1976 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 'Periscopio'
- Two Canadian owners from new, with fascinating ownership history
- Beautifully restored to original specifications by marque specialist
- Rare early Periscopio example; retains its original engine
- Second in Class at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
THE COUNTACH PERISCOPIO
The automotive world was turned completely upside down when the replacement of the Lamborghini Miura was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971. The Countach was absolutely unlike anything on four wheels the world had ever seen before. It was a complete hit, and with it, Lamborghini proved that it was here to stay as an established manufacturer.
The car garnered enough attention at Geneva to warrant full production, even though it was mostly a styling exercise and not production-ready. Lamborghini then spent the next three years revising the car for road-use before unveiling the production version at Geneva in 1974.
The original Countach LP 400’s impressive bodywork remained very similar to that of the original concept, but numerous changes were made to the car’s chassis and drivetrain underneath. Lamborghini’s engineers completely redesigned the car’s tubular chassis frame to provide greater strength, and the cooling system saw a similar level of revision, as it now utilized vertically mounted radiators that funneled air through a pair of scoops and NACA ducts. One unique feature was the car’s periscope-like rearview mirror: a section of the bodywork in the roof was cut away and replaced with glass and a rear-facing scoop, to allow for some rearward visibility.
While the original LP 500 concept had a 5.0-liter engine, a more reliable 4.0-liter engine with a smaller bore was fitted to production cars. Utilizing six Weber carburetors, the original Countach produced 375 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. The Countach boasted a top speed of nearly 180 mph, thanks to a curb weight of just 2,860 pounds and its incredibly slick aerodynamic silhouette.
CHASSIS NUMBER 1120172
According to information sourced from Lamborghini, the Countach presented here, chassis number 1120172, is the 86th LP 400 produced. It was finished when new in the striking and desirable shade of Blu Tahiti over a Tobacco-colored interior and was fitted with air conditioning and two external rearview mirrors. The car was completed on December 22, 1975, and delivered to Carrie Eugene, the official Lamborghini dealer and importer in Canada, on January 29, 1976.
The Countach’s first owner was Paul Marshall, of Toronto, Ontario. While most original Lamborghini owners are naturally very interesting people, few were more interesting than Marshall. Though a paraplegic, Marshall did not let his disability stop him from enjoying his new Countach. Marshall had hand controls installed and drove the car frequently around his native Toronto, where the spaceship-like Countach was an otherworldly sight during the waning days of disco.
The car’s current custodian, also a resident of Toronto, purchased the Countach from Paul Marshall through a friend in the early 1990s. He continued to use the car regularly for the next few years. After purchasing a 1989 Countach, the current owner decided to place the Periscopio into static storage, following a full restoration. The Lamborghini was properly stored in a climate-controlled facility, with the fluids drained, and there it remained for the next 20 years.
After nearly two decades of storage, the Countach was awoken from its slumber to be shown to the world at concours events. Prior to its presentation, the car was entrusted to a Lamborghini specialist in Toronto to be brought back to life. Its first concours outing was then the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2013. The owner reports that the car drove wonderfully throughout the tour, and it quickly earned the judges’ admiration. On Sunday, the Countach placed Second in a hotly contested Lamborghini class. The car returned home to Canada following the show, where it has resided to this day. More recently, the Countach was featured in an episode of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, along with fellow comedian Jim Carrey.
As the earliest and rarest iteration of the iconic Countach, it is no surprise that the LP 400 Periscopio is the most desirable iteration over the model’s 16-year production run. Its design remains almost uninterrupted from that of the original concept that created such a commotion at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Today, the Countach still garners as much attention as it did when new, and this particular example is surely one of the finest in existence.
This spectacular Countach is in incredible condition throughout, including its original engine, and there is no doubt that it is ready for both further concours events and enjoyment on the open road. Furthermore, this occasion marks just the second time this Lamborghini has changed hands, making it a truly unique opportunity.
Please note that due to California emissions this vehicle will need to be purchased by a dealer or out-of-state resident.