To replace the iconic Miura, Lamborghini would once again throw the design rulebook out of the window. Employing Marcello Gandini once more, Lamborghini launched the spaceship LP400 at the Geneva motorshow in 1971. Three years later the first customer cars were delivered.
In 1974 the Countach was a trailblazer. Its design both pioneered and popularised the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look popular in many high-performance sports cars. The "cabin-forward" design concept, which pushes the passenger compartment forward in order to accommodate a larger engine, was also popularised by the Countach.
For the 5000 QV, the penultimate and most popular iteration of the Countach legend, the engine was bored and stroked to 5.2 litres (5,167 cc) and given four valves per cylinder (quattrovalvole in Italian). The carburettors were moved from the sides to the top of the engine for better breathing — creating a "power bulge" on the engine cover. These engine changes meant that the car produces 455BHP @7,500rpm with 369lb ft @ 5,200rpm; some 70bhp up on its Testarossa rival and enough to propel the car from a standstill to 60mph in 4.1 seconds and on to 100mph in 10. The Downdraft 5000 QV was in fact the only Countach to be homologated for the FIAs Group B, intending to rival the likes of the 288 GTO and 959 before the cancellation of the series due to safety concerns. Such was the over engineering present with the Countach, even at peak production just three handbuilt cars a week were finished in Sant’Agata.
It is these facts and figures which make the downdraft QV the Countach to have, whilst the headlines have been grabbed the early Periscopica Countachs which have soared in value, peaking at auction as high as $1,800,000. In 2011, world-renowned period test-driver Valentino Balboni spoke the highest praise of the QV, ’It’s still clean and pure Countach. I think it’s the best compromise. In terms of power and drivability, for me it’s the best. This is the one which has the most charisma, I would say. Pure Countach: the right engine in the right car.”
This QV was ordered new by a wealthy British-Iranian businessman Ali Taefi, supplied new by Portman Lamborghini of George Street, London on 1st August 1986. The car was registered to his company Earlsgate Properties of Warrington Gardens and lived with him in “The Boltons”. Ordered new in the fantastically rare hue of Blu Acapulco Metallizzato over Crema, this well known example features a number of bespoke options, the dashboard, steering wheel and gearstick cover are all finished in bespoke blue leather. Additionally this example benefits from the three piece Hi-Fi system, to the same spec as Lamborghini’s CEO Patrick Mimran’s car.
Mr Taefi used the car frequently covering some 5,000 km before selling the car to a colleague within his business, Talochan Lochay who would keep the car for a short period of time. Mr Draper purchased the car in December 1987 re-registering it ‘LAMB608’; he would only own the car for 8 months but in this time the car was regularly seen at Lamborghini club events and photographed for its inclusion in Peter Dron’s Countach book - ‘Lamborghini Countach - The Complete Story’. He still managed to add 7,000 km to the odometer in his ownership!
In August 1988, the car was purchased from Portman Lamborghini London by Mr Davey of Sussex. Mr Davey would ‘store’ the car in the Bentley Motor Museum throughout his 7 year ownership. Portman looked after the car for the first part of his ownership, each time collecting the car from his house in Uckfield, servicing and tending to his every requirement before delivering the car back to him. Towards the end of his ownership, servicing tasks were carried out by Talacrest in Egham.
In 1995, Mr Cockerill purchased the car. He would continue to add to the already extensive history file with invoices and taking note of each and every part, oil change and tyre purchase up until his sale of the car to two brothers, some twelve years later.
In 2007, after collecting the car, Craig & Justin Baker carried out some remedial work to the Countach. The rear wing was removed and the whole car received a respray in the same Blu Acapulco Metallizzato. Testament to the care of the interior, this was left untouched.
In 2011 the car changed hands once more, this time sold to ex-Lotus F1 Team owner Gerard Lopez who would retain the car until it was purchased by its current owner in 2016. Prior to purchase, the current owner had the car inspected by Valentino Balboni who stated the car was the best RHD Countach extant. High praise indeed.
The current owner carried out some mechanical work with Carrera Sport who have known this car for a number of years, including a complete engine strip down and rebuild. Since then, the car has been stored and maintained by Thornley Kelham of Gloucestershire last being seen at the London Concours in June 2019.
Whilst a total of 1,982 Countachs were built over its 16 year lifespan, just c.300 5000QV ‘downdraft’ examples were built (including the 88.5s) and of that, there were c.40 UK RHD examples. Of those 40 there are very strong arguments to suggest that this is the finest example remaining, above that of the 88.5 cars fitted with the side slats.
Presenting superbly along with its extensive history file, original books and tools and even ‘Portman Lamborghini’ issued number plates. A very well known example throughout its life, this un-modified, un-abused Countach 5000 QV has been inspected by DK Engineering prior to sale and is supplied in “needs nothing” cosmetic and mechanical order.
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