Please note the registration number is G178 VUV and not as illustrated. 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 Bertone's Marcello Gandini. Lamborghini's 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 4.0-litre - instead of the prototype's 5.0-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 car's 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 newcomer's 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 latter's 300km/h (186mph) top speed making it at the time - the world's fastest car.
The Countach's 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 Lamborghini's 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 Anniversario's 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 Pirelli's 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. Right-hand drive chassis number '12868' was ordered new through Portman Lamborghini in London. A letter on file from the first owner to Portman specifies the Bianco Perlato (Pearl White) paint and white leather interior trim (supplied by the owner) with blue piping and dark blue carpets, while an interesting second (faxed) letter to the first owner from Ubaldo Sgarzi at the Lamborghini factory concerns the paint finish. The original bill of sale (for £110,258.55) is on file also, the total including £1,100 for metallic paint.
First registered on 13th February 1990, the Countach has had only two owners from new and currently displays a total of 13,008 kilometres (approximately 8,080 miles) on the odometer. Recent works include a brake calliper rebuild (new pistons, seals, brake fluid, front brake cooling ducting and re-plating of the front brake shields); fitting new air filters; and changing the engine oil and filter; while the genuine Ansa sports exhaust has been coated in a ceramic satin black finish. In addition, the water pump has been overhauled and the car checked over by marque specialists Colin Clarke Engineering, who have advised that the clutch is 'approximately 75% worn' and the carburettors require an overhaul. Kept in a heated and dehumidified garage for the last 10 years, the Countach comes complete with owner's hand book, spare keys and tool kit, the latter containing an unused pair of leather 'Lamborghini' tyre changing gloves, plus an original Portman Lamborghini tax disc holder and Portman Lamborghini car cover. One spare outer front and one rear outer wheel rim, plus a few other spares, are included in the sale. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire what is widely regarded as the best road-going Countach in terms of handling and reliability, this well-maintained Anniversario is offered with the aforementioned order/purchase documentation, current road fund licence, MoT to May 2014 and UK V5C registration document.
Please note the registration number is G178 VUV and not as illustrated.