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Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio
Australia is either the smallest continent or the biggest island in the world, depending on who you ask. The long roads there are just pure invitations for fast cars. So Rod Stewart ordered this red Lamborghini Countach to travel fast on the long stretches of roads from Down Under.

Once Owned by a Famous Rock Star, This Countach Has Traveled Around the Globe

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Many important things happened in 1977. Apple Computer Inc. was established, Star Wars came on the silver screen, and the Ford F-150 became the best-selling truck in the U.S. It was about the same time when Rod Stewart launched the "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" song that topped the charts for months in the U.S. and Canada. Meanwhile, he was on tour in Australia, promoting his newest album, "Foot Loose & Fancy Free."

Some of Sir Rod Stewart's most famous songs are "The Rhythm of My heart" and "All for love" sung with Sting and Brian Adams in 1993 as part of "The Three Musketeers" soundtrack. But the list is way longer than that. He was also inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in 1994, and there's a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame with his name on it.

But, like any other rock artist, he couldn't drive just any mundane vehicle he could find at Hertz. Instead, he needed something flashy to stand out from the crowd, so he chose a Lamborghini Countach LP400 "Periscopio." A vehicle that could outrun most of the cars from its era with its 186 mph (300 kph) declared top speed. Some people said that, actually, the car was able to reach up to 200 mph (322 kph).

Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio
The car came after the Miura, and unlike that first supercar, it featured a longitudinally-mounted V12 engine, still behind the cabin. And that's where the LP letters are coming from "Longitudinale Posteriore." It was introduced at the 1974 Geneva Motor Show, and Lamborghini's booth suddenly became too small for all the people who tried to see the magical car. Unlike the Miura, which was unveiled without an engine, this one featured a V12 in the engine bay.

But just like the Miura, the Countach was penned by the same magical hand of Marcello Gandini while he was working at Bertone. Of course, the wedged-shaped vehicle looked completely different from the waved-shaped predecessor. Still, its lines were so beautiful that the car was produced until 1990. It was on the posters of boys' dorms around the world. It was that famous. Nevertheless, it also starred in the "Cannonball Run" movie, albeit in a more powerful version.

But the Periscopio was the first batch. Allegedly, there were about 157 units ever made (150 according to other sources), and they were different. The LP500 prototype featured a mirror that allowed the driver to look behind the car through a small window and a tunnel sculptured on the roof. Bob Wallace and Ferruccio Lamborghini liked that, so the production model came fitted with a similar design. However, it was already useless since Gandini had already managed to install a proper (albeit tiny) rear window just in front of the engine cover.

Also, from the design point of view, the car showed unique features such as the lift-up doors, which later on became known as "Lambo doors" in car culture. That unusual concept allowed customers to park their vehicles easier just by opening the doors and sitting on the seat's edge while looking behind.

Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio
Like the Miura, the Countach featured a 3.9-liter V12 fed by six Weber carburetors and developed 375 PS (370 hp), which were sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed, dog-leg gearbox. Another unique feature of the Countach was the transmission, which was mounted between the seats.

The car that you see here was owned by Sir Rod Stewart for 25 years, and, as expected, he took good care of it. When he returned to Los Angeles, the car went with him. But the artist wanted something special for his supercar. As a result, he looked around and chose Albert Mdikian Engineering to upgrade the vehicle. Thus, the local shop added a wide body kit and transformed the fixed-roof vehicle into a targa roof. Unfortunately, these modifications are no longer present in the car. Also, compared to many other Lamborghini vehicles, it features some switches marked in English, not Italian.

Ten years after the car left the factory from Sant'Agata Bolognese, this red LP400 "Periscopio" arrived in the United Kingdom, where it stayed in Rod Stewart's possession until 2002, when he finally parted with it. The second owner, though, sent the car to a shop for ample work on it. It was then that the car had the steering wheel moved on the left side. In addition, it is believed that the shop also overhauled the engine.

Come 2013, the car was sold again via a Paris dealer. But the new owner didn't like the modifications made to this LP400 "Periscopio" and returned it to the original specifications, albeit the steering wheel stayed on the left. At the time of press, this red Lambo was still under work, so the final result will be a wholly overhauled vehicle. Thus, the new (next) owner will have the pleasure of driving this beauty right after they'll buy it.

Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio
While it is tough to estimate how much the final price will be, it is expected to pass the one-million EUR barrier. So, if you like Rod Stewart's tastes in cars, you may buy one that he owned. And fortunately, you don't have to look through that weird periscope to see what's behind you.

 
 
 
 
 

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