SUV Survivor: 1988 Lamborghini LM002

The Lamborghini LM002 remains one of those vehicles that causes you to question whether it was ever actually produced, or just a car show circuit creation designed to generate some much-needed buzz. No, it was indeed very real, a ultra-capable 4×4 sold with a Lamborghini Countach V12 under the hood and marketed to the military before letting consumers get behind the wheel. Rare when new and even more so today, this one listed here on the DuPont Registry website is claimed to be a one-owner vehicle that is listed for $350,000.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jonathan H. for the find. The LM002 is way more exotic than the Hummer H1 or H2, but you can see how it laid the groundwork for that model and the re-engineering of the Mercedes G-Class into a swanky hauler for the rich and famous. These former military vehicles never got a second look, especially considering how unpleasant they were to drive, but the LM002 changed all of that by emerging as both an extremely capable off-roader with excellent driving dynamics (for an SUV) and an opulent interior.

Now, that’s not to say those vehicles do very much to hide their military-grade underpinnings. Unlike a modern SUV, they still ride harshly and have a turning radius that rivals a small school bus. But the exclusivity factor is off the charts, hence why people of means and the image-conscious flock to them, and why the G-Class has survived well past its expiration date. The LM002 ultimately shames the big Benz and H1 because it’s even rarer and easily more exotic. Throw in the fact that it features a manual gearbox hooked up to a Countach V12 and it’s game over.

The listing doesn’t provide much of any detail, and even if the asking price effectively weeds out 90% of the buying public, even the upper 10% would likely still want to know how well that maintenance-hungry V12 has been looked after. The LM002 is the kind of vehicle that requires an annual upkeep budget that rivals that of several needy vehicles at the same time, but if you’re spending $350K on one vehicle, a few four or five-figure service bills likely won’t phase you too much.


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    I lived in Miami back when this puppy was in the showrooms of any gray market shop with any kind of clout. It was the rig of choice for drug dealers trying to “differentiate” themselves from their mere Ferrari / Countach / Porsche driver buddies. Wildly impractical but (as you say…Jeff) a style icon.

    Like 5
    • Daniel Boelens Member

      Wasn’t this called a Cheetah back in the day….

      • CJinSD

        IIRC, the Cheetah was rear-engine and powered by a Mopar 360 V8, but did lead to the LM002 production car.

  2. Tom c

    We used to do some work on one of these in a body shop I used to paint at . Totally over the top , but what a cool ride. I wish I could remember what the owner did for a living.

    Like 3
    • Ike Onick

      I doubt he had a job.

      Like 7
  3. Mark M.

    Saw Mike Tyson driving one of these in Greenwich Connecticut, years ago, looked so ugly, but now it looks cool, never knew what it was.

    Like 3
  4. Richard Gugenberger

    Mark M. Beat me to the punch , yes Mike Tyson did have one of these , drove it like a wild man .

    Like 3
    • Nick P

      Funny you both mentioned that since he was involved with my response also. He got arrested in Albany, NY speeding down Central Ave in it. Was big news story for us living in Smallbany. He had a home in the area and grew up about an hour south.

  5. BlondeUXB Member

    Just when you thought the Tesla Truck was outrageous…

    Like 5
  6. Rick

    Gotta love the Pep Boys alarm under the hood, and for the price, I want that wiring under the dash cleaned up..

    Like 2
  7. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    All of a sudden I feel like a slacker in the SUV department. I haven’t seen one of those in years and have never seen one in person. Very cool.

    Like 1
  8. Geoff

    Sort of surprised that something commanding such a high price is sitting on plane Jane steel rims that look like they came off a Chevy truck.

    Like 3
  9. JoeNYWF64

    It kinda looks like a kit car – on the outside(compared to a Hummer) – maybe i need to see 1 in person.
    I guess the biggest Hummer is bigger than this Lambo?
    Which gets the better mpg? lol

  10. BR

    The two tractor air filter pre-cleaners are a nice agricultural touch (why not a snorkel?). Lamborghini makes some pretty awesome farm tractors too.

    • Randolph Bourne

      Love it: “agricultural touch” profundly well put!!

  11. 86_Vette_Convertible

    They are different. Maybe not (actually ‘definitely not’) 350K IMO but if you have the money to spare, then it’s your call with what you do with it.

  12. jimmy the orphan

    I’m temped to buy this crazy rig. It would be fun to work that eng. too. But I’m getting to old for toys like this. I have way more than my share now. I’m a toy pig but I’m not sorry ! not sorry you hear ! Later JIMMY

  13. Dennis Marth

    Cool, rare, expen$ive, yadda, yadda ,yadda. But a barn find? Was it in MBS’s barn? c’mon!

  14. DayDreamBeliever Member

    One of these ran the One Lap of America in 1989, at least that is my recollection (two show on the entry list). Famed rally driver Sandro Munari was part of the team. It was a pretty drastic ride, when compared to the other vehicles. A big drawback was probably fuel economy, and frequent stops for that. I was told that there was some transmission leaking issue which was of concern too. A few of the cars got stuck in a sand wash during a pro-rally stage, but that tank just blasted by them.

    The real excitement was captured at the Ascot Speedway (dirt oval) by the camera crew: The driver spun it on the high bank in turn two. Mercifully, it stayed upright.

  15. Tony


  16. t-BONE BOB

    these things are HUGE!

  17. 408 interceptor

    Uday Hussein owned one of these, it was confiscated by the US military, loaded up with dynamite and blown to pieces. Not too many exotic cars in the Hussein family collection survived that conflict.

  18. WTFind

    Not an alarm under hood…look closer

    Like 1
  19. Blackmutt

    It should have Pirelli Scorpions on it, which are $25,000 for a set of five for the standard ones – the “Desert Tires” are NLA. The presentation is meh… they’re asking top dollar for the truck, and the photos aren’t great, it looks a little scruffy, and it’s rolling on the wrong tires.

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