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AdvocatusD

Original Poster:

2,124 posts

115 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/Search-Results...

Superb article, just superb.

Any owners of the cars above care to comment?

I've been Countach day dreaming for most of this morning! Very interested to read that it handles beautifully, I was under the impression that it really didn't.

skyline501

177 posts

70 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
In their April 1984 edition they did the Boxer v Countach v 911 Turbo v AM Vantage.
£1 cover price, still have it.
Interesting to look back and see that the 4 cars total retail was £185,000.
Also all were mid 5 sec 0-60 and 13.5 - 14.2 Quarter mile cars.

andysv

1,241 posts

111 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I remember reading the test whilst at school, in those days i dreamed of owning the Porsche as a Countach seemed unobtainable, ultimately my dream came true i owned a 3.3 turbo and years later after much hard work and saving along came the Countach, it was these magazine articles that spurred me on. I can't comment on the BB to drive but the Porsche and the Lambo were chalk and cheese, though fairly similar in performance imho.

JazzyO

1,115 posts

65 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Really cool article. Also one of the very, very few with a reliable write-up on the 365BB.

I must say that my 365BB starts easier than he describes, especially since the engine rebuild. Mel describes the push of the 365 engine very, very well. This is perhaps not a surprise as he is also the author of the lovely 1979 book on the 365BB and 512BB.

I think in everyway Mel describes the BB well, although his comments on it being too friendly to drive shows that he wrote it in 1976. Modern drivers tend to view the 365BB as quite a b*tch to drive. My personal view is that it is much more work than a modern car, but if the car is right it is not harder than any other classic Ferrari. I can drive that car all day without too much effort.

I did around 3,000 miles in mine on a trip from Holland to Scotland earlier this year, and it was a true joy. A trip to remember. Even if we could only pack a toothbrush between us.... smile

I've created a little clip on YouTube - you can use it to compare Mel's description with my own ramblings. I think my vid shows the tractability of the Boxer engine (when in good condition) quite well. The sound it can't convey convincingly unfortunately. You really have to hear that howl for yourself, it is out of this world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuMZ3K7Eeew&fea...


Onno

JazzyO

1,115 posts

65 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
And I do think the 365BB has absolutely gorgeous styling. smile

But I love the Countach and Turbo too. Three icons. Would make a great garage!


Onno






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LukeyLikey

697 posts

31 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
The front view is just lovely. A really well balanced and crisp design with some really good elements. To think it is probably 40 years since that was penned is amazing.

JazzyO

1,115 posts

65 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I hope some 930 Turbo and Countach owners will chime in. Dying to know their experiences!


Onno

andysv

1,241 posts

111 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
What do you want to know?

I can compare the 911 to a Countach qv, my fondest memories of the turbo were that it would wheel spin in the wet at 70 to 80 mph and was one of the quickest cars on the road at that time. The handling really was fairly scary, I never lost it despite taking it to the track but it never felt good due to the weight hanging out rear, the standard brakes were also real easy to overheat, mine was a four speed so made turbo lag feel worse than it really was but boy it kicked hard by 3k rpm in it's day it was awesome.
The Countach was obviously a totally different proposition, nothing stops people in the street like a Countach and possibly never will, the car is actually fairly comfortable considering the driving position though as I said earlier a good 3.3 turbo would give a Countach a really hard time(my backside says anyway)it was dead reliable I had just one breakdown in 8 years and that was a faulty alternator. I took it to track days and actually lost it once at Goodwood so it could bite, I wouldn't say it was great on track as the brakes were weak in my opinion but it wasn't really built for circuit use.
I have really great memories of both cars but now I have had them both I am happy to leave them as memories, I feel very lucky to have owned and put plenty of miles on both icons. There's my 2p worth now i hope you get some more feedback from other owners.

haroonok

23 posts

97 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
took my 365BB to silverstone for the GWR parade and the car behaved impeccably even sitting behind Massa for seemingly hours!
the drive home late at night was awesome though...

