- Offered from The Youngtimer Collection
- One of approximately 300 built; a quality driver’s example of the legendary “Rambo Lambo”
- Regularly serviced during eight years of current ownership
- Repainted in Rosso in 2014
- Currently displays 8,931 kilometers (5,549 miles)
- Documented with service invoices
In today’s luxury and performance-car market, nearly every highline manufacturer produces a sport utility vehicle, a trend that began with the Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class in 1998 and has flourished with evermore extravagant offerings from Aston Martin, Bentley, and Maserati, to name a few. Forty years ago, however, the market was quite different. Only one highline automobile manufacturer dared to build and SUV: Lamborghini.
While production versions of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Hummer H1 would popularize the concept of a road-ready military-grade SUV for civilian consumption, in 1980 that idea was quite novel. Leave it to Lamborghini, the company responsible for the first production-based mid-engine V-12 supercar, to explore such uncharted territory.
In 1977, Sant’Agata Bolognese-based Italian automaker began examining the potential for a new niche product, a luxury all-terrain vehicle that the manufacturer hoped to shop to the United States Army. The so-called Cheetah was large, powerful, and capable of traversing rugged offroad terrain, but the rear-engine design was too exotic for the American military to take much interest.
Undeterred, Lamborghini principal Patrick Mimran opted to further develop the concept, and at the 1981 Geneva International Motor Show the company unveiled a concept car based on the Cheetah called the LM001. Again, flashing boundless potential, the LM001 was ultimately plagued by Lamborghini’s signature rear-engine placement, which compromised handling and interior space.
Ex-Maserati designer Giulio Alfieri was assigned to revise the design, resulting in the LMA concept of 1982, which featured frontal placement of the V-12 engine used in the concurrent Countach. Assigned the chassis number LM002, the LMA improved handling and weight distribution, and with newfound rear cabin space, the interior was luxuriously trimmed to accommodate six passengers. Envisioned as the transport of energy executives, emirs, and sheikhs to roam the desolate expanses of Middle Eastern oil fields, the car was appropriately equipped with proprietary Pirelli Scorpion run-flat tires and a precursor of today’s GPS navigation systems.
After nine years of development, the production LM002 was introduced at the 1986 Brussels Motor Show, appointed with a leather interior, air conditioning, tinted windows, and a high-fidelity audio system. Playfully nicknamed the Rambo Lambo in the United States (as actor Sylvester Stallone was purportedly one of the model’s early owners), the LM002 was produced in a modest quantity of approximately 300 examples through 1993. A paragon of angular styling and rugged tractability imagined through the lens of luxury, the LM002 is remarkable not only for its impressive dimensions and powerful performance but is additionally noteworthy for being a revolutionary forerunner of one of today’s most popular body styles, the highline luxury/performance SUV, including Lamborghini’s own Urus.
This late-production LM002 is a nicely presented driver’s example that benefits from modest driving use and routine service during its lifetime. Chassis number 279 completed factory assembly in June 1991. While the car’s early history is unknown, the center console retains a sticker representing the Japan Lamborghini Owner’s Club, indicating that it might have been owned by a Japanese enthusiast at some point.
By early 2014, the LM002 was acquired by the consignor, a discerning collector based in Kuwait. Numerous invoices on file reflect that the car was then regularly serviced by a local specialist, and odometer readings from 2014 to 2022 show a gradual accrual from 8,875 kilometers to 8,931 kilometers, a gain of just 56 kilometers (35 miles) over eight years. In addition to regular fluid services, cleaning of the spark plugs, and recharging of the air conditioner, in 2014 the exhaust system was modified and the exterior was repainted in the car’s current shade of Rosso. In March 2020, the clutch was replaced and a new flywheel was installed.
This LM002’s eight-spoke OZ Ruote wheels are shod with proper Pirelli Scorpion tires, and the car is accompanied by a tool kit. The ivory leather upholstery and brown carpeting remain remarkably well-preserved, and the interior abounds with luxurious appointments such as the wood-veneer door trim and dashboard, power windows, and winch controls. Combining characteristic power and boundless versatility with flagship luxury, this LM002 would make a wonderful complement to any collection, sure to bring a smile to the face of marque connoisseurs and off-roading enthusiast.