26 May Why the Lamborghini Countach is the Most Iconic Car Ever
Lamborghini is a name that every car enthusiast is familiar with. Some people love Lamborghini’s because of their beauty and power, while others can’t stand the ostentation that they feel is Lamborghini. When Ferruccio Lamborghini created Lamborghini he was making tractors. He had owned many Ferrari’s and decided he wanted to be better than Ferrari. He wanted to have cars that were faster, more reliable and more beautiful. Ferruccio succeeded in making beautiful and fast cars, his company became famous when they introduced the Lamborghini Muira in the 1960’s. The Muira was one of the most beautiful cars ever built and was considered one of the first “supercars”. The Muira had a mid-engine V12 that was transversely mounted. The Muira made a huge splash in the automotive world, but it was not the most famous Lamborghini.
The Lamborghini Countach was introduced in 1971 and started production in 1974 as the Muira’s successor. Where the Muira was beautiful and graceful, the Countach was in your face, brute force. The Countach was built from 1974 to 1989. Nothing had ever been built like it since and it is unlikely that anything ever will be.
My dream to own a Lamborghini Countach
I own a Lamborghini Diablo, which I feel is an awesome car, but it is not a Countach. The Diablo is more reliable, faster, has more room and a more amenities. But the Diablo does not have that outrageousness that the Countach has. The Muira was thought to be one of the first “supercars”. Usually the car that has to follow an icon gets lost, but that did not happen with the Countach. The Countach became an even bigger icon and perhaps the most outrageous car ever.
I started out wanting a Countach when I was about four. I grew up in the 1980’s when the Countach was the craziest thing on the road. It was faster, lower, wider and more exotic looking than almost any other car. When I got older I realized the Diablo was a more attainable car, because of the price points and the availability (of the cars and parts). I realized my Lamborghini dream last year with the Diablo, but I still want a Countach at some point in my life.
Why was the Countach such an amazing car?
To be honest, I should not have to answer this question. Just look at the car! Even today, over 40 years after the Countach was first produced, it looks unreal. There are faster cars, there are rarer cars, there are more expensive cars, but they don’t have the mystique of a Countach. The Countach was built in an era of changing laws and changing rules. Emissions were coming into play and safety laws were a big deal in the US. To try to build anything close to the Countach today would be impossible. The car is impossibly low, wide and short. It is basically a V12, with an alien body surrounding it. Lamborghini wanted to make the fastest cars and the most exotic cars they could. They sacrificed a lot of things to accomplish those goals. The Countach is small, finicky, hard to see out of expensive to fix.
Lamborghini was in serious trouble in the 1970’s having declared bankruptcy in 1978 and being sold multiple times. The 1970’s were not good time for exotic motor cars. Small engines with great gas mileage were the in thing, not outrageous cars with huge V12’s. The Lamborghini was meant to have a 5.0 liter V12 when first produced, but the reliability of the 5.0 liter engine proved to be too poor. Lamborghini continued with the 375 horsepower 4.0 liter V12 found in the Muira. In the 1970’s there was almost nothing with close to 375 horsepower. Emission controls killed the muscle car era and only a few cars could actually be called fast anymore. Very few cars also were making a V12 engine. Ferrari had a decent V12 in it’s 512 Boxer and Jaguar had a V12, but it made less than 300 horsepower.
At a time when most car manufactures were making smaller engines, smaller cars and cutting back. Lamborghini was making faster cars, bigger engines and wowed the world.
What made the Countach so iconic?
The Countach was not that fast compared to modern-day supercars or even supercars from the 1990’s. Lamborghini claimed a top speed of 200 MPH for the Countach, but the actual figures were about 30 or 40 MPH slower depending in the year. What made the Countach iconic was the look and the features that no one had ever seen before.
- Scissor doors: The doors on the Countach are incredibly long. In order to be able to open them without slamming the door into the car next to you (if you ever have to park next to another car) Lamborghini made the doors swing up. They also do this on the Diablo, Murcialgo and Aventador.
- Wide tires: Lamborghini had Pirelli make a tire especially for the Countach. The tires were called the P7 and were 345/35 15 inch tires. No one had ever made a tire even close to that wide in the past. The wide tires give the Countach that amazing exotic look of something special.
- Rear wing: The Superbird had a rear wing because they needed it for down-force when racing. Lamborghini has never been big into racing their cars. They made a rear wing available on their car, because it looked awesome (the wing actually slows the car down). Forget about the fast and the furious with every teenagers putting giant wings on their Civic. Back in the day there were virtually no other production cars that had a wing and the Countach was cool enough to pull it off.
What are the best years for the Lamborghini Countach?
I have ridden in a 1989 anniversary Countach. If you are in the market for a Countach you will notice almost all of them are anniversary models. That is because Lamborghini made over 600 anniversary Countach’s and they are by far the most common. The earlier the model the more expensive it will be, because of the rarity. They made only about 1,700 Countach’s over 16 years and almost 1,200 of them were built in the last five years of production. The last cars were the fastest, had more head room and crazy styling add-ons. The anniversary model had scoops, and gills every on the car and in my opinion it looks much better without them.
From 1982 to 1988 the Countach’s had much simpler styling, but still had the big powerful V12. Those cars are the best in my opinion, because of the looks, the engine and the prices are not completely ridiculous yet. The 1978 to 1982 models had similar styling as the 1985 cars, but the smaller V-12. Car’s built prior to 1978 are called periscopa models because there was a slot on the roof of the car where the rear view mirror looked out like a periscope. The periscope cars are the rarest and most valuable, but have very little head room, smaller tires and are not quite as outrageous.
What does a Lamborghini Countach cost?
The prices of Lamborghini’s have skyrocketed. A Muira was around $300,000 or $400,000 five years ago and now they are almost all over one million and much more for a restored model. The Countach was under $100,000 five years ago and now they are almost all over $400,000. To get a Countach for $400,000 you are looking at the anniversary model that was the least rare. The earlier the car the rarer they are and the more expensive. To get one of the first models from 1974 to 1978 you are paying over one million.
How much does is cost to maintain a Countach?
The problem with owning an exotic car is the cost to maintain them. A Lamborghini Countach is very rare, has very few parts available and the parts are very expensive. Some parts like a thrust bearing are almost impossible to find and cost $5,000. Oil changes are not done often, but are also very expensive. A clutch can run $5,000 to $10,000 and an engine rebuild $20,000 to $50,000 depending on how much is done. If you drive the Countach be ready to spend at least a couple thousand a year on maintenance.
The Countach is an awesome car, even though it is slower than most modern sports cars. When it was built it was head and shoulders above almost anything else on the road. The car was not easy to drive, not the most comfortable, the windows barely roll down, but it is guaranteed to get you looks and you will probably never see another one on the road.