Back in the late 70s and 80s, the Lamborghini Countach used to
be the poster every kid dreamed to have. Its posters used to
adorn the bedrooms of many small boys and a good number of
Many enthusiasts argue this is the greatest generation of all
Lamborghinis but there are still others who argue against it.
However, they all agree that the model is a true automotive
icon of all times.
Marcelo Gandini was the brains behind the Countach’s design.
The designer was highly regarded having had previously designed
the successful Miura which the Countach was succeeding.
The Lamborghini Countach through the years
The first prototype of the Lamborghini Countach was introduced
in 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle carried the LP
500 nametag. The name stood for Longitudinal Posteriore 5000cc
to reflect the car’s 5.0 L, V12 engine which was mounted
longitudinally on its rear. The prototype elicited quite a stir
during the show which forced the automaker to hasten and take
it into production. In 1974 a production model dubbed the
Countach LP400 debuted beginning 17 years of excellence at the
Its design featured numerous flat and trapezoid-shaped
surfaces. The car also featured large air intakes and ducts.
However, the most unique feature of the Lambo’ was its
innovative flip-up, scissor-looking doors which have featured
in all Lamborghini’s since. These doors are commonly referred
to as “Lambo doors” nowadays even if they are featured on a
different brand. The vehicle’s had a tubular frame while its
sheet-metal was made from aluminum. The vehicle also featured a
wide depression on its roof. The depression led to the clear
glass which was in-line with the rear mirror resulting in a
periscope effect which aided rearward visibility. These types
of Countach often referred to as “periscopo” LP400s are most
sought after by collectors.
The LP 400 debuted with a 4.0 L V-12 engine which produced 375
hp. The power was sent to the rear wheels via 5-speed
all-syncromesh transmission system. The engine was changed
after the 5.0 L on the prototype was found to regularly
overheat. This also led to the change of names to reflect
change of engine.
It was fitted with narrow Michelin tires which resulted in a
small coefficient of drag helping the car reach a terrific
speed. The vehicle nearly hit the 180 mph mark but it failed to
outshine the top-of-the-range Ferrari which had earlier
outclassed the Lamborghini Miura. It was also fitted with
4-wheel Girling ventilated discs for braking. Other features
included coil springs, A-arms and tube shocks. It is also
interesting to note that the vehicle had twin- fuel tanks.
Later in ’78, after only making 157 models, Lamborghini revised
the vehicle to LP400s. The new vehicle incorporated Pirelli P7
tires which featured massive rubber and required bigger
fiberglass fender arches, a new suspension as well as a new
brake set up. The automaker also added a V-shaped rear spoiler
to improve its stability in high speeds. It is on this model
that the trademark Campagnolo “telephone dial” wheels were
first introduced. Years later, Ozetta electron wheels
In ’84 the automaker added another variant, the LP500S. This
vehicle used a modified 5.0 L engine. Lamborghini was now able
to offer the engine without overheating. In addition, the new
variant featured modified fender flares, and a front spoiler.
A year later in 1985, the automaker revised the Countach again.
A new model dubbed the LP5000S QV was introduced. The naming
represented its engine’s 4 valves per cylinder
(quattrovalvole). Its engine was also increased to 5.1 L.
Models meant for the US market were hooked up Bosch K-Jetronic
fuel injection system. This pushed the car’s output to
420 hp while Europe cars delivered 455 horses. Other new
features introduced were rocker panel air intakes to cool the
In 1989, the last model of the lineup was released coinciding
with the automaker’s silver anniversary. The new model
christened the “Anniversario” had numerous changes (550 changes
in total) compared to the QV it replaced. Some of its new
features included modified radiator intakes, an upgraded
chassis, power adjustable seats, power windows, an updated air
conditioning system and extra sound deafening among others. It
was like whole new model. The Anniversario looked less
aggressive than the QV. It was painted in silver metallic and
featured a light grey interior. The last model of the
Anniversario was put at the automaker’s factory museum at
And in 1990, the Countach era came to an end after serving as
the automaker’s bread and butter for 17 years. The last
Countach version is often regarded as the most prolific seller
of the lineup as well as the best handling. Though discontinued
its legend still lives on.
Performance and Price
The best performance recorded by the Lamborghini Countach make
1986 5000QV model: 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.2 sec, 0-100 mph
in 10,0 sec and a top speed of 190 mph. Were produced
2,049 of these fantastic cars, price varies from condition of
the vehicle from $ 300,000 to $ 2 million.