In 1966, Lamborghini defined the ‘supercar’ with the Miura. Instantly an icon, the mid-engine high-velocity coupe put the nascent carmaker on the map for groundbreaking design and performance. The legendary Miura was always going to be a hard act to follow, so the extent to which its successor eclipsed the greatest of 1960s supercars came as something of a shock to all. The sensation of the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled, like its predecessor, by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini. Drawing from his revolutionary Lancia Stratos Zero concept the year before, Gandini designed the Countach as an angular wedge with crisp lines and dramatic angles. The production version would not be seen for another two years, with deliveries commencing in 1974.
Lamborghini employed the Miura’s fantastic four-cam V12 engine for the Countach, mounted longitudinally behind the cabin. To achieve optimum weight distribution, designer Paolo Stanzani placed the five-speed gearbox ahead of the engine between the seats, and the differential – driven by a shaft passing through the sump – at the rear. The result was a delightful gearchange and a better-balanced car than the Miura. When production began in 1974, the Countach sported an improved spaceframe chassis and the standard 4.0-liter, instead of the prototype’s 5.0-litre, engine. Even with the smaller engine producing ‘only’ 370bhp, the lightweight Countach could attain 170mph and, as one would expect, offered incredible roadholding and maneuverability.
The first upgrades appeared in 1978 as the ‘LP400S’, with the addition of flared wheel arches to accommodate massive 345mm rear tires for increased grip and stability. A large rear aerofoil became available that further accentuated the outrageous styling of the Countach and was, unsurprisingly, the choice of most customers.
The Countach’s largest potential market, the USA, remained untapped until the arrival of the ’emissions friendly’ LP500S in 1982. While horsepower remained the same as the smaller engine, the updated 4,754cc unit delivered a welcome boost in torque. The ultimate iteration of the Countach debuted in 1985 as the Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole, named for its thunderous 5,167cc engine and new four-valves-per-cylinder heads. This 414 horsepower version was capable of an astonishing top speed of 186 mph. In 1987, the design of the Countach became more outrageous still, with the addition of straked sideskirts.
First roaring to life in Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese workshop in October of 1987, this 1988 model year Bianco Polo Park Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole was destined for the US market. Featuring a fuel-injected version of Lamborghini’s new 48-valve 5,167cc V12, this potent supercar was driven sparingly by its first owner, an Illinois resident according to the cars CARFAX. By 1995, this rare Italian supercar had covered just over 8,000 miles when it came was sold to a collector who kept it maintained and stored in a climate and humidity controlled museum setting for 15 years.
Thanks to careful maintenance over the past 27 years, the Quattrovalvole on offer remains in highly original condition. The angular Kevlar and aluminum bodywork is very straight and the Bianco Polo Park paintwork presents beautiful throughout. At some point, the large American-market bumpers were removed, replaced with the considerably less intrusive European-specification examples.
Upon raising the iconic scissor-style doors, the cabin is swathed in its original black leather, which shows minimal wear and retains a rich black hue. The bolstered seats are in similarly good condition, as is expected with such a low mileage example. All gauges and interior features, including the air-conditioning, are in fine working order.
With fewer than 35,000 kilometers shown on the odometer, a figure believed to be the cars actual mileage from new, this Countach underwent an extensive servicing in October of 2015, preparing it to be enjoyed by its next owner, who returned the car to the UK where it has been maintained as part of his collection. Offered with its original tool kit and jack, this Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole is an absolute head-turner in highly original state and, thanks to its recently serviced V12, performs as incredibly as it looks.