1988 Lamborghini Countach Anniversario 25th Coupé
Registration no. F467 PYE
Chassis no. KLA12462
Engine no. KLA12462
The legendary Miura was always going to be a hard act to follow, so the extent to which its successor eclipsed the greatest of 1960s supercars came as something of a shock to all. The sensation of the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled, like its predecessor, by Bertones Marcello Gandini. Lamborghinis four-cam V12 was retained, though this time installed longitudinally. To achieve optimum weight distribution, designer Paolo Stanzani placed the five-speed gearbox ahead of the engine between the seats, and the differential - driven by a shaft passing through the sump - at the rear. The result was a delightful gearchange and a better-balanced car than the Miura. When production began in 1974, the Countach sported an improved chassis and the standard 4-litre - instead of the prototypes 5-litre - engine. Even with the smaller engine producing only 375bhp, the aerodynamically efficient Countach could attain 170mph and, as one would expect, came with racetrack roadholding to match. The cars potentially largest market - the USA - remained closed to it until the arrival of the emissions friendly LP500S in 1982. Although no more powerful than before, the newcomers 4,754cc engine brought with it a useful increase in torque. The final development saw the engine enlarged to 5,167cc and new four-valves-per-cylinder heads adopted for the Countach Quattrovalvole in 1985, the latters 300km/h (186mph) top speed making it at the time - the worlds fastest car.
The Countachs ultimate development, considered by many to be the most desirable, arrived in September 1988. Launched at the Italian Grand Prix, Monza, this was the Anniversario, introduced to celebrate Lamborghinis 25th anniversary as a motor manufacturer. Restyled and updated, the Anniversario incorporated hundreds of subtle changes and improvements over the Quattrovalvole. The body was reworked by designer Horacio Pagani, creator of the Pagani Zonda, gaining a new nose and front bumper/spoiler incorporating front brake air ducts. US-destined cars retained the ugly 5mph impact-resistant bumper, while the new rear bumper was common to both US and European models. The most striking difference in the Anniversarios appearance was in the treatment of the radiator air intakes directly behind the doors, which featured thicker vertical strakes, colour-matched to the body. Beneath the skin the chassis had been extensively updated for improved handling, its development assisted by none other than three-time World Rally Champion, Sandro Munari. Split-rim forged alloy OZ wheels were adopted for the Anniversario, shod with Pirellis new P Zero dual-compound asymmetrical-tread tyres. Available with carburettors in Europe or fuel injection in the USA, the V12 engine was virtually unchanged from the Quattrovalvole. In total, 657 Countach Anniversario models were made between September 1988 and April 1990, one of the many high-profile owners being ex-Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti.
First owned by well-known Lamborghini aficionado Barry Robinson, during whose ownership it was registered BR 33, right-hand drive chassis number 12462 is the actual car featured in the eight-page centre-section dealing with the Anniversario model in Peter Drons book, Lamborghini Countach The Complete Story. It has also featured in numerous other journals and publications. The previous owner kept the car from August 1997 until it was acquired by the vendor in 2004, since when it has been kept in heated storage. 12462 comes with service book stamped in 1988 (twice), February 1989 and January 2004 (at 10,732 kilometres) when £3,500 was spent at Modena Cars (Lamborghini Wycombe). While in the current ownership the car has been fitted with a genuine, ex-factory Countach rear wing (an option when new) and an Alpine satellite navigation system. The engine has been serviced by recognised specialists Carrera Tune (2,000 kilometres ago, immediately prior to a trip to Le Mans in 2005) and the air conditioning re-gassed at around the same time.
The Anniversario is widely regarded as the best road-going Countach in terms of handling and reliability, and we can vouch for the fact that this example is a most impressive performer, while its condition appears to indicate careful use and storage. Currently showing circa 15,800 kilometres on the odometer, 12462 comes with a substantial leather-bound history file, original wallet and service book, spare parts list, service invoices and expired MoT certificates from 1996 to date. It is offered with current road fund licence, Swansea V5 registration document and fresh MoT.