Monday, October 26, 2009

1989 Lamborghini LM002 - The Rambo Lambo

This is not your typical JaCG vehicle, but it is too cool to ignore.

The history of the LM002 goes back to 1977 and a prototype called the "Cheetah". Lamborghini built it with hopes of selling it to the US army. The first prototype had a Chrysler engine mounted in the rear. The US military destroyed it during testing.

After a few more rear engined prototypes were built, Lamborghini finally decided that having an the engine in the front was a better design, and the LM002 was born.

The engine Lamborghini chose for the LM002 was their own V12 Countach engine. It was slightly detuned for the LM002.

The body is a series of flat panels, which, when the LM002 was introduced, received a lot of criticism. The reality was they were built that way to make them easy to armor. Looking at the LM002 now, it doesn't look so odd. It looks like an Italian styled Hummer.

The civilian version of the LM002 (Yes, there were military versions, though the US never bought any. Most went to Saudi Arabia and Libya.) had every conceivable luxury feature and was able to go through most anything, thanks in part to the Pirelli Scorpion tires Lamborghini had specially manufactured for the vehicle.

There were just 301 LM002s built. There are definitely no more than 300 left. According to several websites, members of the American military used an LM002 that had belonged to Uday Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein, to simulate the effects of a car bomb, not knowing its rarity or value. The LM002 was destroyed during the test. Look at that as another reason, albeit a minor one, that should have never invaded Iraq.

Gas mileage, 0-60 times, top speed are all irrelevant when talking about an LM002. No one buys an LM002 to commute to work or to take their kids to school. An LM002 is bought because it's one of the most exclusive, menacing looking SUVs on the planet. There is nothing wrong with that.

I've always said that if someone ever gave me $100,000.00 "automotive mad money", I'd probably buy 5 or 6 cool old cars with it. If the amount was upped to $200,000.00 I'd still buy 5 or 6 cool old cars, plus 1 Lamborghini LM002.

Located in Anaheim Hills, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

There was a one-off "station wagon" version of the LM002 built for the Sultan of Brunei. It was created by Italian coach-builder, Salvatore Doimante. The Sultan sold it to Bernd Pischetsrieder of BMW and Volkswagen fame. It is now listed for sale on ClassicRallies.com. Click here to see it.

1 comment:

herbert said...

I remember seeing a spankin shiny new 1 @ a NJ parkway rest stop in 1990...I was coming out Roy Rogers on my way into my new T-Bird SC (super fun car but alas it was a lemon) everyone just stopped in their tracks while the RED Italian T-REX searched for parking in the small crowded lot..it was like a UFO just landed....I was in total AWE..everyone walked over to eyeball it & all asked the same ??.. what is that thing? It really made a impression on me & was a real show stopper especially back then before the SUV craze. Rollin in a pimped out ride before the phrase existed ......It would defiantly be a guilty pleasure if I hit the BIG MONEY LOTTO.... keep up the good work..thx