A rare “Rambo Lambo,” an American-spec 1990 LM002 that was Lamborghini’s first SUV and arguably the first high-performance sport utility, has sold at auction in New York for $467,000.
RM Sotheby’s says the luxury ute, which has 19,153 miles on the odometer, underwent a comprehensive five-year mechanical and cosmetic restoration and was originally priced at $158,000 when it arrived in the U.S. through a Florida port of entry. The auction sale price is more than twice the cost of the new Urus, the sleek new crossover that Lamborghini unveiled earlier this week.
The LM002 traces its lineage to the Cheetah, a rear-engine-mounted 4×4 that Lamborghini made with an American defense contractor for the U.S. Army, which did not reward the automaker with a contract. It was Lamborghini’s first production SUV, based on the Cheetah’s basic engineering, and it added luxurious wood and leather to the interior, a spacious cargo area and the 5.2-liter Countach V12 engine that took it from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds. Only 301 examples were ever made between 1986 and 1993, with just 48 of them built to the LM/American specs and delivered to the U.S.
Sotheby’s notes that the exotic car market of the early ’90s “was in full flourish thanks to a new generation of millionaires and billionaires seeking the ever-greater ‘toy’ — and nothing was bigger or better than the LM002.” It boasts a massive 76-gallon fuel tank, and the model that just sold was equipped with specially designed Pirelli Scorpion run-flat tires. Jay Leno took an LM002 of the same model year for a spin two years ago on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
The restoration effort was valued at $325,000 and covered the Countach engine, new exhaust and a full, new interior, adding an Alpine stereo head unit and integrated Bluetooth to bring things up to modern speed. It also features the rare rear cargo toolbox, tonneau cover, and correct LM/American floor mats and chrome bumpers. The owner also got correct tools, keys, books, jack, full receipts and photographic documentation of the restoration process, plus two OEM ECU computer units.