Back in the late 1980s, the Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary was the hottest supercar under the sun, adored by pop stars and F1 racing legends. This particular car once belonged to Gerhard Berger and is now for sale at Aguttes.
Kids who had a Lamborghini Countach poster on their bedroom walls are now big enough to drive them around, and this particular example should immediately spark joy. First, for the exceptional history of its owner, and second, because it is a 25th anniversary edition, the most successful of all.
Gautier Rossignol, head of the automotive department of the Aguttes auction house, which will be offering this 25th anniversary Countach for sale in Paris on June 26, is in complete agreement: “This car was bought new by Gerhard Berger, the one of the best F1 drivers, teammate of Senna, Mansell and Alesi, and third in the world championship in 1988 and 1994. He kept it for more than ten years before selling it to its current owner who maintained it meticulously for 21 years old. This is truly a unique opportunity to acquire one of the most legendary supercars of the late 1980s, the last hand-built and most accomplished Lamborghini with low mileage, great lineage of just two owners and meticulous maintenance.
The Countach is indeed the archetype of the supercar of the 1980s, although it was born in the 1970s. A worthy successor to the Miura, it perfectly embodies what is expected of a Lamborghini: exuberance, breathtaking performance and striking design. Add in flamboyant and famous owners and you have the complete picture. In this regard, the Countach remains for many enthusiasts the iconic Lamborghini par excellence.
The history of the Countach began as early as 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show, when Lamborghini unveiled the LP 500 concept car, powered by the longitudinally installed 5-litre V12 engine from the Miura. The concept car really impressed the whole world with its very low belt line and its clean lines. With such a warm reception, Lamborghini felt they had no choice but to build the car, although producing a worthy successor to the legendary Miura would be a difficult task.
Designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone, the LP 400 appeared in Lamborghini’s catalog in 1974 with a 375 hp 4-litre V12 engine and an avant-garde look, characterized by its retractable doors. Paolo Stanzani, the company’s brilliant engineer, placed the five-speed gearbox in front of the engine, between the seats, and the differential at the rear. With its tubular chassis, the Countach offered both an optimized gearbox and better balance than the Miura.
The name Countach, derived from the Piedmontese slang word meaning “fabulous”, is said to have been spoken by Nuccio Bertone when he first saw the car on the road. The Countach underwent many evolutions, from the purest, the LP 400, followed by the LP 400 S in 1978, offering more aggressive lines, an optional spoiler, and a detuned 355 hp engine. Lamborghini then launched the LP 500 S in 1982. With modernized lines and a 4.7-litre V12 of 375 hp, it was a model that opened the doors to the key American market. Then came the LP 5000 QV in 1985, with its Quattro Valvole engine, i.e. 48 valves, with 5.2 liters of displacement and 455 hp.
Finally, Lamborghini decided to celebrate its 25th anniversary by unveiling the “Countach 25 Anniversario” at the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1988. Based on the 5000 QV, but heavily restyled and modified, only 650 units were produced until 1990. This is the car we are talking about today.
As Gautier Rossignol points out, the avant-garde style of the 25th Anniversary actually hides a brand new car: “Horacio Pagani, then in-house stylist, rounded the corners of the car by making the lines more fluid with a new nose, new grips air to improve cooling from carbon disc brakes and prominent side skirts to optimize airflow to the engine radiators.The 25th Anniversary Countach is by far the most accomplished of all Countachs, incorporating hundreds of changes including an updated chassis with input from Sandro Munari, a completely revised cooling system, OZ wheels fitted with new Pirelli P Zero tires and improved features such as power windows and better air conditioning.
With its breathtaking performance, 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h, the 25th Anniversary Countach won over stars and F1 drivers. Famous owners included Mario Andretti and Gerhard Berger, the latter being the first owner of chassis no. ZA9C005A0KLA12818 which will be offered for sale by Aguttes.
As Gautier Rossignol confirms: “In 1989, Gerhard Berger had just finished third in the 1988 F1 world championship in a Ferrari. But after a spectacular accident at Imola and his victory in Portugal, he announced his move to McLaren. It was at this point, with just three Grands Prix left to race with Ferrari, that he placed the order for this 25th Anniversary Countach, which was in fact his second Lamborghini Countach. He already owned a 5000 QV before joining the Scuderia in 1987.”
This car is a European version with carburettors and is finished in red over a black interior. It is accompanied by a file containing important documents such as Gerhard Berger’s purchase invoice and another document in his name for the installation of an alarm. The service book is stamped for a service in 1990, when the car had only covered 2,183 km.
It was sold in 2002 to its current owner with 11,000 km on the clock. The current owner has taken care of the car in the best possible way: through regular and meticulous maintenance, documented by numerous invoices, in particular from the Lyon specialist Calderoni. In 2016, no less than €40,000 was spent on replacing the rims and doing cosmetic work.
With just under 40,000 km on the odometer, the chance to become only the third owner of this spectacular Lamborghini Countach is a rare privilege. Needless to say, any kid who used to have a poster of Countach on their bedroom walls would happily fill an empty garage with that same car later this month…