After a failed restoration, Lamborghini LM002 once driven on 'Top Gear' by The Stig is reborn
It's one thing to be tricked into getting a new air filter for your car when you go in for an oil change even though you don't need one. It's quite another to completely fail at a vehicle restoration.
Lamborghini LM002 chassis number 40 of 301 has been given a restoration by the experts at Bell Sport & Classic after having survived a series of owners, drivers, and a failed restoration attempt. The 11-month project completely overhauled the vehicle, which was driven on a 2003 episode of "Top Gear" by The Stig.
The model is finished in a Blu Acupulco Metallizato paint job.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic
The LM002 was produced by Lamborghini between 1986 and 1993. It was massive and powerful and full of machismo then. Even now, in the age of emission standards and public transportation, the LM002 is still highly regarded.
It came from the factory with a 450-bhp 5.2-liter V12 engine from the Countach under its hood. It has a 76.6-liter fuel tank, which buyers will need because the badass boxy model gets just 8 mpg.
This particular left-hand drive LM002 was purchased by its current owner in 2003, who spent six years enjoying it on- and off-road before placing it into storage in 2009. Ten years later it arrived at Bell Sport & Classic for a complete restoration after having one failed effort, with components in boxes.
Bell Sport & Classic had just the right man for the job. Their master technician, Attilio Romano, is a former Ferrari factory technician with over 40 years of experience in service and restoration. Prior to his time at Bell Sport & Classic, Romano was the lead technician at H.R. Owen across Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti models, including being the first factory-registered technician to work on the Veyron.
The engine is original.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic
"The engine block was still in place," Attilio remembers of starting work on the LM002, "but most of the ancillaries had been stripped off. All the separated components were supplied in boxes…it was a bit of a detective job, so the first thing we did was a thorough inventory."
However, not all the parts that were needed were there. Also, many of the parts and tools needed are now unavailable from Lamborghini. So, the team at Bell Sport & Classic set about creating new components in-house or outsourcing them from trusted suppliers.
At the rear the LM002 features two springs and dampers per wheel, while the front features a spring-within-a-spring suspension unit, with the two springs wound in opposite directions. With no service tool in existence to disassemble the front unit, Attilio created his own rig to compress and remove the two springs in one operation. Once apart, all components were inspected then sent to be powder coated.
The LM002 was the very definition of utility vehicle.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic
An up close look at the power plant revealed that the water pump had been leaking though the bearing seals. The housing had also fractured. With that part no longer stocked, Bell Sports & Classic relied on the expertise of Chesman Engineering of Coventry to create an entirely new pump to original specification.
Aside from the water pump, the LM002's engine was in relatively good condition. There were only had 13,690 miles on the power plant. It was in fine condition. The same could not be said for the transmission, which saw its dog gear and center diff damaged. A replacement was listed at over £6,000 and no new units were available. Attilio used his expertise to reshape the teeth using die grinders and files to get it back in proper working order.
The non-standard rear exhaust box was replaced with an original spec system.
Most of the car's interior leather is original.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic
This LM002 was finished in a Blu Acupulco Metallizato paint job and had its cabin trimmed in light grey leather. Most of the leatherwork was just repairs as its good condition allowed for just minor touchups. All door deals were replaced.
The 1987 Lamborghini LM 002 is currently for sale by Bell Sports & Customs and listed at £285,000.