Unearthing a hidden treasure is everyone’s dream. Imagine stumbling upon a rare and breathtaking gem like the early Lamborghini Countach LP500 S.
The name Countach itself is derived from a risqué Piedmontese expression of shock and disbelief, perfectly capturing the revolutionary design created by Marcello Gandini.
Discovering this remarkable 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S, concealed under layers of accumulated dust, must have felt like stumbling upon an alien spacecraft in the depths of Area 51.
Although its appearance may seem otherworldly, this car was built for earthly pleasures, reminding us that mere mortals can experience the thrill of driving it on the open road.
It’s been more than 50 years since the LP500 prototype astounded the world and this model, produced later in the production run, is no less extraordinary. In fact, it is the very first LP500 S Countach ever built and was showcased prominently on Lamborghini’s stand at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show.
It’s the same car that graces the pages of the LP500 S brochure. Underneath its exterior lies Lamborghini’s legendary 4.8-litre DOHC V12 engine, generating a mighty 380 horsepower and propelling the LP500S to an impressive top speed of 182 mph.
But the story of this car doesn’t end there. After its debut in Geneva, this star found a new home in Italy with Aaron Rosen, who later shipped it to Germany before exporting it to the United States.
In 1985, the car caught the eye of Carlos Cavazo, lead guitarist for popular glam-metal band Quiet Riot. Mr. Cavazo, a rockstar both on and off the stage, replaced the car’s carburettors with BMW-style electronic fuel injection. Despite his wild reputation, he claimed to have shown restraint by pushing the car to 150mph during his ownership.
Mr. Cavazo cherished his Raging Bull for approximately 15 years before consigning it to long-term storage in Van Nuys, California.
At the time, the car had accumulated 41,100mi (66,198km) on the odometer, a number that remains unchanged to this day. Resting for more than two decades, this beautiful Countach was far from forgotten. Plans for a restoration were in the works before Franco Barbuscia’s passing in 2021.
And now, this historically significant early LP500 S is being offered in its original “as discovered” condition.
While stumbling upon barn finds is not uncommon in the classic car market, it is rare for such desirable derelict collector cars to come up for sale.
We may not be seasoned explorers of long-forgotten storage units, but even we can assure you that the discovery of such a significant example of one of history’s most celebrated supercars is an event that won’t likely be repeated in the next decade.
Despite its need for a meticulous and loving restoration, this Countach remains remarkably original and complete. Although the factory-original carburettors are no longer present, Lamborghini’s renowned test driver, Valentino Balboni, has confirmed the authenticity of this car’s heritage and early features.
Notable details include the body number “72” stamped on the boot lid and engine covers, as well as early special features such as Campagnolo cast magnesium wheels, early “5S” badging, unmounted Factory Rear Wing, and the LP400S-styled fender flares further attest to this car’s provenance.
To many, the Countach is not just a car; it is the ultimate symbol of automotive desire.
The opportunity to restore such a significant barn find is a privilege that seldom presents itself.