Posted by Anthony CarboneAugust 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm
AUTODROME is well-known among Classic Cars enthusiasts and for over thirty years, in love with Lamborghini, they have been collecting and restoring many early models.
Autodrome Collection Lamborghini now proudly presents a mythical automobile, which many believed was destroyed or lost: the Countach LP400 Spider “Mardikian”, named after the American engineer and importer who launched this exciting and provocative project.
This Lamborghini Countach Spider offers the exceptional pleasure of driving an open LP400 with all the unique specifications of the earliest Countach: 375 BHP, only 1065 kg and …315 km/h (195 mph)
Al Mardikian, a Californian distributor of the most beautiful and rare European exotics, was surrounded by a spicy reputation, due to the fact that some of the extraordinary cars that he offered to his wealthy clients were not “fully” compliant with Federal regulations.
Mardikian inspired the first scenes of “Rain Man”, when Tom Cruise unsuccessfully tries to clear the US customs for a bunch of Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari… In addition, Mardikian created some of the the “Miami Vice” very special sports cars, that remain worldwide famous.
This LP400 Spider is mentioned and pictured in most books relating the History of Lamborghini, and all enthusiasts know this over-outrageous version of the iconic Countach LP400. It’s one of the very few open-top classic Lamborghini, all of which are extremely sought-after by collectors (Miura Roadster Bertone, Miura SVJ Spider, Touring 400GT spider).
This Countach LP400 #1120262 was delivered on June 14th, 1977. It belonged for many years to Rod Stewart, a well-known super car owner – he owned two Miuras. The car was ordered in RHD as indicated in the factory documents ; however, since Rod Stewart was based in the USA at the end of the seventies, the car was then put in LHD configuration.
First driven in Hollywood and surroundings, this car was re-imported into Europe (London) where it remained until 2002, with the English registration RMK 651 R (R stands for registrations made between August 1976 and July 1977). It remained very probably unused or scarcely driven during many years, before being purchased by the second and last owner, a man who launched a complete restoration of the engine 3000 km ago.
This automobile is still absolutely authentic, with its period open top and removable roof, completed by detachable side windows enabling an integral “Roadster” configuration.
The famous sleek shapes of the wheel arches have also remained original: it’s a magnificent aesthetical compromise between the pure original shape of the LP400 and the heavier LP400S style, which included a visible separation between the wheel arch itself and the extension. The wheels are the same as on the Bravo and on the very rare LP400S “low body”.
Mardikian had not only created a Spider LP400 but has also modernised it, borrowing the bigger wheels and outrageous wing of the LP400S. The future owner could easily, whilst keeping the authentic “Mardikian Spider” modification, restore the bodywork to the “narrow” body of the original LP400 “periscopica”, from which this Spider was born. The result could be one of the most beautiful car ever.
The odometer show only 11.800 miles, very probably true, taking into account the number of cars in the garage of the famous owner. Its original condition with some patina makes it very precious and desirable for any collector.
This automobile exceptional automobile is is effect a remarkable piece of History in the Lamborghini saga: Ferruccio and his Team have always challenged all existing rules with outrageous cars. In the sixties and seventies, each Lamborghini model was a revolution… This LP400 Spider – the only “open” Countach – fits perfectly in the legend of the provocative Sant’Agata thoroughbreds.
Classic Lamborghini are extremely rare in Spider: after only two “open” 350 GT presented by Touring, the only known examples were the Roadster Miura (Bertone, 1968), the Miura SVJ Spider (Geneva 1981), and the Pregunta (1998). The LP400 Spider is therefore the very last classic Lamborghini Spider, and even though it was not officially presented by the firm, it has become a highly fascinating and sought-after collector Lamborghini.
[Source: Autodrome.fr, Wikipedia.com]