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Guikas Collection 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’ Offered by RM Sotheby’s

When the Lamborghini Countach was first revealed as the marque’s flagship, replacing the iconic Miura, the supercar’s bold design drew widespread acclaim. On the first showing of the LP500 prototype at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971, it immediately set itself apart from its predecessor with its wedge shape and angular edges; such proportions had seldom been seen before. But the bold design of the Countach presented problems, as the car’s unique shape restricted visibility. As a result, Lamborghini devised a solution: a novel “periscope” mirror system.

Known as ‘Periscopio’ examples, the first 157 Countach LP400 production cars are, like the concept, defined by the lowered section of the roof that neatly flows into a small sight window to give drivers extra rearward visibility. These cars actually use a more conventional rearview mirror rather than a true periscope, but the distinctive name stuck. The early Countach models retained this feature until the LP400 S was introduced in 1978, with Lamborghini dropping the setup in favour of a completely flat roof. The first LP400, and the LP400 S that would follow, shared the same engine: a 4.0-litre V-12 fed by six Weber carburettors.

Guikas Collection 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 'Periscopio' Offered by RM Sotheby's
1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’ by Bertone

This example, finished in black over black leather interior, is understood to have been the 55th Countach made by Lamborghini. It was originally finished in red over black and later repainted to its present dramatic combination. Delivered new to a customer in Milan, the car was sold to its next owner in Bologna in 1977. It was exported to the United States that same year, where it was received by Auto Palace of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Walker Inman Jr. would own the car for 12 years; its next three owners were all based in California.

During its time in the U.S., the dashboard of the Countach was autographed by Marcello Gandini, one of the designers of the car, at the California Concours in 2003. Paperwork indicates that over 2006 and 2007, the Lamborghini underwent around $60,000 of recommissioning work at Bobileff Motorcar Company in California, who rebuilt the engine and tidied up parts of the exterior and interior requiring attention. The car returned to Europe when it was bought by its next owner in Germany in 2007.

The Countach was unquestionably one of the defining supercars of the 20th century, and early LP400 ‘Periscopio’ examples such as this are particularly appreciated for hewing the closest to Lamborghini’s bold original vision. The sale includes a Lamborghini Countach manual, licence plates from a previous Italian registration, a spare wheel, and tool kit.

By: RM Sotheby's | Photos Courtesy of: RM Sotheby's

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