Auctions and Brokerage
*Please note this vehicle is titled 1975. Please also note that neither a tool kit nor a jack, as pictured in the online catalogue, accompanies the sale of this car.
Innocenti, Milan, Italy (delivered new July 26, 1974)Gordon Apker, Seattle, Washington (acquired circa 1980)Current Owner (acquired from the above in November 1988)
Triumphantly unveiled at Geneva in 1971, Lamborghini’s Marcello Gandinide signed Countach LP500 prototype was the automotive manifestation of a Piedmontese expression for total disbelief. Dramatic and otherworldly, the Countach left most – if not all – onlookers speechless. The same effect continues today.
The LP500 was developed into the LP400 for production, which debuted at Geneva in 1973. Basic styling and layout remained unchanged with several key revisions. Giotto Bizzarrini’s raucous 5.0-liter V-12 engine was downsized to 4.0 liters and civilized somewhat to a still-potent 375 hp. Bob Wallace, Lamborghini’s development driver and engineer, contributed chassis revisions and a switch to aluminum body panels. Belgium’s Glaverbel supplied lightweight glass, and magnesium replaced heavier metals. Engine cooling was enhanced by aggressive air boxes feeding relocated radiators and functional NACA ducts were added. Other updates included small side windows, revised taillamps, and Stewart-Warner analog gauges.
The rearward visibility was improved by a periscope-type rear-view mirror, lending the “Periscopo” nickname to the initial production batch. Deliveries commenced in 1974 and just 150 LP400s were built before the LP400S arrived in 1978, making these early models particularly rare and desirable.
This early LP400 Countach Periscopo offered here bears chassis no. 1120010. The “112” references the factory’s “Project 112” internal designation for the Countach and the “0010” is the vehicle’s serial number. Factory records indicate that this particular example was the sixth LP400 constructed. While completed on July 5, 1974, the Periscopo was delivered new on July 26, 1974, through Milanese Lamborghini dealer Achilli Motors in Rosso Chiaro (Light Red) with a black interior. Records further indicate the car’s first owner as Innocenti, the famed Italian auto conglomerate. Given the car’s early build, this was no doubt an important client to Lamborghini, as the Innocenti family had previously purchased a Miura SV for Gianfranco Innocenti.
Eventually the Countach was imported to the US and, circa 1980, Gordon Apker acquired 1120010 from a small Ferrari dealer in Seattle. Mr. Apker drove the Countach approximately 5,000 miles, and the Lamborghini was a frequent sight at local displays and Make-A-Wish Foundation events. In November 1988, having lusted after the car for some time, the consignor acquired 1120010 with approximately 10,700 miles.
A Gooding & Company specialist recently reviewed the LP400 and found it to be notably untouched with the interior compartment believed to be factory original. At several locations, traces of light metallic green paint were found beneath the Rosso Chiaro exterior finish, consistent with the color depicted on factory brochures in period. Given the long delay between the car’s initial completion and subsequent delivery (roughly fve days was common), the three weeks could likely have been used to change 1120010 to Rosso Chiaro for Innocenti.
Recently, the Countach received an expert and comprehensive service, including attention to the braking, fuel-delivery, and hydraulic systems. Records for this mechanical work, including compression-test results, are available for inspection. At the time of cataloguing, the odometer showed just 11,537 miles, a figure that is believed to be accurate for its existence here in the US.
Recently detailed and accompanied by a tool kit, this early-production 1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400 is a well-preserved example of these fast-rising and very rare first-generation cars. Offered as a pure, largely unrestored example, it is certainly a deserving candidate for a concours-level restoration should the next owner choose. Now over 40 years old, the Countach’s design remains modern and exciting; and this, just the sixth car produced, is surely a noteworthy example of the dawn of the supercar age. For the astute collector, this is surely an Italian supercar of note.