Single owner since 1978, fewer than 16,500km from new
1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 'Periscopica'
Chassis no. 1120066
Engine no. 1120070
3,929cc DOHC V12 Engine
Six Weber Carburetors
375bhp at 8,000rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Exceptionally well presented 'Periscopica' Countach
*Same owner since 1978 and just under 16,500 kilometers from new
*Presented in the original color combination
*One of just 150 built
*A beautifully preserved, unrestored example
The Lamborghini Countach
The legendary Miura was always going to be a hard act to follow, so the extent to which its successor eclipsed the greatest of 1960s supercars came as something of a shock to all. The sensation of the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled, like its predecessor, by Bertone's Marcello Gandini. The origin of the car's nickname is both well-known and unclear. The person who bursted 'countach!' on first seeing the new Lamborghini is unknown, but in the Piedmontese dialect expression, it roughly means; 'holy smokes!' and pretty much explains the car to most. As Motor magazine observed, "few people gazing at the original Bertone Countach at Geneva in 1971 could have regarded it as anything but a "show" car. There were those fold-up doors for a start and the space-age cockpit with its abysmal rear visibility not to mention the strange engine/transmission configuration." Happily, Lamborghini disregarded criticism, and boldly the Countach entered production with only minor details changed.
The Miura's four-cam V12 was retained for the Countach, though this time installed longitudinally and equipped with side-draught Weber carburetors. To achieve optimum weight distribution, designer Paolo Stanzani placed the five-speed gearbox ahead of the engine between the seats, and the differentialdriven by a shaft passing through the sumpat the rear. The result was a delightful gear change and a better-balanced car than the Miura. When production began in 1974, the Countach sported an improved chassis and the standard 4.0-liter instead of the prototype's 5.0-liter engine. Even with the smaller engine producing 'only' 375bhp, the aerodynamically efficient Countach could achieve 170mph and, naturally, roadholding to match. Designated 'LP400' (LP = Longitudinale Posteriore) by the factory, the first Countach is commonly known as the 'Periscopica' after its central periscope, faired into the roof, which provided rearward vision.
Just 150 of these early Periscopica Countachs were built between 1974 and 1977, and they remain the absolute purest iteration of what would become Lamborghini's signature design profile until this day. This landmark design pioneered and popularized the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look of the modern-era supercar a very memorable mark in the automotive historical timeline.
The Motorcar Offered
The exceptional example of Lamborghini's original LP400 'Periscopica' Countach offered here, chassis no. 1120066, was produced in the model's second production year, 1975. The car was finished by the factory as seen today, in Blu Tahiti over a Naturale (light tan) leather. As all LP400's, 1120066 was fitted with a kilometers per hour speedometer and Celsius temperature gauges. Interestingly, the car is fitted with engine 1120070 (engine 1120066 resides in chassis no. 1120062). According to Lamborghini authority Valentino Balboni, it was not uncommon that technical issues, such as delays on the dynamometer or, most often, delivery urgencies, would result in the first available engine being selected and installedbut no corresponding correction would be made to the already installed serial number plate. As such, according to Balboni, there are "known reasons to consider engine number 1120070 [as] originally fitted by the manufacturer in chassis 1120066." The fact that the car has never been separated from its engine in the 36 years that it has been in the care of the present owner further corroborate this.
Delivered new to Zurich, Switzerland in March of 1975, the current owner acquired 1120066 from the Auto Palace in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1978. Having recently acquired another LP400, a dark blue example that he had purchased in Toronto and driven to the Auto Palace to have homologated, he was smitten by this striking light blue example that was sitting in their showroom and quickly ended up owning both cars. Excited with his new car, he later recounted the story of when he picked up his 7th grade son from school in the Lamboa stunt the youngster was a bit shy about given that his classmates must have ribbed him for being collected by, what appeared like, a futuristic spaceship.
For decades, both Countaches resided in the owner's garage with minimal use, first in Ohio and later in Florida, along with a 1972 Porsche 911T, all the while being assiduously maintained. Having two examples became gratuitous, resulting in the sale of the dark blue Countach over a decade ago. Between the limited practicality of the machine and the busy work schedule of its keeper, fewer than 16,500 original kilometers have been enjoyed in 1120066 over the last nearly four decades.
Never shown publicly and rarely seen since being acquired, 1120066 appears today as a veritable time capsulea beautifully original 'Periscopica'. Inside, its seats and console show minimal wear. All of its original fixtures, such as its Phillips stereo and factory climate controls, are still in place looking virtually new. The gauges and Christmas tree warning lights are similarly untouched. Outside, the original Campagnolo wheels are fitted with a new set of Michelin XWX tires that were fitted about a year ago. In the front trunk, the never-used spare sits under the original tool set. Open the engine compartment and you are rewarded with a nicely detailed piece of Italian engineering, with only a few areas of paint loss to give away the fact that this car was built during the Nixon administration. When placed on a lift, the underside is revealed to be very clean, with minimal wear commensurate with age. The doors and front and rear lids all fit as they did when the car left Santa'Agata. Most recently, a full repaint of the exterior in the original Blu Tahiti was completed to alleviate the deleterious effects of the last 40 years. The original paint was retained in the doorjambs and under the trunk and engine lids.
With its fewer than 16,500 original kilometers and its long-term owner's meticulous maintenance, 1120066 must be one of the most original LP400s around today. The car presents as a low mileage, correct examplesurely the best way to buy one of these delicate thoroughbreds. With its original engine intact and its original color combination preserved, the 1120066 has been spared of alterations or later-model spoiler and wing upgrades. An iconic car for its era, the Countach ushered in the era of the modern supercar, and here is an exceptional example of the original Countach.
- A recent drive has revealed that the speedometer and odometer on this Countach are not currently operational.
The vendor reports that in the last two decades the car has not been driven but maintained to be in operational condition. Prior to being put into storage, the car was very lightly used with the vendor reporting that no more than a one or two thousand kilometers were driven during his ownership.