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