You may have read my recent blog post about The Hunt For This Amazing Lamborghini Countach Poster. Well, the story continues. I’ve since met the artist himself, managed to get the poster signed and also received another surprise! Read on.

First of all a quick summary of the story up until now… I loved this poster in my youth. I stared at it every day in my bedroom for about ten years. As with most things, however, it got lost or thrown out over the years. I’ve been trying to replace it for years but couldn’t find another one. I finally found one being sold on eBay from a guy in California. I paid £90 for it including postage. Now the story develops…

A few months ago I was contacted by another person from California. A different person. Just very random that he was in California too. An extremely helpful gentleman called Ken, who is a screenplay writer. He had another copy of the poster and was looking to sell it. He had seen my blog post and was curious as to how much I paid for it, because he was wanting to work out how much he could sell it for. This sparked a discussion between myself and Ken. He decided not to sell the poster in the end, and he also did some research into the artist, Keith Harmer, and found his email address. He contacted Keith and let him know about my blog post. The next thing I know I was emailed by the artist, Keith Harmer, saying that he enjoyed reading the blog post and that if I was ever in his neighbourhood he would be very happy to sign my poster. Well, how can I refuse an offer like that!

It just so happened that I was attending a friend’s wedding a few days ago only about an hour’s drive from where Keith lives. So I had arranged to pop round to see Keith on the way home from the wedding. My wife and I were lucky enough to meet Keith and heard a few stories about the origins of the artwork.

  • I asked him about how the job came about. He said his agent, Archer Art, was approached by Athena for a series of airbrushed pictures of cars. There were actually five in the series: the other four were a Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, a Porsche 911 Turbo, a Rolls Royce Corniche and a Vector W2 (which I’d actually never heard of before). You can see these other posters at the bottom of the post.
  • Keith had previously been painting a lot of cutaway cars for car manuals or magazines.
  • The original artwork of the Lamborghini was about A3 size and was blown up for the poster. That’s why there’s a bit of graininess in the poster.
  • The Lamborghini poster sold more than any other Athena poster at the time. That’s no mean feat.
  • After doing the poster he actually bought himself a black Lamborghini, just like the one in the poster, (although actually a 5000QV model) which he used to drive regularly to work. He bought it in a not so great condition and refurbished it himself (I’ve learnt that Keith is great with cars, having refurbished this Lamborghini and also putting together a Ferrari replica by himself). He later sold this black Lamborghini, along with the original artwork for the poster. There are photos of the car at the bottom of this post.
  • Portman Garages were the garage that owned the car that was used as the model for the photo. That car was red, but Athena wanted the colour changed to black for the poster.
  • When I asked Keith if he painted the lamborghini from any reference material he said “Wait one second, I’ve got a present for you”. When he came back into the room he showed me the original photograph that he used as reference material for his artwork. Not only this but he said I could keep the photo! I was blown away. What an amazing and unique piece of history for this poster. This is the photo that Keith took of the car, when he was allowed a full day with the car to make notes for the poster. He took lots of other reference photos for the details, but this photo is the main angle that he used for the poster. I feel very privileged to own that piece of the story. Below you can see an image comparison of the photograph and the poster.
Here you can compare the two pictures by sliding the bar…

All of the text at the bottom of the poster has now been explained.

Keith also signed the poster which was very generous of him as he said it was the only one that he has ever signed. This obviously makes my poster that little bit more unique and special. I’m going to have to get a better frame for it now as the one I’m using just now is a bit flimsy. And I’m thinking of putting the original photo of the red Lamborghini in the frame too, at the bottom left.

I’d like to say a huge thank you first of all to Ken in California for initiating the research and for making contact with Keith. Without Ken’s involvement this meet up would never have happened. Thank you very much indeed, Ken.

And now onto Keith Harmer. It was great to meet Keith. He was a true gent and I can’t thank him enough for inviting us into his home, signing the poster and generously giving me the original photograph. The poster will hang even more proudly on my wall now. A massive thank you Keith.

Here are some other pics of Keith’s black Lamborghini that he bought after he did the poster.

And here is the full set of posters that Keith painted in the series. I bought these postcard versions of the posters off eBay.