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Is this ex-rockstar Lamborghini Countach the barn find of the year?

The idea of finding a desirable collector car nestled away in long-forgotten storage is the sort of thing we all dream about. However, even we wouldn’t dare dream of finding a car as significant and awe-inspiring as this early Lamborghini Countach LP500S.

Many of you will know that the legendary Lamborghini Countach’s name derives from a rather risqué Piedmontese expression of shock and disbelief. It was the perfect descriptor to convey how game changing Marcello Gandini’s design was when it was first released, and we’d wager it also perfectly captures the shock and awe experienced by whoever discovered this unbelievable 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500S. Sitting cloaked in decades of slowly accumulated dust, uncovering this white wedge must have been akin to stumbling across an alien ship in one of Area 51’s top-secret hangars.

Despite its otherworldly appearance, this is a car any human can drive on the road, although that is something we have to still remind ourselves of, over 50 years after the LP500 prototype first stunned the world. Of course, this model comes from later in the Countach’s production run, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less special, quite the contrary. In fact, this is the first LP500S Countach ever built, and was exhibited front-and-centre on Lamborghini’s stand at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show. That's not all, though, because this is the very car that graces the pages of the LP500S brochure. As for the powertrain, this low poly count wonder is equipped with Lamborghini’s legendary 4.8-litre DOHC V-12 powerplant, capable of propelling the LP500S to a mighty 182 mph top speed, thanks to an impressive power reserve of 380 horsepower.

However, this car’s claim to fame doesn’t end there. Following its debut at Geneva, our dusty star was sold new in Italy to Aaron Rosen, who shipped it to Germany, before exporting it over to the United States. Then, in 1985, it would catch the eye of Carlos Cavazo, lead guitarist for the successful glam-metal group Quiet Riot, who had to swap the car’s carburettors for BMW-style electronic fuel injection. Despite his rockstar day job, Mr. Cavazo claimed to be a relatively tame driver, reportedly only pushing his pure-white supercar to 150mph once during his ownership. We doubt we would’ve had the same level of self restraint. 

Mr. Cavazo enjoyed his raging bull for around 15 years, before placing his LP500S into long-term storage in Van Nuys, California at Franco Barbuscia’s exotic car showroom, Franco’s European Sports Cars. At the time, the car had racked up 41,100 miles (66,198 kilometres), a number which remains unchanged on the odometer to this day. This lovely countach would remain resting where Mr. Cavazo parked it for over 20 years, but it wasn’t forgotten. There were plans for a full restoration before Franco Barbuscia’s eventual passing in 2021, and so today, this significant early LP500S is offered in “as discovered” condition. 

While the Classic Driver Market is not stranger to the odd barn find, it isn’t very often that these desirably derelict collector cars come up for sale. We wouldn’t consider ourselves frequent invaders of long-forgotten storage units, but even so, we can tell you that the discovery of such a significant example of one of history’s most celebrated supercars isn’t an event that’s likely to be repeated in the next decade. We would even go so far as to say that the sight of this wonderful wedge, draped in decades of detritus, is probably even more unusual than the sightings of the unidentified flying objects to which this supercar is so often compared. 

Despite the obvious need for a very thorough and loving restoration, this Countach remains in highly original and complete condition overall. While the factory-original carburettors no longer accompany the car for the reasons mentioned above, famed Lambroghini test driver, Valentino Balboni himself confirmed the authenticity of this car’s pedigree and early features. Details include the body number, 72, stamped on the boot lid and engine covers, as well as early special features including Campagnolo cast magnesium wheels, early “5S” badging, unmounted Factory Rear Wing, and the LP400S-styled fender flares further attest to this car’s provenance. 

To many, the Countach is the ultimate poster car, and the privilege of restoring such a significant barn find is assuredly an opportunity that won’t present itself again any time soon. If you see yourself returning this historic supercar back to its former glory, then please get in touch with the good people at DriverSource




You can find this stunning 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500S alongside many other fascinating collector cars for sale with DriverSource in the Classic Driver Market.

This article was produced as part of a paid partnership with DriverSource. Classic Driver is not responsible for the information given above.