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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1988 Lamborghini Countach, the original supercar icon

Pick of the Day: 1988 Lamborghini Countach, the original supercar icon

The mid-engine coupe looks as fresh today as it did when it debuted

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Of all the supercars of the 1980s, the one that had the most posters hung on the bedroom walls of more teenagers, even more than those of Cindy Crawford, was the Lamborghini Countach.

The mid-engine Countach made its debut at the 1971 Geneva Motorshow, exactly 10 years after the Jaguar E-Type was revealed. This illustrated how much car design had changed during that period, but also how a truly great design will still seem current more than a decade later.

A half century after that, the Countach seems like it was created yesterday, looking as fresh today as it did in 1971. This has everything to do with the stellar design work by Marcello Gandini of Bertone design.

countach

The Pick of the Day is the stuff dreams are made of, a 1988 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole finished in Black with a tan leather interior.

The Kelowna, British Columbia, dealer advertising this iconic supercar on ClassicCars.com describes it as fully serviced, smooth running and with no history of accidents. The Countach includes its original manuals, original tool kit and service records. The odometer shows just under 21,000 miles.

countach, Pick of the Day: 1988 Lamborghini Countach, the original supercar icon, ClassicCars.com Journal

Over the past decade, the Countach has received increased attention from collectors due to its history, styling and strong performance. Most collectors also consider the QV Countach, like this one is, to be the best model built. Combine that with a production of only 610 total cars built between 1985 and 1988, and you have a rare and special car.

There are a few things to keep in mind, though, regarding this dream car. If you are taller than 5-foot-10, there is no way you will fit. Also, the windows roll down only 3 inches and with a marginal AC system, the car can get quite toasty inside during the warmer months.

countach, Pick of the Day: 1988 Lamborghini Countach, the original supercar icon, ClassicCars.com Journal

There is zero rearward visibility and the side mirrors only give you a good look at the sides of the car instead of surrounding traffic. The clutch is heavier than any car I have ever driven, making the Countach less that fun in stop-and-go traffic, and is equaled only by the high steering effort at low speeds, which will build up your arms better than a Bowflex home gym.

Now for the plusses. The Countach 5000 QV is powered by a 5.2-liter, 48-valve V12 engine that delivers 420 horsepower. This thrusts the Countach from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds, with a top speed somewhere north of 180 mph. These are strong numbers today and were absolutely mind boggling in the ‘80s.

countach

So, if you love supercars, had a poster of one on your bedroom wall while in the 9th grade, and you want an example of the first car ever dubbed a supercar, this Countach has an asking price of $350,992, making it among the best values for one of these dream cars currently on the market.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I had one of these in the late 80’s. It was an ’86. Like all supercars back then, it was a beast to drive around town, but was astonishing at illegal speeds. People did not respect the fact that you could not see to the rear quarters, and they would drive extremely close to get a good look at the car. Police would tail the car closely to get a good look at it. I was happy to see it go. I replaced it with a Jalpa, but that is another story.

  2. Interesting article and a beautiful car! Wish I could afford it. The listing states that the odometer is in km so even better at only about 13,000 miles.

  3. Please review cars that are more inline with car guys that we can appreciate as classic cars( ex: muscle cars) and ones that the average Joe can afford. Why do I want to read about a car with an asking price of 350K!

    • Hey Gert thank you for reading the pick of the day. Keep in mind that there are all kinds of car guys at all different economic level and interests. I work hard to find pics from various price levels and types of cars. Just because you and I cannot afford it, I cannot at least without a lot of selling of my retirement assets, does not mean that others cannot. We try to offer a variety of different pick of the day cars in order to attempt to speak to everyone who visits the site.

  4. “No way you will fit if over 5’10”….” come on man! I had one and am 6’1” and fit fine. Don’t write stuff like that if you don’t know what you are saying.

  5. Casey I don’t just make this stuff up, it all depends on the car. I am 6’4″ inches tall and do not begin to fit. My pal Joe Gearin, who is 5’10” tall, sat in one at a Bonhams auction a few years back and his head was practically touching the headliner. I don’t make this stuff up. I have seen some that had more headroom in them but they seem to vary car to car with no rhyme or reason. What year was yours and what model? Also do you know if the seats were ever modified?

    I drove one for the first time in 1984 while in high school and was 6’2 inches tall and my head was against the roof. I could fit but not comfortably. I do know that owners over the years have done a number of things with seat padding trimming to make them more livable but every single one of the 30 or so cars I have been in was way too small.

  6. $336,000 is the median home price in USA in 2020 according to Redfin.

    At $350,000, this collector car is not out of the reach of a large number of the USA population.

    Keep the write-ups coming on our favorite dream cars, thank you.

  7. While I’ve been a resident of Los Angeles for the last 40-years I grew up as a kid in Michigan where most of the men in my family worked either in one of the auto factories or in one of the “white collar” engineering depts. Moving into adulthood one of my childhood best buddies ended up becoming an automotive engineer too. His “specialty” was brakes & steering. He retired not too long ago. However, I’ve never been shy about asking him why automotive engineers design cars (for the masses or otherwise) that have characteristics that make it impossible for repairs even at the dealership or simply enjoying the hunk of metal you’ve plopped down a chunk of your savings for. The answers have never been very clear. Reading this article about the Countach, its selling price and the idea that the A/C is useless… (in a mid-engine automobile of all things), the “manual windows” only roll down 3-inches, average height guys won’t fit inside… comfortably, etc. I have to say that the old quip of some people having more money than brains comes to mind when I realize the Countach probably sold quite a few units to the uber rich back in the day. Yes, even now in 2021 it’s a hot babe magnet car… if you’re lucky enough to be under 45-years old and find a babe with a daddy complex. I drove my share of Ferraris back in the 80’s. The Hollywood night scene was memory making for a 20 something at the wheel of a red Bonafede babe magnet with an exhaust sound that arrived before the car did. Ferraris were not the easiest to drive either… however, at six foot I could fit in and the A/C always seemed to be sufficient…. even if most of the driving was at night in the summer months when it still gets hot in slow residential traffic or while trying to be “cool” driving the notoriously slow & crowded traffic down Sunset Blvd. I cringe when looking at pics from back then and how foolish I looked but hey, I didn’t know it at the time. From what I remember my biggest complaint was the “off center” placement of the clutch & brake pedals. I have no doubt this black beauty will be sold for a sum a bit lower than advertised…. unless of course the old adage of a fool and his money going their separate ways is still alive and well.

  8. Nice car for the super rich. “at $350,000, this collector car is not out of the reach of a large number of the USA population.” Apparently, I’m not one of those “large numbers of the American population”

    • Nor am I mike but not an issue since I can’t at 6’4′ tall even think of owning one and liking the driving experience.

    • Hey Bill it stalled over Covid but is about to restart. We have all the fabrication done as well as the gearbox rebuild. Stay tuned for the stories in the next month.

      Andy

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