If we were to play a word association game in which you were to tell me the first thing that came to mind when I said Lamborghini, you might say things like speed, luxury, handling, or midlife crisis. I doubt your first instinct would be to say anything like off-road capability, 33" tires, military, or Dakar. Yet today's find has much more to do with the latter and very little to do with the former...okay the midlife crisis could still apply. It's a 1987 Lamborghini LM002 that was dug up by Bring A Trailer, and is the last recorded Lamborghini to compete in the Dakar before the brand was handed over to Audi in 1998.
Originally designed for use in the United States military, the LM002 was purpose built for off-road travel, which shows through its Humveesque appearance, ample clearance, and oversized tires. It features a 7.2-liter V-12 borrowed from the brands Countach model and Pirelli Scorpion tires, which Lamborghini had specially designed for the vehicle when other tires wouldn't fit. Fortunately, the amazingly ugly original interior was removed during race preparations and a straight metal and instrument setup was chosen instead. If you're into rare cars, interesting historical pieces, or just want your very own LM002 race truck, this Rambo Lambo could be right up your alley.
Here's a look at what the seller has to say:
This car is the last Lamborghini that has taken part in a major international race ; we have just found it in a preserved condition, very close to its Dakar set-up. We also have been able to trace its exceptional history.
The LM002 that we recently acquired was originally the property of Mrs. Mimran - we know that the Mimran family owned Lamborghini at that time. It was then acquired from Mme Mimran by Andrea Barenghi (still a race driver today), who did not hesitate to enter the race regarded by many as the toughest in the world, the "Dakar" !
The preparation took over a year : complete engine preparation including fitting of a special injection system, removal of exhaust catalysts, special AP front brakes, reinforced cooling and lubrication, gigantic fuel tank 800 liters (!), and cutting weight by no less than 500 kg. The ultra-robust chassis necessitated almost no intervention since its strength greatly exceeded all standards.
At the Granada-Dakar 1996, the car behaved very well during the early stages, confronting Southern Spain flood and mud rivers as well as African sand deserts. But the crew was faced with an unexpected problem of shock-absorbers resistance, the weight of the enormous Pirelli wheels and brakes imposing excessive efforts during repeated jumps at very high speed. No less than 24 shocks were replaced... - and finally by lack of spares the Team had to retire.
This Racing LM002 was later acquired by the famous Gildo Pastor - owner of Venturi - who intended to convert it into a personal recreational hi-performance V12 all-terrain vehicle to enjoy the sunny weather of Monaco. To begin with, the car was entrusted to a Lamborghini specialist, who completely rebuilt the engine. However, the project was finally abandoned and the car remained mostly in its Dakar Rally specifications.
At Autodrome, we could not resist to acquire this Classic Lamborghini, an unusual racing car with a special history, but also with unique features and outstanding performance. She is currently in the hands of a Classic Lamborghini expert in the Paris region for controls and maintenance, but we will of course respect strictly the authenticity of this testimony of the racing history of Lamborghini.