Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Bertone
*Please note that this car will not be sold for use or resale in California or to a non-dealer California resident.
First Owner, Windsor Ontario, Canada (acquired new via Eugene Carrie in October 1975)Second Owner, United States (acquired from the above in 1978)Peter Cohen, Longwood, Florida (acquired from the above)Private Collection, New York, New York (acquired from the above in 2010)Private Collection, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (acquired from the above in 2010)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Automakers often display incredible concept cars that showcase a new technology or styling direction – then water them down when they introduce the models into dealerships. Fortunately, the Lamborghini Countach prototype, styled by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, would not be one of those cars.
Displayed at the Geneva Auto Show in 1971, the show car coupled extremely dramatic styling – an impossibly low, wedge-shaped body, and scissor doors – with the promise of rocket-ship performance through a powerful mid-mounted V-12 engine located just in front of the rear axle. The antithesis of the curvaceous automobiles designed in the decade that preceded it, including Lamborghini’s own Miura, the concept would leave showgoers astounded. At the 1973 Geneva Auto Show, the production version, now dubbed LP400 (Longitudinale Posteriore 4 Litri, or longitudinal-rear four liters), unveiled the numerous changes made to the chassis, body, and drivetrain to make the car more livable, reliable, and refined; however, it would remain faithful to the original concept.
At the insistence of development driver and engineer Bob Wallace, the tubular space-frame chassis was redesigned to provide greater strength and rigidity. The cooling system was also revised, now utilizing vertically mounted radiators that were cooled via a pair of scoops and NACA ducts to prevent overheating. The aerodynamically slippery and angular bodywork was constructed of aluminum instead of steel to reduce mass, and lightweight glass was procured from Belgium’s Glaverbel to further aid in this effort. Rearward visibility was still extremely limited through the rear deck, so a periscope-type rearview mirror was added, lending the name “Periscopica” to the initial Countach series.
The engine might have been reduced in displacement from the prototype, but, topped with six Weber carburetors, the four-liter V-12 with dual overhead camshafts per cylinder bank produced a very potent 375 bhp at 8,000 rpm. Combined with a five-speed transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the Countach was capable of a top speed of 170 mph with corresponding road-holding and high-speed stability.
This eye-catching example of the Countach in its original LP400 Periscopica form is one of less than 160 manufactured by Lamborghini between 1974 and 1977, and it is the 77th built. Originally delivered to Canadian importer Eugene Carrie in October 1975, chassis 1120154 was later imported to the US, eventually passing to marque enthusiast and long-term owner Peter Cohen of Longwood, Florida. His firm, Ultimate Motor Works – a facility renowned for the accuracy of its work and an enviable record of class victories achieved at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® – completed a two-year, comprehensive restoration of the Countach to its original condition.
During the restoration process, no area of the car was overlooked, including the exterior, interior, engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and air-conditioning, with truly stunning results. This Countach presents in its factory original Blu Tahiti exterior finish. Upon opening the iconic scissor doors, one views an interior trimmed in Bianco (White) and Blu (Blue) upholstery. Additionally, this LP400 has a pair of rectangular driving lights and a set of period-correct Michelin XWX radial tires mounted on sporting Campagnolo alloy wheels.
Few cars are as iconic or have influenced the automotive industry as much as the Lamborghini Countach. As production continued, newer and more visually complex versions were released, but many prefer the earliest, first series Periscopica models of 1974 to 1976. They have a purity and a singularity of purpose that spawned the trend of wedge-shaped supercars that continues to this day. Due to this particular car’s rarity, desirable specifications, fantastic condition, and low mileage, this Periscopica is one not to be missed.