Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2016

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1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S

Lot No.: 414

Registration: GJK 854X
Chassis Number: 1121320
Engine Number: 1121320
Number of cylinders: 12
CC: 3829
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Sold for (£): 213,750

Designing a successor to the delicious Lamborghini Miura was something of a challenge for Marcello Gandini, however with the arrival of the 'Countach' in 1971, he demonstrated to the world that his ability to create automotive drama was alive and well.

In fact, the word 'Countach' is Piedmontese slang for something that visually shocks, and has no direct translation but 'Wow' is probably the most polite.

The first Countach appeared at the Geneva Show in 1971-the same year that 'Hot Pants' appeared on our city streets - with a similar ability to distract. Big, bright and brash like the rest of the 70s, the Countach was to remain in production, through various iterations for 15 years. With hindsight, it's clear that the car's 'flying wedge' design, sloping snout that appeared to descend directly from the windscreen and innovative 'scissor doors' became a template for every 'supercar' that followed. The original, beautifully clean profile was gradually bedecked with 'wings and things' as fashions changed over the years and frequent small mechanical changes were often the result of customer input in their capacity as 'unwitting development engineers'.

In 1977, the first major update of the Countach, the LP400S, was prompted by the arrival of Pirelli's P7 tyre which, when mounted on cast alloy Campagnolo Bravo rims (15x8.5" and 15x12") dramatically improved the car's dynamics. The surrounding bodywork, arches and spoilers all grew in size and drama. With the new wheels came larger (11") discs and shock absorbers, and the suspension geometry was redesigned to suit. Power and torque from the 3,929cc, V12 were increased (370 bhp/ 9,500 rpm and 267lbft/ 5,500 rpm) and a rear wing, which was about the size of Wales was a $5,000 optional extra. It's not a secret that the wing added weight and drag and did nothing for downforce but, hey, if you've got it-flaunt it.

The Series Three LP400S (Chassis nos. 1121312 to 1121468) was the final development before the later LP500S, the 5000 Quattrovalvole and the 25th Anniversary cars. The cockpit was a little more spacious and the ride height was raised a tad, however the neater (pre-US regs) front and rear bumpers and the classic 'telephone dial' wheels were retained.

Chassis "1121320", for sale here is a right-hand drive, LP400S-Srs.III which, we believe, was built in late 1981. Its first UK owner was Tim Dutton Wooley (of Dutton Cars fame) who acquired the car on 21/09/82 at which point it was finished in Gold and sported the optional wing. The car was sold on 08/04/87 to Steve Ashton who had the wing removed and the car fully resprayed in Dark Blue in April '89. He was obviously an enthusiast and this car features heavily with lots of references and photos in Chris Bennett's book "Lamborghini Countach" published in 1993.

A later owner was Colin Howard who re-instated the big wing and had the car professionally painted (May '98) in Lamborghini Pearl Yellow as it remains today. Although this Countach has had a number of owners (including dealers), this needn't ring alarm bells as it's accompanied by one of the most comprehensive history files we have ever seen. Nearly all of the MoTs are present, allowing for periods when it was SORN'd, and there are dozens and dozens of invoices relating to work carried out over the years. This is all far too extensive to list, however any interested parties are welcome to view the history of this car's interesting life at our office.

Our vendor has owned GJK 854X since June 2007 and it's only been used lightly for the last few years. The current indicated mileage is 61,155 km (38,221miles) and according to the MoTs, it has only covered 2,880km (1,800 miles) in his ownership.The car presents well in "brighter than a Summer's day Yellow" with black detailing and the classic 70's air-conditioned interior is in excellent Oatmeal Leather with a Black Suede dash top. Having been painted a number of years ago and with its proximity to the ground there are inevitably one or two chips and little scuffs and whilst the car is eminently usable, a new owner may choose to freshen up the paintwork.

The engine bay and baggage compartments are tidy but could do with a little detailing.

This lovely Lambo is accompanied by its V5C, an MoT until 10/06/2016 with no advisories, Drivers Handbook, the aforementioned books by Chris Bennett and David Hodges, a road test by Roberto Giordanelli and acres of service and maintenance history.

Obviously a car of this nature is not an impulse purchase and we are happy to help you with any queries. This is a fabulous piece of 1970's Road Art and is worthy of consideration, particularly as a low-mileage 1981, LP400S-Series III has recently changed hands in the International market for a substantial sum, and other LP400S' appear to be changing hands for figures well in excess of our guide price here.

It may be time to grow those Gerry Marshall sideburns and dig out those platform shoes, 15-inch Flares and Kipper Ties?

 

Video Credit : Daily Telegraph and Jon Klein