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Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach Published: 17th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini Countach
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£200,000-£1m+ - Stand out looks - V12 melodic mite - Ultimate bedroom pin-up

If ever a car deserved the ‘super’ prefix than it has to be the Countach. Spiritual successor to the graceful Miura, Countach is in contrast all squared and 70’s sharp-suited. But the Lamborghini was no show pony, because this concept car went as well as it still looks. Perhaps the ultimate pin-up supercar classic ever?

Driving

It looks like a raging bull in full flow but while the Countach packs a V12 punch, it’s more docile than you first give credit for and, unlike the Miura, can almost be considered ‘user friendly’ although hardly refined. Rightly so, you’ve got to be up for driving this Lamborghini – and for the right journey due to its exhilarating noise, explosive acceleration, bone-jarring ride and lamentable all round visibility. Yet on the other hand, few supercars from the Seventies can still prove more than a match against any modern equivalent than this 180mph (200mph was initially boasted!) wonder wedge which Motor called “the world’s purest supercar” which no rival could match for “sheer aggression and energy” with the handling “in a class of its own”.

Best models

Made from 1974 to 1990, just over 2000 were made, the rarest being the original 3929cc V12 LP400 which ran up to 1978. In a way, it’s the purist’s pick because, after this, power dressing came into play, first with a huge rear wing (500S) to contain the new 4.7-litre engine and the ultimate shoulder-padded Pirelli-tyred evo version, the 500QV, the letter signifying four-valves per cylinder from its new 5167cc power plant.

In 1998 a 25th Anniversary model was offered, two years before the Diablo replaced this legend.

Values

There’s no such thing as a cheap Countach as you need at least £250,000 for a reasonable car and double this for the LP400, which is the most valued; the very early ‘Periscopo’ models (yes, rear visibility can be that dire!) can fetch comfortably over a cool £1m. Strangely, the Anniversary values actually, if only slightly, trail the normal Countachs but this may change.

Buying advice

Remember what they say about not meeting your heroes? Well this is where you can come unstuck in a major way because you really need to test one out to see if you can come to terms with its quirks and foibles.

It’s imperative you know what you’re looking for when buying (few do) which is why using a known specialist (Suffolk’s GTB Restorations also cares for Lambos) is well worth the expense. Chassis badly corrode (usually the tubes so look for past repairs) as does the alloy body. Visibility is so limited that you almost need a white stick to help drive the car so don’t be surprised to find previous accident damage.

Mechanically, the Lambo is quite tough; most frequent expense (apart from tyres) will be clutches which understandably take a hammering and an engine out job to replace. If a car feels loose and ‘baggy’ then it’s worn suspension; it doesn’t feature common bushes but expensive racing-style rose joints and there’s some 20 in all. A heavy car, but EZ has developed a power steering for it at around £3000. On the move, oil pressure should sit at six bar but it’s normal for its to fall almost worryingly low at engine tickover.

Diablo: a demon deal?

Replacing the Countach, despite its name, Diablo was more mild mannered and softer looking. It’s not quite so aggressive on the move either although top speed ‘broke the 200mph barrier’. Later four-wheel driven VT with power steering most liked and all are significantly cheaper than any Countach.



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