Just Two Owners: 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 S

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How is it that Lamborghini produced both the Miura and the Countach? And one right after the other? The Miura is a ballerina, sublime and dainty in a way; the Countach is a wide receiver, brutally fast and effective. Both were penned by Gandini at Bertone, but the Miura was born with faults that the Countach was designed to remedy. The balky gearbox, front-end lift, maintenance issues – all were alleviated by the clever design of the Countach. To emphasize how special this new car was, Lamborghini wanted it sold in limited numbers, to serious drivers, so it should not have creature comforts. Perhaps it was Lamborghini’s faltering finances or perhaps it was the resounding acceptance that the car received when it hit Geneva in 1971 – whatever the reason, the Countach was readied for a more momentous assault on the marketplace. That meant adding back air conditioning and leather seats, and engaging in repeated design changes to squeeze through a gauntlet of new regulations. That multi-year pre-production phase was good practice – for the Countach was facelifted multiple times over the years. Here at RM Sotheby’s is a 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 S, with an asking price of £600,000 and only two owners in its history. The lucky buyer will be collecting the car from Chobham, United Kingdom. Barn Finder Araknid78 submitted this grand tip – thanks!

The V12 in this cradle is based on Bizzarini’s original 3.9-liter engine, now expanded to 4.8 liters to counteract the effects of emissions controls in the US. Breathing through six Weber carburetors and rear-mounted longitudinally, the engine generates 375 hp but is barely as fast as the earlier high-compression 400 models. The gearbox is situated between the front seats, the driveline passes through the dry sump, and the differential is at the rear. The car’s balance is nearly neutral, and its direct shift transmission is far more precise than its Miura sibling. This car has just 23,500 km on its odometer accumulated by its first owner – a Saudi prince living in Italy – and its second owner in England. Copious documents accompany the sale.

While I appreciate the Countach as much as anyone, the construction of the interior – with its boxy, pieced-together look – diminishes the extravagance of the exterior. That said, this one’s cabin is snow white and must have been meticulously cared for to maintain its pristine appearance. Only the slightest wear is evident. The trunk is equally tidy.

Just 321 LP5000 S cars were made, making this one a rarity – though it is not a rare offering. Low-mileage Lamborghinis are the rule – not the exception – and in any six-month period, a buyer is likely to find at least a few outstanding Countach to choose from. This one failed to sell recently with a low estimate of $625,000, though it was not completely original. Several others are on offer here and there. Still, a Countach we featured in March has found a new owner, so if you hanker to put one in your garage, best to put your bid in early.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. bobk

    Ms. Michelle,

    Loved the analogy of the Muira being a ballerina and the Countach being a wide receiver. Very apt in my opinion.

    Like 8
    • Michelle Rand

      Ha ha, I had to look up football positions to settle on that one, then I got interested in football positions, so this article was a day delayed while I read about halfbacks and tailbacks…..

      Like 7
  2. Nevadahalfrack NevadahalfrackMember

    What teenage gearhead didn’t have one of these enshrined on a bedroom wall or ceiling!??! Countless hours of dreams and staring, imagination running amok..
    Good find, Araknid78.
    As always outstanding wordsmithing, Michelle. You’ve an ability to personify the character of each and bring it to life.

    Like 4
    • Michelle Rand

      Thanks! The romance of Italian vehicles is inspiring…..

      Like 3
  3. TheOldRanger

    I’ve never understood the fascination of having doors open up into the air, but then these types of cars have never fascinated me. I’ve always been more down to earth and practical, probably due to my meager childhood days. My sports vehicles were my 65 Impala SS and our Acura TLs… plenty sporty for me… :-)

    Like 1
  4. PairsNPaintMember

    Is it just me, or does it seem incredulous that these cars now qualify for “Antique” registration?

    Like 2
    • Bamapoppy

      We’re old, P&P.

      Like 2
      • TheOldRanger

        As my daughters tell me “dad, you’re older than dirt”….
        some days I feel it more than others, but at least I can still get around…. lol

        Like 1
  5. Howie

    Glad to see it is not on Craig’s List.

    Like 1
  6. Araknid78

    Still for sale
    VIN
    ZA9C00500DLA12568
    600,000 GBP

    Like 0

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