Story and photos by Guy Anderson
In Part 2 of his 1984 Arabian adventure, Anderson finds his Miura and much more.
At the airport in Abu Dhabi, we had been escorted into a special room where an agent reopened my luggage and pointed to a magazine. There was a beautiful girl on the magazine cover in a two piece bathing suit leaning against a Rolls-Royce. One of the agents said in English; “Why do you have this? This is blue material. This is illegal here!” It wasn’t Penthouse or Playboy, it was the Robb Report.
I was getting the picture. I’m in a strange country and don’t know the customs or rules of conduct. I then suggested that “perhaps” they should destroy the book. It began to look like that might have helped diffuse the situation. The agents went thru the rest of my luggage and began to calm down. Customs released me then let us both thru.
The next day we were going to meet with George. He not only was the owner of the Miura, but the proprietor of an exotic car dealership in Abu Dhabi. George was a really cool guy that loved cars and the car business. He had a very nice demeanor and was well versed in all types of exotic, classic and luxury cars.
“And soon, before my eyes like a mirage, we saw the Miura. It looked similar to the fax photos but worse. The color was white, the interior was white, and the wheels were white. I have never seen this color combination on a Miura SV and she was still beautiful.”
The showroom was immaculate and beautiful. The display area was full of the latest and best cars the world had to offer. The cars were custom ordered in many different and beautiful colors.
It was a dream come true, sitting in the showroom looking at several Lamborghini Countach S models along with mini Lamborghini Countach kid’s cars. The display area was surrounded by glass and you could see the local cars driving outside. There were Aston Martin Lagondas cruising by with custom-made curtains covering the interior windows. There was a Lamborghini Countach S done in Metallic Pearl White with a blue metallic interior.
The pearl white Countach was a factory custom build for a 26 year-old Sheikh, the car was built to include a lift-up sun roof package. That car shimmered in the Abu Dhabi sunlight. It was nothing short of spectacular. When I met the owner’s secretary known as the “ SHRUNK” he was all of 5 foot tall and a very interesting gentleman. He had the power of the Sheikh to sign any documents for the government. It was unbelievable what this gentleman could get done.
George explained that the used exotic cars were in Mussafah, otherwise known as the industrial district. Cars stored in Mussafah were mostly in need of repairs, sometimes in poor condition, like the Miura SV, and were not allowed to be stored in the city. It was a part of Arabic law not to have what the proprietor called ‘accident cars’ in the city. So, the following day we planned on making the drive to Mussafah to view the cars.
George took us to the building in which the Miura SV was sitting. That building housed parts, bicycles, cars and other items. It was an open air building having upper section open to allow the hot dry desert breeze thru. One noticeable problem was the air in the building was super hot and super dry. The heat in the Middle East was like nothing I have ever experienced. The sand was very fine floating in the desert breeze allowing a dust to settle on everything.
And soon, before my eyes, we saw the Miura. It looked similar to the fax photos but worse. The color was white, the interior was white, and the wheels were white. I have never seen this color combination on a Miura SV and she was still beautiful. It was S/N 5096.
I have seen many gorgeous triple white Countachs but never a Miura. I could imagine this 1972 SV being restored to her original triple white as made by the Lamborghini factory. The mileage on the SV was super low but the damage and desert storage made her look neglected, unwanted, and abused at only 10 years old. I was eager to know the complete story of this SV, seal the deal, then import the car 7,500 miles to the U.S.A.
This trip was now shaping up to be a fun one or so I thought. The Ferrari BB was not black as rumored, but it was white. It’s still a wonderful Ferrari BB with low miles as well. The BB 512 was said to be a runner and it was a 1979 carburetor car. The sound of the Weber carbs drawing all of that air into the venturi, is such a wonderful sound. If you are not familiar with that sound then you might be missing out on a true GT experience.
In the same building was a black Lamborghini Countach S sitting close to the other cars covered in a light mist of sand with just enough sand exposing the silhouette of this wonderful machine. I inquired about the car and it was said that I should make an offer. The owner of the car was a Sheikh and his cousin wanted the Sheikh to give him the car. It was said the Ferrari BB and the Countach could be made to start and run. It wasn’t easy getting them started but this turned out to be true. So, I bought the BB and offered 30K for the black Countach S to George after I heard the engine start and run. I did not know if the offer was considered because that Countach never came up again in conversation so it quickly became a non-issue.
Now getting back to the Miura, I wanted to talk to George about this car while I was looking at the car and its damage. The windshield was missing, and looking at the dash top, the vinyl was peeled away. The engine was removed from the engine bay. To top it off, this was a Factory split sump V-12 with factory A/C car including triple vents on the passenger side dash ledge.
The Miura was a done deal and would eventually arrive back in the U.S. and be sold. S/N 5096 today is fully restored but in blue.
Back in the U.S. a few months later, I was sitting at home in Marietta, Georgia when the phone rang. The caller was from the cargo area at Kennedy International airport in New York. The voice was mid-eastern and asked for me by name. I responded and that person identified himself as an agent of the airlines. The gentleman informed me that a Lamborghini Countach S was sitting in the cargo area with me listed as the consignee. How is this possible that a Lamborghini Countach is sitting in NY at Kennedy International airport with nothing owed and nothing to do but go and get it? “There must be some kind of a mistake” I thought to myself.
Next in Part 3 The Desert Countach