1983 Lamborghini Countach
- Kilometerstand58 673 km / 36 458 mi
Extremely Undisturbed Matching-Numbers Carbureted Countach with Over 30 Years of Single Ownership. $76,000 in Work by Countach Expert Evans Automotive Including Complete Engine Rebuild.
1983 Lamborghini Countach LP5000S
VIN ZA9C00500CLA12548, engine no. 12548
White with Black Leather Interior
There is perhaps no more widely recognizable or iconic car than the Lamborghini Countach. Much has been written about the car, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but the one thing that is impossible to do is ignore it. Developed as a successor to the remarkable and stunning Miura, the Countach created an equally large, if not larger stir when first introduced. The idea that such a totally futuristic and over the top car could possibly be intended for production was inconceivable, but in Lamborghini’s tradition, the car was readied for production largely unaltered. The car was produced for about 15 years in various forms, with later cars gaining fuel-injection and aesthetically intrusive US bumpers which dulled the aesthetics and character of the car somewhat. Although they were ignored by collectors for decades, they have recently emerged as highly collectible cars thanks to their tremendous cultural significance as a genuine 1980s icon. Certainly there are few cars that are more instantly recognizable or that have spent as much time on the bedroom walls as the Countach, and 60 Minutes were enthusiastic to tell the story of the storied marque the American public with their iconic 1987 feature.
This particular car is a matching-numbers side draft carbureted example which spent the majority of its life in the hands of a single owner, who purchased it at the now defunct dealer Milano Imports in Gilroy, California with 1,040 kilometers on the odometer in March of 1987. The car has documentation back to the 1985, when it was imported by Chequered Flag in Los Angeles. During the federalization process, the car fortunately remained relatively undisturbed from an aesthetic standpoint. A rear bumper was fitted, as were side markers, but the stunning aesthetic of the front of the car is mercifully intact. Never restored but having been enthusiastically driven more than 58,000 kilometers, it shows some wear and signs of age, but remains stunning and well-preserved overall. From a mechanical standpoint, it has been properly looked after, including $76,000 in work 4,000 kilometers ago in 2005 by well-respected Countach experts Evans Automotive in Columbus, Ohio.
This work is extensively photo documented and included a complete engine rebuild with new JE pistons, new bearings, rebuilt carburetors, rebuild heads with redone camshafts with European spec profiles, new guides, new timing chain, new water pump, rebuilt alternator, rebuilt ignition system including distributor, cap, rotor, and plug wires, new motor mounts, new AC evaporator core, new fuel pumps and lines, recoated headers, new oil lines and all new belts and coolant and heater hoses. The engine compartment was cleaned and cosmetically restored, and new MSD ignition system fitted as well. The flywheel was machined and a new release bearing and Kevlar clutch fitted as well, along with new clutch hydraulic hoses and a rebuilt clutch cylinder. The transmission was gone through including new synchromesh and new seals as well. All four CV joints were also rebuilt, all four rear shocks rebuilt and new bushings fitted, and the front control arms fitted with new bushings. The brakes were serviced as well with new front rotors, new pads all around, new hoses, and new caliper seals. Cosmetically, the front spoiler was repainted, as was the trunk lid. All black louvers and badges were also repainted. The dashboard and shift knob were retrimmed and all four wheels were refinished and fitted with new tires.
Today, the car is as stunning as ever, and having never been restored or modified, it has an honest undisturbed character. The body is excellent, with straight panels and good gaps in keeping with how these cars were originally delivered. All panels operate properly while the paint appears to be older and shows the typical chips, checking, and superficial stress cracks associated with use and aging. The black trim is crisp and unfaded and the wheels are in beautiful condition, being glossy and essentially unmarked, with correct center caps and Ruote OZ stickers. The lights and lenses are all excellent, including the vulnerable Carello fog lamps. The glass is equally nice, with the only issues being light marks from road use and thin areas of delamination at the very edges of the front windscreen. All glass retains correct etching and the windscreen appears original, with Sigla West Germany label. The fender extensions, rear wing, and front bumper are all in good shape, with no major damage and good fit where the components meet the body. Clear protective film was applied to the lower parts of the leading edges of the rear extensions, which has yellowed with age. The badging and trim are complete, properly placed, and in excellent shape.
The interior appears to be original and is beautifully preserved, with the feel of a car which has covered far fewer than the indicated 58,000 kilometers. The leather is supple and shows very little wear, with some light aging on the bottom of the driver’s seat and a few light scuffs on the driver’s sill, but no other wear to speak of. The leather dash is excellent, with no warping, shrinkage, or pulling seams. The remaining leather, including door panels and expansive center console, is also excellent. The slider mechanism has been removed from the driver’s seat and the seat permanently mounted in an aft position to provide the most legroom and headroom for a larger driver. The original mechanism is included with the car. The correct Raid steering wheel and Personal shift knob are both present and well-preserved. The gauges are original and unmodified, with good clarity of the dials and pointers. The radio is, naturally, and Alpine cassette player, which any Countach enthusiast will recall is a brand intimately associated with the car thanks to the Alpine ad campaign that featured Countaches. The carpets appear original and are in good order with only light wear and aging.
The engine compartment presents extremely well, with a concours level cosmetic restoration done to the engine while it was being rebuilt. The valve covers are beautifully refinished in black wrinkle with bare aluminum accents, and the carburetors have also been cosmetically restored, with renewed plating on the various hardware. The heads and block were also cosmetically restored at this time, and the headers Jet Hot coated. The engine compartment and ancillaries are also clean and tidy, complementing the superb presentation of the engine itself. The trunk is unrestored and retains its original carpet, which matches the interior. The front compartment is also correctly presented and in good unrestored condition, with the original spare with hold down straps. A battery cut off switch has been added. The undercarriage presents as expected for a carefully driven car that has been used in fair weather and never suffered any structural damage. The mechanical components are clean, including engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes.
The car runs and drives well, with a throaty and aggressive exhaust note, coupled with the magic of six Weber carburetors. Carburetion and throttle response are clean and linear, and the controls have a harmonious feel. The clutch takes up progressively and isn’t excessively heavy, and shifter has a relatively slick action that is lower effort than most other Countaches. Synchromesh is good, the steering and suspension effective, and the brakes operate in a linear fashion with good bite and a firm pedal. The car comes with a reprint manual, tool roll with jack, and original seat adjustment slider for the driver’s seat.
The Countach is an iconic and impactful car that continues to excite enthusiasts of all ages, decades after its introduction. Indeed, as the Radwood movement continues to grow, interest in the Countach is on the way up as a new generation of enthusiasts experiences the brutal beauty of one of Marcello Gandini’s most famous designs. This particular car represents an excellent opportunity to buy an unmolested Countach with great integrity. These cars were frequently modified or suffered from being worked on by shops that weren’t familiar with the idiosyncrasies of this car, but this one has clearly been well preserved and properly maintained by its long-term owner, and the resulting car has a coherent and correct presentation that will appease marque anoraks while still being a great example to drive without apprehension about adding the occasional mark or covering some guilt-free miles.