1986 Lamborghini Countach 5000S Quattrovalvole
Engine no. L507 V4/73 1134
5,167cc DOHC V12 Engine
Six Weber Downdraft Carburetors
455bhp at 7,000rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
*Delivered new to Switzerland
*Stunning Rosso Siviglia over Bianco leather color scheme
*One of fewer than 300 carbureted Countach Quattrovalvole produced
*The definitive 1980s supercar in the most desirable spec
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. The production version would not be seen for another two years with deliveries commencing in 1974.
As used in the Miura, Lamborghini's four-cam V12 engine was retained for the Countach, 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 spaceframe chassis and the standard 4.0-liter, instead of the prototype's 5.0-liter, 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 first upgrade appeared in 1978 as the 'LP400S', the major changes being confined to the chassis and suspension. A rear aerofoil became available, making the Countach look even more outrageous and, not surprisingly, was the choice of most customers. The Countach'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 MOTORCAR OFFERED
This Countach, GLA12927, is one of the highly desirable carbureted Quattrovalvole models. The last model Lamborghini would ever produce without fuel injection, fewer than half of the production run of 631 Countach Quattrovalvole models breathed through the six double barrel Webers, as evidenced here. Massively powerful, nearly 10% more power that was available from the fuel-injected examples that were largely imported to the U.S. to comply with emission laws at the time, no more than 300 carbureted first-generation Countach QVs left Sant'Agata.
This example is one of only about 30 that were delivered new to Switzerland. Finished in Rosso Siviglia over Bianco leather, a color scheme matched by both this car and the one that preceded it on the production line, GLA12926, as well as Ferrari F1 driver Gerhard Berger's own Countach, it is believed to have remained in Switzerland for the bulk of its life, existing in relatively secrecy.
The history of GLA12927 from its delivery to 2012 is as yet unknown, but it appeared for sale Switzerland in June of 2012 showing 35,825km and registered to the canton of Bern with the plate "BE 366 U". Two years later it appeared for sale in Switzerland again with approximately the same mileage, but further description noting it to be in very good, original condition. It was during this second opportunity in June of 2014 that GLA12927 was acquired by the present owner and shipped to the United States.
Since arriving in the U.S., the car has been carefully maintained as required. The motor mounts were replaced, the carburetors were re-jetted to better handle modern fuel, and the water pump has been rebuilt. Beyond that, nothing else was noted as needing attention and the car is said to be a lovely driver. Cosmetically the paint appears to be original and showing wear commensurate with the just-under-36,500km currently indicated on the odometer. There are some cracks in the paint on the engine coverno doubt the result of heat exposure from the massive V12 and a few small bubbles on the rear winglikely from the foam construction absorbing moisture.
Inside, the stunning and period-appropriate white leather shows well and is clean given the easily stained hue. Largely original, including the radio and controls, the steering wheel looks to be from a later example although the center pad has been cleanly and smoothly bolted into what appears to be the original steering wheel rim so it is possible it was ordered from new as such.
Under the composite engine cover the throbbing heart of this beast lies. Lift the intake cover and the line of six downdraft Weber carbs clearly speaks to the power under foot. Nicely kept, it is largely correct save for a non-original electronic ignition unit replacing the Magnetti Marelli Digiplex box that came from the factory. Drop the hammer and this 3,330-pound missile would rocket to 60mph from a standstill in under five seconds and keep on hauling past 180mph.
Just about every enthusiast had a poster of a red Countach on their way in the 1980sit was and still is the typification of a 1980s supercar. Add to that the desirable sextuplet of downdraft Webers, a sexy white leather interior, and this car's largely original condition and it is a combination not to be missed. And while there are no guarantees in life, it is all but assured that this Countach will turn heads where ever it goes.