Lam­borgh­ini Countach QV

One of the first side-strake 5000qvs, this US mar­ket low-miler is now in Euro­pean spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Paul Hardi­man in­ves­ti­gates

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

Bought from Bon­hams’ Scotts­dale auc­tion in Jan­uary 2016, this side-straked Countach was shipped to the UK where the new owner spent £30,000 on it. Some £14,000 of this was for a bare-metal re­spray in the orig­i­nal Bianco Polo Park, which in­cluded fill­ing the holes for the fed­eral side-marker lights. At some point be­fore that the Amer­i­can im­pact bumpers had been re­moved (or never fit­ted) and re­placed with Euro-spec items.

Orig­i­nally supplied to Illi­nois, by 1995 it had cov­ered just more than 8000 miles when sold to a col­lec­tor who kept it in a cli­mate-con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment for 15 years. It had cov­ered 34,301km when it left the US and was read­ing 34,395 on this test.

It presents very well, with no scuffs un­der the chin and just one blemish in the paint — a crack on the right front cor­ner. The black joint­ing be­tween the body pan­els has been re­done, and the mas­tic wind­screen seal­ing is neater than most. The tele­phone-dial al­loys have been re­fur­bished and are wear­ing 10-year-old P Zeros. The space-saver spare has never been used, and all the tubu­lar struc­ture up front ap­pears straight and un­dam­aged. There are no scrapes un­der­neath.

In­side, the re-con­nol­lised leather has light creas­ing to the seats and the sill trim is slightly worn. The dash cov­er­ing is com­mend­ably flat, the head­lin­ing per­fect. The right door seal is rather tired; the left is bet­ter, but there is wear to the leather un­der the air vent.

Me­chan­i­cally it has been checked by Aut­of­fic­ina of Ep­som, and the mo­tor is tidy, with clean pipes and clips. Fresh flu­ids are to the right lev­els. The ex­hausts are in good shape. There is a re­cent £700 bill to cor­rect a burnt cir­cuit board that was deny­ing power to the fuel pumps.

It’s a heavy old thing in West Lon­don traf­fic, re­mind­ing you of its ana­logue ances­try, but it is man­age­able. It is also recog­nised by ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the mod­ern Lam­borgh­ini driver who pulled along­side and gave us an ex­haust crackle. Noth­ing so crass here, just a thun­der­ous roar from the V12 and stonk­ing, hon­est per­for­mance. Clutch and gearchange are heavy and the brakes slightly long of travel — all com­pletely nor­mal. Ev­ery­thing works well and there are no rat­tles from the front end and no play in the steer­ing. Oil pressure reads 8bar at 80 deg C with the oil tem­per­a­ture just com­ing off the stop, volts are 13. Even the air­con works.

You wind your own win­dows, so no electrics to worry about, and there’s bet­ter rear view than with a car­bu­ret­tor car be­cause the engine lid is flat.

The ask­ing price re­flects what it fetched in the US, plus ship­ping and im­port and the cost of bring­ing it up to scratch. Sold with its orig­i­nal tool roll but lit­tle pa­per­work, this is es­sen­tially a UK V5C with the bills gen­er­ated since it ar­rived in the UK, plus a new MOT and 12-month war­ranty.

Odome­ter reads 34,394km, but there’s not much pa­per­work

Tidy bay, clean pipes and clips, flu­ids to cor­rect lev­els

Leather re-con­nol­lised, dash cov­er­ing flat, head­lin­ing per­fect

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