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Wednesday 14th January 2009

PH Zeroes: Rambo Lambo

Way before any other sports car manufacturers were building SUVs Lamborghini came up with the LM002. Tony Middlehurst explains why it shouldn't have bothered...



What’s the ugliest car in the world? Today’s motoring dungheap is clearly topped by the SsangYong Rodius, but who would have thought that back in the mid-1980s the undisputed king of ming would wear a Lamborghini badge?

The LM002’s pole position at the coalface of foul was all the more shocking because of the identity of its maker. How could the firm that brought us the sublime Miura, Urraco and Espada have come up with this?


Nowadays of course the LM002’s heaving bulk would barely merit a second look, with most modern superminis matching it for size. But it’s hard to overstate the shock and awe it provoked back in 1986 when I saw my first (and so far last) LM002.

Built in the little-known breezeblock style, the LM002 wasn’t so much penned as crayonned by (presumably) a one-eyed work experience bod with a warped six-inch ruler. The flat aluminium body panels were easy to armour-plate, a useful design attribute as LM002 owners were the sort of people you’d want to take a shot at.Sly Stallone had one. So did Saddam Hussein’s son Uday before his was blown up by the US Army.

The LM002’s engine was nominally a 444bhp 5.2-litre version of the Countach’s V12, with a more powerful 7.2 powerboat version available if you weren’t fully satisfied by the rate at which the six Weber carburettors could drain the 76-gallon tank.


Unique and extraordinarily massive 17-inch Pirelli Scorpion run-flat tyres allowed the 2.7-ton LM002 to batter most small-to-medium deserts into submission. The leathery cabin was luxurious, with an incongruously sporty steering wheel, but the 4x4 manual transmission tunnel was so wide, communication between passengers was best done by post.


Was the LM002 a success or a failure? Well, 301 LM002s were built between 1986 and 1992, which in exotica terms must qualify it as a success. But if you’d seen its LM001 predecessor you would have bet your house on the LM002 being a disastrous flop.

This gruesome concept was revealed at the 1981 Geneva Motor Show, but was quickly un-revealed after its first road outing when it displayed all the manners of a Glaswegian pub singer on his third bottle of turps. Some nit had accidentally installed the 5.9-litre V8 AMC motor in the back instead of the front, an easy mistake to make given the LM’s push-me-pull-you styling.

The LM002, launched almost as an apology at the following year’s Geneva show, corrected that minor engineering error by putting the engine up front, an easy mod requiring nothing more than a completely new chassis, new suspension and the addition of power steering, something the stern-heavy 001 never needed, especially when it hit a bump at speed.


Lamborghini went on to build two more LMs. Both were ignominious failures. The LM003 was a shortlived military prototype ‘powered’ by a 5-cylinder 3.6 diesel chucked together by VM Motori, who also used to supply awful engines to Land Rover.


The LM004 was a glorious return to form with a proper 7.0 V12 which would have been great if only (a) it hadn’t been so heavy and (b) it had worked. Lamborghini mothballed the one and only LM004 as soon as its paint was dry.

Less than half a dozen LM002s are thought to be left in the UK. Chassis number 300 came up for sale in April this year: with 27,000 miles on the clock it was a fiver under £50k. If you find one for sale, check the roof.

If it’s got an opening flap over the back seats it might be one of the 100 LM002s President Gaddafi ordered for the Libyan army, complete with machine-gun mounting points. And if you buy any LM002, don’t expect to get much joy out of Kwik-Fit when you need a new tyre.


tonym911
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Author Discussion

andrew.delamare

Original Poster:

71 posts

139 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I actually like these. Not because it looks great but if Car makers didn't go all crazy every now and then the world would be more boring for it.

Also it wasn't designed to pull the ladies.. I thought it was designed for US Military purposes from the off. So who cared what it looked like as long as it had go and was abit bullet proof.

Plotloss

67,260 posts

154 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
Is he mad?

So pointless as to be essential.

GKP

8,212 posts

125 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
What's Middlehurst on about? These are great. thumbup

minimatt1967

16,227 posts

90 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all

Mmmmmmm Thirsty on a biblical scale!

Mattt

15,609 posts

102 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I want one boxedin
Advertisement

Truckosaurus

4,017 posts

168 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
Hunter Thompson had one, which is good enough for me.


RicksAlfas

6,130 posts

128 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
This should be in heroes not zeroes!
smokin

floatingjimi

352 posts

94 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
obvoiusly not a child of the 80's awesome car what the world needs right now totally anti establishment

minimatt1967

16,227 posts

90 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
certainly give the RR sport and X5 brigade something to think about thumbup

rude-boy

18,498 posts

117 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I really want one and, if the running costs weren't so ruinous, with them fetching such (comparatively) little money I would buy one if i had a few more pennies in the pot.

Certainly if i could afford to spend that much on a weekend car i would go for it like a shot over the relative horde of 348's, 355's and so on.

I remember seeing a few of these over the years, one that sticks out in my memory was a black one parked up behind the pits at Donington many moons ago. The Diablo, Countach, race cars and other exotica that were there that day might as well have been Astras compared to that attention it was getting.

Garlick

40,597 posts

124 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I see why Tony said it's a zero, but I'll stand up and say 'My Name is Garlick and I want a Lamborghini LM002'

Cracking cars.....let the debate continue.

900T-R

19,367 posts

141 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
Ummm, well if I remember the tale correctly, The Elephant Man did get his fair share of attention too - people were even paying to get a look at him...

davemac250

4,303 posts

89 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I actually like these cars.

There is one that makes an occasional appearance here, shames the local Hummer boys (ahem).

No idea which version it is, but from the low throbbing noise at idle it sounds like a large boat engine. I hope so anyway!


rude-boy

18,498 posts

117 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
900T-R said:
Ummm, well if I remember the tale correctly, The Elephant Man did get his fair share of attention too - people were even paying to get a look at him...
But how many of the more educated changed their opinion as soon as he spoke with such poise and distinction? hehe

As a mate of mine says, "Subtle as a sledge hammer to the nuts." hehe

Dirty Boy

13,477 posts

93 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I want the powerboat engined one!

Mr MoJo

4,695 posts

100 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I love the LM002. Always have, how dare you make it a PH Zero frown

DJC

21,877 posts

120 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
The only Lambo Ive ever wanted to own.

Makes the H1 hummer look like a pansy.

posterboy

1,144 posts

77 months

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Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
DJC said:
The only Lambo Ive ever wanted to own.

Makes the H1 hummer look like a pansy.
I like it too

bishbash

2,426 posts

81 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
I like these, there is one on autotrader at the moment, a bit pricey at £79,950.

http://tinyurl.com/7fwok6

edit to add link

Edited by bishbash on Wednesday 14th January 11:02

Dr G

11,062 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 14th January 2009 quote quote all
Amusingly written article too laugh
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