JazzyO

1,115 posts

65 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
haroonok said:
took my 365BB to silverstone for the GWR parade and the car behaved impeccably even sitting behind Massa for seemingly hours!
the drive home late at night was awesome though...
Excellent!


Onno

paulqv

3,012 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I have had my countach QV for about 5 years and covered quite a bit of mileage in it.

They are quite different from the original 400 in that feature. For example, they have about 2'' less headroom. The roof was changed in the series 2 cars, sort of the 5000 onwards.

Also our US friends will tell you the original was so much lighter! Claimed at 1200kg cf 1450 for the QV and therefore claimed to be as fast! Also claimed to have 375bhp, but on a standard 4.0 engine with different carbs! Back then it was not necessary to give correct engine figures! the biggest difference was with the tyres. The original used skinny XWX 70 profile tyres. Later cars had the wide pirelli 345/35 etc.

Valentino Balboni the lambo test driver contributed to an article comparing most of the different types. He suggested the earliest eg the 400 were the least good to drive! I am amazed he is still allowed into the US!

I recall that CAR feature and probably read it instead of listening to my economics lecture at uni! Brilliant stuff! But then CAR was the definitive car magazine of that era.

I love the 365BB and did try to get a 512BB instead of the countach. I would love to have both, but dont have the money! Certainly inside the 365/512 one can see out and around a lot easier than a countach. Whilst i have experience of the 911's of that era I have never driven a turbo.

Although not quite your required reply, I can comment on driving the QV:

It is still a very fast car. About the same as a Gallrado, in practical terms in the dry and under 130mph. Above that i suspect aerodynamics will slow the QV down. I Again dont have much experience of the Gallrado above that approx figure. However as one reviewer said it seems to devote about 100bhp to noise! They are very noisy. A glorious noise.
They do handle well and are quite benign compared to modern cars due tot he high sidewalls giving a higher slip angle compared to modern types. You feela s if you are sliding about a bit but in fact are stuck to the road. I have only had mine slide a bit on a track and on the road, and never lost it. With all that weight out back once lost like most of mid engined I am sure it will spin and spin!

The brakes are quite weak, but you can put in modern pads which redress this a bit. Even with them, they wont stand track use for any length of time. Few road cars do though.

It is a stunning car and is like driving a fairground attraction about. If you are shy, you wont even be a passenger in one! So far it has ben a reliable car, a few glitches here and there but everything this side of a lexus or honda jazz has!

Of the three cars in the feature which would I have? All three!!

Paul

nando

48 posts

27 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I,ve still got the copy of this edition .

JazzyO

1,115 posts

65 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
paulqv said:
The brakes are quite weak, but you can put in modern pads which redress this a bit. Even with them, they wont stand track use for any length of time. Few road cars do though.
This was the technology of the time. A 365BB will also run out of brakes after 3 hard laps, driven by a modern driver. Back then, driving cars on the track was a different skill, brakes were avoided where possible.

Modern braking fluid and better pads help a LOT if you want to improve your old supercar.

IMHO, braking technology in the past 10 years has had more influence on laptimes than anything else.


Onno

y2blade

54,388 posts

99 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Great find, thank you for sharing it.


paulqv

3,012 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
JazzyO said:
This was the technology of the time. A 365BB will also run out of brakes after 3 hard laps, driven by a modern driver. Back then, driving cars on the track was a different skill, brakes were avoided where possible.

Modern braking fluid and better pads help a LOT if you want to improve your old supercar.

IMHO, braking technology in the past 10 years has had more influence on laptimes than anything else.


Onno
The big change in cars came in the late 70's early 80's with lower profile tyres in particular from Pirelli. The P6 and P7 started a revolution in hot and super cars. Walter wolfe the F1 owner pioneered the use of the P7 on the countach. It totally transformed the car. Try moving from XWX's which now use modern compounds to low profile P6000s on a 308 and you feel most of the difference. Braking down by 1/3rd cornering up by 1/3rd .

The Qv has 15'' wheels. Most modern family cars dont even run that! So brakes had to be tiny by todays standards to fir in the wheels.

