Showpiece of the Week: Lamborghini Countach


Phwoarrr, bloody hell! Was there ever a car more glorious to behold than the early Countach?

Okay so it became the rather cliched poster-boy pin-up of a million teenage boys' bedroom walls back in the 80s, but this 1977 LP400 'Periscopio' still looks superb, and surely its wondrous looks are enough to justify this car's tremendous price tag of nigh on a million pounds? After all, it looks a million dollars and, allowing for a little give and take in the exchange rate, that sounds like a pretty fair return to me.


Admittedly, if one were being picky, it isn't quite as dramatic or as eye-wateringly pure as Gandini's original LP500 prototype, but it's also true that all the later Countachs after this one were undoubtedly faster but visually debased, which leaves this model as the one to choose if you just want to park the thing in your living room and stare at it.

And yes, yes, yes, we all know by now that successive generations of new motoring journalists have driven the car and pronounced it to be a very bad thing indeed, but those who drove it back in the day had no such complaints - they ruddy loved the thing! I can't remember a test in which a contemporary Ferrari ever beat it, and even our man Cropley, he of Autocar, veteran of many Countach runs and not a man to wallow in unseemly nostalgia, gets quite misty-eyed recalling the cut, the thrust and the glorious noise.


Of course that misty-eyed look might actually be real tears, as he's probably also recalling the pain caused by the compromised driving position, the limited visibility, the huge running costs and the excessive steering weight. Oh, and that hefty gearchange. But consider this game old Lambo can still polish off the 0 to 62mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds, and top out at 176mph, and all the time behind your head there's the wail of that wonderful 375hp 4.0-litre V12.

Anyway, who cares if it wouldn't see which way a modern supercar went? This beauty is one of only 150 LP400 Periscopio models - so named for the tiny periscope mirror they mounted in the top of the prototype's bodywork in an effort to overcome those poor visibility issues - and it's still utterly gorgeous. It's had sympathetic and quite proper upgrading work, to LP400 S spec, with the option to return it to its original state if so desired; it also has an interesting history and it's been immaculately kept. Good God, what's stopping you?

See the original advert here

Mark Pearson

 

 

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Comments (25) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Davo456gt 19 Mar 2018

    I believe this car was originally blue.

    the LP400S modifications have all been reversed except the rear suspension (dual shock absorbers) is says in the advert text - not sure the article words align with that.

    Perscopio was never part of the original name, just a moniker that everyone seems to add on.

  • Neil1300r 19 Mar 2018

    Never meet your heros.
    Had the poster on the bedroom wal as a kid.
    Finally got the chance to sit in one 5 years ago in Dubai
    cry I didn't fit! cry
    Just over 6 foot. Got in the thing eventually but left the door open as it would have cut my head off.
    Good thing that car had an fuel leak at the time or I may have tried to drive it anyway

  • Captain Smerc 19 Mar 2018

    My favourite car of all time , forever & ever , Amen !

  • R4PID 19 Mar 2018

    Sat in one of these for the first time at the classic car show in London a few weeks ago. After all I'd read, heard, seen I was expecting it to be completely terrible. However, at 5'10" I fitted rather well which pleased me no end. If only they had let me have go.

  • sorrel 19 Mar 2018

    Rode in one of the original Countach in the country in '75 when I was a lot smaller then I am now. It's owner was a mate of mine's father who loved cars and also had a '72 Camaro Z28, Aston Martin DB6 and an Espada.

    I still remember the Countach ride along Wembley High Road, feeling like all my Christmas's and birthdays had come at once!

    It was a yellow LP400 with tan seats that were incredibly uncomfortable, even for my 11 year old frame! But the experience has stayed with me and probably started my life long love of cars!

    Wonderful and if I had a spare million lying around..... smile)))

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