1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400 'Periscopio' by Bertone
Price Upon Request
- Early ‘periscopio’ example; one of approximately 150 built
- Originally delivered to Princess Dalal of Saudi Arabia
- Only three owners since new
- Retains its original engine
- Presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
- 1st in class at the Concorso Italiano in 2015
- An exceptional example of the purest, most desirable Countach
The automotive world was turned upside down when the replacement for the Lamborghini Miura was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971 in the form of the Countach LP500 Concept Car. The Countach was unlike anything else the motoring world had ever seen before. It was a complete hit, and with it, Lamborghini proved that they were here to stay as an established manufacturer.
The Countach garnered enough attention at Geneva to warrant full production, even though it was mostly a styling exercise and not production-ready at the time. Lamborghini spent the next three years revising the car for road use before unveiling the production model at Geneva in 1974.
The original Countach LP400’s impressive bodywork remained very similar to that of the original concept, but numerous changes were made to the chassis and drivetrain underneath. Lamborghini’s engineers completely redesigned the tubular chassis frame to provide greater strength, and the cooling system saw a similar level of revision, as it now utilized vertically mounted radiators that funneled air through a pair of scoops and NACA ducts. One unique feature was the car’s periscope-like rearview mirror: a section of the bodywork in the roof was cut away and replaced with glass and a rear-facing scoop to allow for some rearward visibility.
While the original LP500 concept featured a 5.0-liter engine, a more reliable 4.0-liter engine with a smaller bore was fitted to production cars. Utilizing six Weber carburetors, the original Countach produced 375 hp at 8,000 rpm. The Countach boasted a top speed of nearly 180 mph, thanks to a curb weight of just 2,860 lbs. and its slick aerodynamic silhouette.
THE PRINCESS’ COUNTACH
Chassis no. 1120238 was ordered as a birthday gift for Princess Dalal, the King Saud of Saudi Arabia’s daughter. It was finished in an extravagant two-tone color combination of her favorite color “Viola” with white accents. Lamborghini delivered the car to Princess Dalal and her husband Prince Waleed in California where he was studying before it was eventually shipped to their home in Saudi Arabia. A car fanatic who was very particular about his collection, Prince Waleed requested plastic covers over the interior to protect it from wear, resulting in a remarkably original car today.
After a few years and with approximately 4,000 km of use in Saudi Arabia, the prince moved on to different cars and sold the Countach to an associate who continued to lovingly maintain and care for the car for the next 35 years. In 1989 he had the Countach painted black by House of Colors, a much subtler color than two-tone Viola and white! The body was stripped to bare metal and allowed to properly dry, and then painted black resulting in a deep black finish that perfectly cured and has held up remarkably well. The original Campagnolo wheels were blasted and refinished, and later style mirrors were fitted to improve visibility. Even the chassis was repainted and copper rivets were used to refit the panels just as the factory did.
The previous owner regularly showed and drove 1120238 over the years with an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1993 and a 1st in class win at Concorso Italiano in 2015. Today it has just over 53,000 km, and the lovingly maintained interior remains largely original due to the covers originally fitted over the seats. In 2013, 1120238 was treated to a comprehensive three-year mechanical restoration ensuring that it is one of the most meticulously maintained and well cared for examples available. Included with the sale of this Countach are a number of photos documenting its mechanical restoration and 1989 re-paint as well as period photos of the car in its original color combination.