Between 1978 and 1982, Lamborghini built a total of 235 Countach S models, also known as the Countach LP400 S because of the 4-Liter V12 engine behind the cockpit, and while these cars are now about 40 years old, they aren’t the most sought-after Countach model from the series, the original, narrow-body LP400 is at least twice as valuable these days if we check recent auction history on these amazing Bulls.
I get the appeal of the original Lamborghini Countach, but I would prefer the later versions with the ridiculously wide wheels and tires, those ‘patched on’ wheel arch extensions, that low front spoiler … and yes, that useless rear wing that slowed down the Countach and did absolutely nothing in terms of downforce.
I’m sorry, but that’s the car that made me fall in love with Lamborghini and got me into collecting scale models of these Sant’Agata beauties and made me create LamboCARS.com in the end, so give me a Countach Quattrovalvole any time of the year over an LP400.
We have the Countach S models largely thanks to Walter Wolf, he ordered two bespoke Countach models to match his Formula One boss flair, the famous red car with wide wheels and rear wing from 1975 on chassis #1120148, and in 1976 second one, finished in blue, on chassis #1120202.
When the Lamborghini Countach LP400S was introduced at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show, the car on the stand was chassis #1121002, finished in Bleu Speciale with a Senape interior and gold-finished Bravo style, magnesium wheels … and guess who received this first, factory official Countach LP400S … Walter Wolf!
So what’s the buzz about the different Countach LP400 S series then, many mention Series I, Series II, and Series III models, while other publications talk about ‘low body’ models and later models … what’s that all about?
Let’s get into it, a Countach LP400 S Series I are the first 50 cars, they are almost like an LP400 on steroids, with the wheel arches, front spoiler, and stunning Bravo style magnesium wheels, which were extremely expensive. These also came with Stewart-Warner dials on the dashboard, the last one was chassis #1121100.
Series II cars were fitted with different wheels, a similar design, but no more protruding holes, made by Campagnolo, in total 107 of these were made up to chassis #1121310, but still riding very low and with limited interior space.
For the final 82 Countach LP400 S, starting with chassis #1121312, Lamborghini modified the car a lot, still the same wheels, but they raised the suspension because many owners complained about damaging the front spoiler. And these Series III models also came with increased interior space by 3cm so taller drivers could fit, the final LP400 S was chassis #1121468 before the 5-Liter version took over.
So Series I and Series II cars are the so-called ‘low body’ models, while Series III is the later, higher, more spacious model, and the 1982 chassis #1121446 that was just sold on BringATrailer is one of those 82 final, Series III models … but it comes with a twist.
For one, she comes with an interesting history, this Lamborghini was initially one of three cars to be shipped to Al Ajada in Saudi Arabia in the early Eighties, about a decade later she was imported into the United States, where she got impounded by the DEA before she would be listed at auction in 1994, only to be acquired by the previous owner in 1997, who would list her at auction again in 2021.
Even with this being a Series III model with the raised ride height, it is still a very low car to drive, so in August of 2020 the front spoiler was refinished, and a repair was done to the rear wing struts … as far as the listing goes, the rest of the paint is in reasonably good condition considering the age of this beauty.
But the ‘one of three’ designation comes from the panel at the rear of this special Lamborghini Countach S, usually the Countach comes with a pair of taillight clusters at either side, and a painted panel in-between with the Lamborghini, Countach, and S script fitted … but this specific Countach has a red plastic panel running from left to right! And rumor has it, this was a very rare option from the factory, only found on three Countach ever, this red car, a black LP400 S with the early Bravo style wheels, and a white Countach LP500 S.
They did mention this red plastic part was replaced in 2020 because the original reflector that was on the car originally cracked, and the owner had a company in Reno make an identical, new one, the cracked one would go with the car to the new owner after winning the auction.
And that’s not even the most astonishing piece on this red Lamborghini Countach LP400 S, or should I say LP440 S? Yes, you are reading that correctly, this car comes with a 4.4-Liter V12 instead of the original 4-Liter one.
The listing mentions: “The Bizzarrini-designed 60-degree V12 was removed and rebuilt in May 2019 by Franco’s European Sport Cars of Van Nuys, California. The engine is now equipped with 84mm pistons and liners along with a revised crankshaft with a 66mm stroke for a total displacement of 4,389cc compared to the factory 3,929cc. The rebuild included camshafts with more aggressive profiles, replacement rod and main bearings, new gaskets and seals, a modified water pump, and machined cylinder heads along with new spark plugs, hoses, and engine mounts.”
The previous owner of this car enjoyed driving her and didn’t care much about originality as some collectors today, that’s why the engine was upgraded, the wheels got polished and the ‘holes’ color-coded to the rest of the body … and while this surely isn’t a 100-point Concours edition, it’s a strong driving car that comes with some history.
Still, the auction at BringATrailer got very tense towards the end with bids increasing constantly to reach a top of $323,000 on February 24, 2021, let’s hope the next owner will take her onto the road regularly, she came with a little over 65,000 km (about 40,000 miles), let’s see how many she’ll do over the next years.