The sensation of the 1971 Geneva Salon, the Countach was styled by Marcello Gandini. Lamborghini’s four-cam V12 was retained, though this time installed longitudinally. To achieve optimum weight distribution, designer Paolo Stanzini 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.
When production began in 1974, the Countach sported an improved chassis and a standard four-liter, instead of the prototype’s five-liter engine. Even with the smaller engine producing “only” 375 bhp, the aerodynamically-efficient Countach could attain 170 mph and, naturally, came with racetrack roadholding to match. The car’s potentially largest market-the USA-remained closed to it until the arrival of the “emissions friendly” LP500S in 1982.
Although no more powerful than before, the newcomer’s 4754cc engine brought with it a useful increase in torque. The final development saw the engine enlarged to 5167cc and new four-valves-per-cylinder heads adopted for the Countach Quattrovalvole, the latter’s 180 mph top speed making it-briefly-the world’s fastest car. The right-hand drive LP500S pictured here has enjoyed just three owners from new. The car came into the current seller’s hands in 1987 when it had recorded 35,000 km and underwent a thorough restoration in 1988-1989 at not inconsiderable expense, the mechanical work, which included a full engine rebuild, bodywork restoration, repaint, and full interior retrim.
Finished in its original Acapulco blue with magnolia/dark blue leather interior, the car is described by the seller as in “very good” condition in all respects. The tires are Pirelli, and the only listed deviation from factory specification is an Ansa sports exhaust system. The rear wing-unpainted and not fitted-accompanies the car. It was offered with a complete history file, including all restoration and subsequent service bills, and tailored car cover.