HomeCar CultureCommentaryHigh-performance Lamborghini Countach Downdraft offered by Russo and Steele

High-performance Lamborghini Countach Downdraft offered by Russo and Steele


A 1985 Lamborghini Countach QV Downdraft, known as the most powerful Countach variant, will be offered during Russo and Steele’s January collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The 455-horsepower V12 example of the iconic Countach, a scissor-door sports coupe that changed everybody’s perspective on what a supercar could be, was used as a factory press car and photo subject of the Downdraft brochure distributed at the 1985 Geneva Salon, according to an auction news release.

The Lambo’s signature scissor doors

The Lamborghini was built in Iconic Bianco Polo Park with Rosso trim, and it was the first one imported to the U.S. by Al Copeland, the owner of Popeyes Chicken national restaurant chain and a leading car enthusiast and offshore boat racer.

Kept in Copeland’s car museum in New Orleans for 15 years, the car has just 9,750 miles on its odometer.

“This is probably the most beautiful example of a Countach Downdraft you will see anywhere,” Drew Alcazar, president and chief executive of Russo and Steele, said in the news release. “Even by today’s standards the car is quite powerful, and even though it’s almost 35 years old, its design is timeless and the stuff of supercar fantasy.”

The handcrafted leather interior is bright red

The Countach has been restored by a marque specially at a cost of nearly $300,000, the release says, and “is without question the very best example of this variant to ever be presented at public auction anywhere.” Fewer than one-third of Countach models were built to Downdraft specs.

Designed by the famed Marcello Gandini, the Lamborghini Countach was a landmark that presented an entirely new vision of exotic car design, a bar that exceeded even Gandini’s earlier trendsetter, the Lamborghini Miura, which first put the V12 powerplant behind the seats.

The V12 engine is a roaring powerhouse

The Russo and Steele auction takes place January 15-19 during Arizona Auction Week, returning to its former location just southeast of Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 freeway For more information, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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