Lot 271: Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Coupé
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-litre - instead of the prototype's 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 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 '12815' was first registered in the UK and then taken to Jersey in the Channel Islands where it was reregistered before being brought back to the UK mainland by the current vendor. The car has had only three owners and currently displays a total of some 18,000 miles on the odometer. Accompanying service history consists of the service booklet (six stamps) and two recent bills from Supercar Engineering: one for £7,686 (April 2011) and the other for £22,247 (September 2011). 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 current MoT and will be UK registered with a Swansea V5C document by time of sale.
Goodwood Festival of Speed|
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£113500|
|Engine capacity (cc)|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||2|