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1989 Lamborghini Countach

RM Sotheby's

1989 Lamborghini Countach
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

23-1009008

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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United Kingdom

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Identification number ZA9CA05A0KLA12722

 

One of the unforgettable automotive stars of the 2013 Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street

 

One of two Countach 25th Anniversary Edition examples used in the production of the film

 

Appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, playing high-flying financier Jordan Belfort

 

The most advanced iteration of the legendary Countach, featuring improvements developed by the great Horacio Pagani

 

Compelling styling and incredible specifications; 5.2-liter V-12 with a 183-mph top speed-

 

Understood to be one of 12 US-specification examples completed in Bianco Polo over Bianco; presented as originally delivered, with US-specification front bumper and rear wing

 

An iconic supercar that is further elevated and immortalized by its time on the silver screen

Description

Could Lamborghini have known, when it pulled the covers off the Countach LP500 prototype at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, that it was unveiling a legend? Certainly, all the right elements were there: The follow-up to the revolutionary Lamborghini Miura packed a screaming V-12, rear-mid-mounted for optimal balance; the low-slung chassis wore radical wedge bodywork penned by the great Marcello Gandini, complete with groundbreaking scissor doors. But there has always been something more to the Countach—something that made it far greater than the sum of its parts. This was a car that would inspire multiple generations of budding enthusiasts throughout its impressive production life. It is no less captivating, and inspiring, today. The Countach 25th Anniversary Edition, named in commemoration of the founding of the Lamborghini marque, was the car’s final and most evolved iteration. It is fitting that this model, the culmination of the legendary Countach lineage, bore the impression of Horacio Pagani. The modern-day hypercar maestro was, at the time, working for Lamborghini; his contributions to the 25th Anniversary Edition include a striking restyling of the car, which incorporated many of the aerodynamics-enhancing features he developed for the pioneering, composite-bodied Countach Evolution concept. In total, 657 25th Anniversary Edition Countachs were produced—an extreme, exclusive exclamation point at the end of a legendary model’s bull run. IMMORTALIZED ON THE SILVER SCREEN Based on the memoir of the same name, the 2013 Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street tells the real-life story of the meteoric rise—and precipitous fall—of stockbroker-turned- fraudster Jordan Belfort. Outrageous and darkly humorous in equal measure, the film is perfectly cast: Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Belfort, alongside Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, and Matthew McConaughey. The automotive casting, too, is on point, with a parade of late-1980s and early-1990s sports and luxury cars for the keen-eyed enthusiast to spot. But even the most casual observer could not miss the film’s automotive star: Belfort’s Bianco Polo over Bianco Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition. In an unforgettable scene toward the end of the film, an enraged and drug-addled Belfort drags himself into the Lamborghini and attempts to tear off into the night…only to crash repeatedly, badly damaging the car during his ill-fated trip home. It is fascinating to note that Jordan Belfort later claimed, via Twitter, that the car he had crashed “was actually a Mercedes in real life,” rather than the Lamborghini depicted in the movie. Yet no one who has watched The Wolf of Wall Street can deny that the Countach was the ideal choice for the scene. It is the perfect automotive complement to DiCaprio’s portrayal of Belfort—a bold, brash, risk-taker, often to his own detriment—and an example of how sometimes, a cinematic reinterpretation can ring truer than a strict portrayal of historical fact. Two 25th Anniversary Edition Countachs were used in the production of The Wolf of Wall Street. At least one other Countach, an earlier 5000 QV model with clear visual differences from the 25th Anniversary Edition cars, was also sourced, and may have been used to record engine noise for the film’s audio track. Shockingly, Scorsese insisted on the use of a genuine Countach in the infamous crash scene, reportedly because the filmmaker felt that a prop stand-in would not sustain authentic-looking damage. The car presently offered is the other film-used 25th Anniversary Edition car, which was not crashed on-screen. CLOSEUP ON A STAR COUNTACH One of just 12 25th Anniversary Edition Countach examples delivered to the United States finished in Bianco Polo over Bianco, this car has spent much of its life on the East Coast, moving between New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida in its early years. As was common practice at the time with many owners of US-delivery Countachs, the larger, US-specification front bumper was at some point swapped for a smaller, European-specification unit; further, the imposing rear wing was removed. At the time of the production of The Wolf of Wall Street, this car was owned by a Lamborghini connoisseur in Maryland. Exercised consistently, yet moderately, through its life, the Lamborghini was actually piloted by its owner from the Baltimore area to New York for filming! A 10 March 2014 letter on file from Picture Cars East—the New York firm that supplied the Lamborghini to Red Granite Pictures for use in the filming of The Wolf of Wall Street via its private owner—confirms that this was one of two such cars used for production of the movie. The letter also confirms that, of the two Countachs used in filming, this car is the non-crashed example. A close viewing of the completed film, as well as examination of behind-the-scenes photos taken on set, reveals notable differences between the two 25th Anniversary Edition Countachs used in production. In addition to the front bumper (the car offered here still had its European-specification front bumper fitted during filming, while the other car retained its larger US-specification unit) and lack of a rear wing, this car was also fitted with a distinctive black-and-white steering wheel. This steering wheel is clearly visible in a scene where DiCaprio arrives at the Belfort home and exits the car, confirming that it was used in some close-up shots. The presently offered car was also used in driving sequences, and a nighttime driving shot shows the smaller, European-spec front bumper that was fitted to this car at the time of filming. Interestingly, the unmissable rear wing was temporarily attached to this chassis for continuity purposes; only studied Lamborghini experts would have noticed the differing front bumpers in the final cut. Later acquired by the consignor from its longtime enthusiast owner, the Countach was subsequently re-fitted with its United States-specification front bumper, and its large rear wing was re-installed. This returned the car to its factory-correct, as-originally-delivered cosmetic appearance as seen today—and it also brought it into visual alignment with its companion Countach 25th Anniversary Edition, which was used in The Wolf of Wall Street’s crash scene. Few cars pack the awe-inspiring presence of the Lamborghini Countach; its shocking, sculptural form and soul-stirring performance truly make it a machine for the ages. Thanks to its pivotal appearance in one of the most unforgettable movies of the modern era, this 25th Anniversary Edition car boasts provenance unsurpassed by its peers—making it arguably one of the most significant Countach examples in existence. Put simply, this Wolf of Wall Street Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition represents a unique opportunity to acquire an undeniable cultural icon: Lamborghini’s most famous Raging Bull, elevated to epic heights and immortalized in the popular consciousness by its role on the silver screen.