Pass the mirrored Ray-Bans. As perhaps the finest Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary we’ve ever encountered recently left Belchers Farm bound for a great new home, so we couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to compare it back-to-back with the stunning LP5000S we’re also currently offering for sale. Has Lamborghini ever been more ‘Lamborghini’ than this?
Knock your socks off. It’s what, by definition, a Lamborghini should do, right? From the rulebook-shredding Miura to the flame-belching Aventador, Raging Bulls in a kaleidoscope of colours have always captured the imagination and found their way onto bedroom walls and into cult-classic films, schoolboys’ exercise books and the garages of the world’s most rich and famous. We’d argue none, however, quite causes the jaw to drop like a Countach. And here at Belchers Farm, we recently had the chance to assemble two of the most pulse-raising variants of them all.
Allow us to introduce our horned protagonists. In the orange corner is the only Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary to have been finished in Arancio Miura and a car we’re delighted to have recently rehomed. A late-production example, chassis number 12958 was one of 67 right-hand-drive cars delivered new to the United Kingdom. The special-order colour was chosen to match the first owner’s Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’. It’s bright, bold and unabashed. Everything a Lamborghini should be, right?
More remarkable is this particular car’s provenance. Until we recently found chassis 12958 a fantastic new home, it had resided with only two owners from new. Two. What’s more, from 1995 until 2017, the car was kept in long-term storage, which explains the mere 6,000km on the odometer. Unsurprisingly, the condition can reasonably be described as ‘time-warp’. You can discover more about this exceptional Countach by clicking here.
In short, the 25th Anniversary was Lamborghini’s run-out special – a tweaked and improved Countach fitted with strakes, newfangled carbon-fibre body panels and completely revised suspension. By 1990, the Countach had been in production in its various guises since 1972 and the marque, under the fresh control of Chrysler, had all but turned its focus to the forthcoming Diablo – the car on which it had pinned its hopes to turn the Raging Bull’s fortunes around.
Gunning from the white corner is the LP5000 S, arguably the most boisterous of all the Countach derivatives. When it was introduced in 1982, the LP5000S (or LP500S dependent on which market) was the third iteration of the Countach, following the LP400 ‘Periscopio’ and the LP400 S, the latter of which received the comically flared wheel arches. But the addition of the larger 4.75-litre twelve-cylinder, still with 24 valves, finally gave the model the beating heart it deserved. At the time, it was the fastest accelerating, most powerful and most torquey Lamborghini of them all.
Chassis number 12740, which we’re currently offering for sale, was delivered new to Monaco in 1984. It’s a rare sans-wing example, which preserves not only the 182mph top speed, but also rear visibility. The most pertinent point about this matching-numbers car is that it’s been diligently maintained throughout its life, including by the Modenese marque specialist Top Motors Salvioli. You can click here to discover more.
This LP5000 S is very much a Countach to be enjoyed as the factory intended. And with that in mind, we’ll let our resident Italian specialist Davide De Giorgi explain how it drives and, in turn, how it differs to the later 25th Anniversary model from behind the wheel.
“Contort yourself into the cabin of the driver’s seat of the LP5000 S and the driving position is typically Italian, with the pedals well offset to the right. With the low reclined seat it feels more like the original LP400 than the later Countach 25th Anniversary model. You can really feel the DNA of Gandini’s original. Fire the V12 with a loud boom, depress the weighty clutch and slot the gear lever down and left into first gear with a positive action.
“The LP5000 S feels like a proper supercar. The throttle response is excellent and, while not light by any stretch of the imagination, the steering is direct and makes the car feel nimble around you. This car has been enjoyed but well maintained throughout its life and you can tell. It feels like a well-oiled machine, much more so than the 25th Anniversary which, owing to its sheltered life and ultra-low mileage, feels much like we imagine it did new back in 1990.
“There’s really no other word to describe the experience of driving this car than theatrical. But for all the gasps, growls, pops, bangs and hisses, this land-based spaceship is not the intimidating, machismo, anxiety-inducing supercar you’d be led to believe. Visibility is good, especially in the absence of the vast rear wing, and the engine is torquey enough to be tractable and confidence-inspiring at low speeds. But all the while, you’re aware of its performance potential – as though the car is chomping at the bit to be unleashed.
“By comparison, the 25th Anniversary is clearly more of a Grand Tourer. The raft of small, thoughtful improvements to the refinement and cabin comfort feel more than the sum of their parts. The adjustable seats, for example, might not be quite as pretty to look at than the earlier car’s, but for longer periods of driving, they’re certainly more comfortable. That said, pin the throttle pedal to its stop and the 12-cylinder symphony which follows is cacophonous, surging the car forwards with remarkable pace – even by today’s standards. Catch your reflection of the dramatic straked bright-orange bodywork in a shop-front and you can’t help but laugh out loud.”
It's small wonder the Lamborghini Countach became a poster pin-up for an entire generation. Today, these machismo monsters represent a marque at its most unabashed and, as such, make a fascinating proposition for collectors looking to turn back the years and indulge in a little 1980s excess.
The orange Countach 25th Anniversary came and went in a flash, which is hardly surprising given its specification, provenance and condition. But the ice-white LP5000 S, with the dramatic flared styling and full-fat 4.75-litre 375bhp V12, remains available. If you’re interested or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Photos: Tom Shaxson for Girardo & Co.
For further information about the stunning 1984 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 S we’re currently offering for sale, please click here or, alternatively, fill out the form below.
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