Monterey, Jet Center
12 August 2004
This lot is offered without a reserve
1974 LAMBORGHINI LP400 COUNTACH
Chassis No. See text
Engine No. 1120004
Red with black leather interior
Engine: see text; Gearbox: five speed manual; Suspension: independent, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers all round; Brakes: Girling ventilated discs all round. Left hand drive.
The Countach was first exhibited as a concept car at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Although this prototype had a 5 Litre engine, it eventually went into production three years later as the LP 400 with the 4 liter Miura SV engine longitudinally mounted in the rear, only now with the transmission ahead of the engine and differential shaft-driven through the sump to the rear.
The bodywork for the Lamborghini was made from aluminum around a complex tubular frame and sculpted, like its predecessor, by Bertone. This evolved from the wildly futuristic 1971 prototype into a progressively wider, and angular car, gaining an adjustable rear spoiler which would become characteristic of the model, and outlasting contemporaries like the Ferrari Daytona and Maserati Bora.
Offered for sale direct from the museum to which it was donated in 1999, this particular Countach is somewhat of a sad and confusing example that fell victim to the 1980s. In keeping with the engine number that is clearly stamped on the cylinder head (1120004), the paperwork file relates to the chassis also sharing this same number. As such, it would attribute the car to the first year of Countach production (1974) when it is reputed that just 23 examples of the Countach were made, all of which numbered with odd numbers thus making 1120004 the second earliest production Countach. At the time of cataloguing, we have been unable to locate the number 1120004 elsewhere on the vehicle.
A hand made plaque on the centre console just behind the shift lever is inscribed Countach SV Chassis # 11-20005 built for R. Rusie. Indeed it was Mr Rusie, an East coast businessman, who entrusted the hugely respected specialist Bob Wallace Cars, Inc of Phoenix Arizona to carry out the modifications which the car retains to this day. Between 1980 and 1983 various work was commissioned including significant visual modification and of particular note the engine was fitted with twin turbochargers and appropriate ancillaries to cope with the increased power output. In the history file there is no further documentation until 1999 when the car was donated to the museum where it has resided since.
Condition of the car is such that we are regarding this Countach as a restoration project. Whilst the engine has been run and we have no doubt that with some recommissioning the car could be used in current guise, it must be infinitely more attractive as an early LP400. Viewing of both the car and history file is deemed essential with this lot and prospective buyers should be wholly satisfied with their own findings prior to the sale.
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This lot is offered without reserve.
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