Check Out the Bananas Story Behind the Lamborghini LM002

Military contracts, lawsuits, oil barons, and warlords, oh my!

The 6,800-pound off-road rocket that is the Lamborghini LM002.Hagerty

Leave it to 1980s Lamborghini to build what might be the craziest production car ever. We’re not talking about the Countach, either. Instead, we’re talking about the V-12-powered, 444-hp, five-speed manual off-roader called the LM002. At 6,800 pounds and riding on 345-section tires on all four corners, nothing about it is sane or practical. Dictators loved it, and polite company the world over reviled it. It is, in a word, perfect.

The LM002 is a spec sheet enthusiast’s nirvana.Hagerty

But its bananas spec sheet is less than half the story of the preferred SUV of Muammar Gaddafi and the Sultan of Brunei. The really mental stuff is how the thing came to exist in the first place, and how it very nearly and very probably shouldn’t have made it past the concept stage.

The power came from the same engine that powered the Countach.Hagerty

The tl;dr is this: It started life as an American design to satisfy a government contract bid to replace the US military’s fleet of ancient Jeeps. The design changed hands and specifics a couple of times, resulted in an intellectual property suit, and eventually became the LM002. So many people had their hands on the design that the only actual Lamborghini part in the whole truck is the engine, which is straight out of the Countach.

Thanks to the massive tires, all accounts say the LM002 has supercar handling, despite its insane weight.Hagerty

To really understand it, you need to set aside time for the whole story, told brilliantly by Hagerty’s Jason Cammisa. Wait till lunch break and hit the video link. You won’t regret it.

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