covering just 300 km and last serviced in 2019. Painted in its factory correct specification of Bianco by Biondy e Parini and with Bianco interior it is stunning to behold, guaranteed to turn heads and still able to make even the most exotic modern machinery look conservative. This is the ultimate carbureted Countach and a 1980s icon.

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