So 455bhp min on a QV, 15'' wheels pads and brakes from a family focus! go figure! lol

Paul

Colossus

285 posts

98 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Sadly can't provide any comments on how any of these drive (maybe one day if prices don't keep running away!) but what a great article. Mel Nichols always managed to draw you into the experience of driving the cars he wrote about, especially on the big features such as this one. What really surprised me was the way that the Countach appeared to handle, composure, precision and a good ride. My perception, through reading more contemporary reviews is that it was a difficult and very physical car to drive, which would appear to be in contrast to the impression Mel gives in his article. It may be that back in the day men were real men and Mel was the architypical Alpha male and could cope better than most with the demands of the Countach, but perhaps it is just that we have all been so spoilt by how easy our performance cars are to drive these days that any reviews of the classics inevitably end up with the suggestion that they are snorty, recalcitrant, and tempermental beasts? Certainly Harry M has commented on more than one occasion that driving his QV for any length of time was very hard work, which is why he got the power steering kit installed. Any other Countach owners care to comment or correct the perception?

As for choosing between the 3, you can make a case for all of them, but as much as I would love to have a Countach one day, it is the BB that would ultimately get my vote. It is such a classic and timeless design that I could happily sit and look at it all day, truly one of the greats.

Craig

1,028 posts

168 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
A legendary article - thanks for posting

I can only comment on Countach ownership

I was lucky enough to have a brother equally mad about Lamborghini's as me and my dream became a reality when we bought a 1988 Countach QV between us some 15 years ago. It was a fantastic car although my brother and I never quite liked the 'skirts' of the 88 spec.

A few years later I was lucky enough to be offered a 3000 mile 1976 LP400. Now this really was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I promptly bought it. It was quite different to drive to the QV and I remember it had a much more supple ride - down to the high profile XWX tyres. On the downside, however, the engine had a huge flatspot that made getting away from junctions in a hurry quite tricky. I had the car featured in a Classic & Sportscar article alongside the 365BB. Alastair Clements drove both cars and had the LP400 slightly ahead if I recall. The 365BB is a lovely car but to me doesn't have the drama of a Countach (what does!).

A few years later I bought another QV (1986 this time) but it wasn't as good to drive as the 88 car we had previously. This may have been more down to the particular example we had I think although having a Diablo 6.0 at that time the Countach seemed quite "old tech" to drive. I can concur with Harry Metcalfe that the Countach is a tiring car to drive for long periods with it's heavy steering at low speed and clutch/gearbox and he must have been shattered after driving his across the Alps!

I'd like to get another someday but sadly I fear the prices will preclude it - shame!








Nigel H

621 posts

94 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Ah memories smile This was the first car magazine I ever bought. I remember looking at the cover in WH Smiths and being blown away that all three cars would be featured in it. At the time the other mags (mainly Motor and Autocar) did single car tests and were very pedestrian in comparison. I seem to remember it was quite a bit more expensive than other mags as well (30p!)

I was astonished by the Countach, as Mel Nichols says in his report it stood out a mile. The LP400 would still be in my fantasy garage; all subsequent versions, whilst probably better cars don't have the purity of design of the earlier versions to my eye.

Which would I have? The Porsche never really did it for me, but the choice between a BB and Countach would be tricky. As others have said the BB looks fantastic, and having been in one as a passenger it was a real experience, the noise, heat and speed were great. The build and parts less so.

Re-reading the article I was struck how good a read it was. I subscribed to Car from that day until the early 90s when it started to decline, EVO was OK for a while, but everything now seems so sensational, breathless, brand centric and is often written by journos who take great delight in letting you know how great they are at driving.

If only a mag existed with the modern equivalent of Nichols, Setright, Bishop and Barker I'd buy it in a shot.

P300V8

141 posts

60 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Nigel H said:
....If only a mag existed with the modern equivalent of Nichols, Setright, Bishop and Barker I'd buy it in a shot.
+1

Remember Mel Nichols' "Convoy" article?....those were the days.


Nigel H

621 posts

94 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
P300V8 said:
Remember Mel Nichols' "Convoy" article?....those were the days.
Oh yes fantastic. As was the D type. And the 250GTO

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