Sam Philip10 June 2014

This Lambo Countach just sold for £720,000

Original, stunning ‘Periscopica’ Countach sets a new auction record. Bargain of the year?

A gorgeous 1975 Lamborghini Countach - dubbed LP 400 ‘Periscopica' - has just sold for £720,000 ($1.2m) at a US auction, setting a new record for Countaches.

The wedgy lump of pure Seventies, with just one owner in its 39-year history and barely 10,000 miles on its clock, was sold at Bonhams' Greenwich auction in Connecticut. We're told the Countach was snapped up by a deep-pocketed bidder ‘seated at the front of the room', who fought off rival phone bids from more than a dozen other interested parties.

We can see why. Just look at this thing. OK, we know it'd be a pig to drive, and impossible to see out of, and probably rather slower out in the real world than, say, a Golf GTI, but still. Just look at it.

That ‘Periscopica' name refers to the ‘periscope' rear view mirror, which was faired into the Countach's roof, helpfully providing almost no rear visibility. Only the first 150 Countaches featured the ‘Periscopa' arrangement, making this Blu Tahiti example rarer still.

Early Countaches employed a 4.0-litre, longitudinally mounted V12, good for 375bhp and a top speed of 170mph. We imagine this top speed may have felt lightly terrifying.

Now, clearly £720,000 is an awful lot of money for an old car. You could, after all, buy four Ferrari 458 Italias for the same cash. Or 120 Dacia Sanderos.

But with classic Ferraris - 250s especially - now regularly fetching many millions, doesn't a mere three quarters of a million quid seem like quite, well, good value for such a glorious, absurd slice of exotica?

With classic car prices going through the roof, was this a sensible investment? Can buying a 40-year-old, temperamental Lambo for the same price as a very large house ever be described as a sensible investment?

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