Lamborghini is no stranger to cinematic fame. Not so long ago, we reported that the black Countach LP400S featured heavily in 1981’s The Cannonball Run had been included on the National Historic Vehicle Register - meaning it was considered a vehicle of ‘national importance’ in the US. And while we’d argue that the identity of its come-hither drivers in the movie (Tara Buckman and Adrienne Barbeau, obvs) were partly responsible for making the car’s appearance so memorable, who are we to argue with Congress? That Lambo is now right up there with the first Indy 500 winner and the 15-millionth Model T.
Then, of course, there’s the immortal opening sequence of The Italian Job, where a Miura P400S calves up an Alp for four, uninterrupted minutes (before being interrupted by a tunnel). Or the lightly body-kitted Huracan carving up a cliff-top road at the soon-to-be-ruined hands of Dr Strange (before being interrupted by a CGI accident). Or the Murcielago LP640 driven by Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight, where one of the three (real) cars sent by the factory was T-boned (for real) in a rare bit of non-Batman heroism. And then sold to a movie memorabilia collector afterwards.
Which brings us neatly onto this, the US-spec, Bianco Polo-coloured Countach 25th Anniversary made very famous indeed by the Lemmon 714-sequence in the Wolf of Wall Street. We won’t retread the entire scene, but suffice it to say that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character has to get from his country club to his house in a hurry while heavily (and hilariously) under the influence of a notoriously strong brand of Quaaludes. He manages this, but only to the detriment (we discover later) of the bodywork of his limited-edition Lamborghini.
Incredibly, and somewhat ironically, the story is true except for the Countach (it was actually a convertible Mercedes that Jordan Belfort totalled driving home) but what better car to drop in as the embodiment of ‘80s-era excess than the white-on-white, bedroom poster-special? Especially when a) there are scissor doors for DiCaprio to negotiate when he can’t stand up, and b) there’s always something particularly corruptive about seeing the straight edges of a Countach creased by fate.
It is that latter effect - created by actually crashing chassis no. ZA9CA05A6KLA12692 - into several cars and a flatbed truck, that is expected to strike a chord with buyers. Aside from a backup Countach (rented by the production, and only seen very briefly on camera) this is the only model that featured in the film, and, according to Bonhams, is ‘preserved in as-filmed condition [and is] a time capsule of the era's extravagant debauchery’. So it’s about as one-of-a-kind as you could hope to get.
Doubtless it is this aspect, together with the film’s reputation as one of Martin Scorsese’s most entertaining efforts and DiCaprio’s involvement, which has set the auction estimate at an eye-popping $1.5 to $2m (so up to 1.5 million quid). Arguably a snip in terms of high-end movie memorabilia - the Aston Martin DB5 used to promote Thunderball famously achieved £5.2m when it was auctioned off back in 2019 - but still a remarkable amount of money for a display-only Countach. Oh and a Jordan Belfort costume, a signed director's chair and a clapboard, two crew hoodies, and two DVDs of the film, which are included in the same lot. If you’re interested, it all goes under the hammer at Bonhams’ Abu Dhabi auction this Saturday.
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