RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba auction is the very acme of refined good taste. The 19th century mansion, set on the shore of Italy’s Lake Como, plays host to some of the most elegant classic cars once a year, where immaculately groomed guests can pick at unpronounceable finger food, guffaw conspicuously and wear red trousers without fear of public ridicule.
It’s also where this 1987 Lamborghini Countach QV is being sold. At first it looks the authentic Jay-Z deal. “Cocaine seats, all white like I got the whole thing bleached,” as Mr Z might say if he hadn’t been rapping about a Rolls Royce Corniche instead. And then you look inside and recoil with horror as you realise that the dashboard, steering column and gated gearshift has been plated in 14-carat gold.
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that the Countach has often attracted a certain clientele. Rod Stewart owned one. Mike Tyson was a customer as was Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon. Then there’s Prince Jefri of Brunei, a man with a superyacht called Tits and twin tenders on the back called Nipple 1 and Nipple 2. These are not men encumbered with an excess of refined taste.
Countachs are cars that you had on your bedroom wall as a kid, when you thought that you could live solely on a diet of foam banana lollies and that you’d be rendered irresistible to the opposite sex if you actually owned a functional light sabre. There are exceptions but Countachs are usually bought by people who haven’t progressed far beyond this worldview.
It’s hard to understand quite where the motivation to gold plate the Lambo’s cabin came from though. With typical understatement, RM Sotheby’s simply claim that the car’s Dutch owner sent it to Lamborghini Polo Storico for a bare metal restoration that included the gold work inside. Dutch. Gold. It could really only be one person.
Feel that you’d like coins thrown at you while ogling women half your age in nightclub queues? Fill that chasm in your social life with this gilded belter. The car’s up .