Check Out a Rare 1987 Lamborghini LM002 at the Miami Concours
Only about 300 LM002s were made, and this strange vehicle is a sight to behold.
In 1977, Star Wars opened in theaters, Elvis Presley died at age 42, and wrestler-turned-actor John Cena was born. During that same year, Lamborghini unveiled its weirdest vehicle ever at the Geneva Auto Show: the Lamborghini Cheetah. Equipped with a rear-mounted 5.9-liter Chrysler V8, the Cheetah was the brainchild of Mobility Technology International, an American defense contractor.
When it was determined that the Cheetah looked suspiciously similar to another Pentagon project vehicle, the FMC XR311, the all-terrain vehicle was dropped like a scorned paramour. Lamborghini went back to the shop after the Mimran brothers bought the company in 1980 and came up with something new, which it called the LM001 (“Lamborghini Militaria” model 001). After that prototype, the Raging Bull finally scrapped the plan and started from the ground up to create the LM002, this time with a 5.2-liter V12. Only about 300 of these vehicles were made, and one of them been all over the world. Currently, it lives in South Florida, where you can witness this oddity at the Miami Concours today and tomorrow.
A fuel sipper, this is not; the 6,780-pound LM002 gets about eight miles per gallon. With a massive 72-gallon fuel tank, you're looking at more than $215 for each stop at the gas station (at an average of three dollars per gallon). On top of that, it requires four gallons of oil and another four gallons of coolant. That's a whole lot of liquids to keep this beast happy.
When it was revealed to the public at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986, Lamborghini’s muscle truck was dubbed the “Rambo Lambo” by media at the event. (You're picturing Sylvester Stallone driving it now, aren't you? Reportedly, he once had one in his garage.) This particular LM002 on display in Miami was once owned by the ex-wife of then-Lamborghini owner Patrick Mimran before it was sold to Italian racing driver Andrea Barenghi in the mid 90s. Barenghi wanted to race the LM002 at the infamous Dakar Rally and spend a year preparing it.
According to We Are Curated, the engine was removed from the truck and then treated with a custom-made injection system. "The factory catalyst was removed and both cooling and lubrication were modified and reinforced so the car would be able to withstand anything the grueling rally could throw at it," reads the profile of the LM002 on the company's site. However, while it was successfully entered in the 1996 Granada-Dakar rally, it couldn't finish.
"In a matter of days the team went through more than 24 shock absorbers and had to withdraw from the race due to a lack of spare parts," says We Are Curated.
Today, this LM002 is still proudly wearing its rally graphics and doesn't spend much time on the road. This throwback is nothing like today's Urus SUV, which is more refined and carries a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Maybe the Rambo Lambo is due for a rebirth à la GMC's upcoming Hummer EV, which retains its giant profile but with an all-electric powertrain.
The Miami Concours, which is being hosted in the spectacular Design District, is run by collector and supercar dealership Curated Investments. Today, you can see the Rambo Lambo and a slew of other cars (including ten Paganis) until 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s open and free to the public, so if you’re nearby don’t miss the chance to check it out.
Got a tip? Leave a comment or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.