Do you remember your first encounter with a Lamborghini?
My parents once got a visit from a friend who had a 350 GT, an early version with three seats. I was in my teens at the time. I looked at the car and I liked it. It’s a beautiful car. But it’s not like I was so blown away that I fell out of my chair. A short while later – I was doing my apprenticeship in Basel – I saw a green Miura P 400. And that was this one experience, that was the wow effect. From that moment on, I was hooked. Looking back, I can also see the difference: The 350 was a GT, a great car, but I was too young to understand that. Today I collect cars like that, but back then it didn’t excite me, despite the great technology. But the Miura, that was an encounter that I will never forget for the rest of my life. A little later, in 1971, I saw the Countach LP 500 at the Geneva Motor Show. I was swept away! I could hardly sleep. What a car! A car from another star. Shortly after that, Lamborghini released the first production version, the LP 400 and the LP 400 S. And at that time I even had the means to buy a car like that. The problem was that Lamborghini was under receivership at the time. There was a lot of cheating, everybody wanted to sell contracts, I also had a contract, made a down payment, didn’t get the car at first, then did, an LP 400 S. That was my first Lamborghini.
Was it a good car?
[laughs] How should I answer that? Let me put it this way: It was a crazy car. It actually drove very well. Contrary to what a lot of people say, the car didn’t break down all the time. We drove it all over Europe.
While Albert Spiess talks about his first Lamborghini Countach S, he pulls out the original sales contract from among his documents. It is dated September 20, 1979, issued by Claus Automobile in Schmerikon, Switzerland. Chassis number: 1121092. Color: blue metallic. Odometer reading: 918 km. The contract also shows that Albert Spiess paid 45,000 Swiss francs in advance and another 95,000 on delivery.
Spiess: With a rear spoiler, of course. That’s how it had to be in those days. It roared and thudded and made a lot of noise. It was a real joy. I still think back to it often today.