Arizona Biltmore
15 - 16 January 2015
Lot 114

1988 Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV


$467,500 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
  • Two owners and under 600 kilometers from new
  • Finished in the highly desirable Nero over Nero with gold wheels
  • Perhaps one of the finest Countaches extant

420 bhp, 5,167 cc DOHC V-12 engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent suspension with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5 in.

Calling the Lamborghini Countach “groundbreaking” would be an understatement. It has been one of the most recognizable cars of its time since leaving the crowd at the 1971 Geneva Auto Show flabbergasted upon its unveiling. The Miura, the predecessor to the Countach, set the industry standard for supercars when it was introduced, and the Countach showed that Lamborghini still had one more trick up its sleeve. Just like the Miura, there was nothing on sale at the time that came close to the Countach in terms of visual appeal or overall automotive panache, and it was destined to become a future classic.

Marcello Gandini’s angular design typified the design language of the 1980s nearly 10 years in advance. The car was highlighted by its eye-catching, upward-hinged “scissor doors,” and every inch of it was designed with show-stopping visual appeal in mind. For those who could afford it and were looking to stand out from the crowd, it was the perfect automobile, as it was eye-catching and jaw-dropping in every way. While the Countach’s design seemingly evolved constantly over the car’s 16-year lifespan, it was always instantly recognizable and just as desirable as the day the cover was lifted off the Geneva show car in 1971.

Fourteen years after the introduction of the initial Countach, in March 1985, Lamborghini returned to the Geneva Auto Show in to introduce the third iteration of the Countach, the QV, which was named for its four valve heads. The car’s V-12 featured an increase in cubic displacement to 5,167 cubic centimeters, and the compression ratio was increased to 9.5:1. This brought horsepower to 420 at 7,000 rpm for the fuel-injected models, increasing power by 45 brake horsepower over the outgoing LP5000S Countach. Cosmetically, the Countach remained largely unchanged, with the only change being to the rocker panels, where vents were added to extract air for the rear brakes.

This particular Countach, a 1988 5000 QV, was produced in February 1988 as a U.S.-specification model. It had Bosch fuel injection, was finished in Nero over a Nero leather interior, and had optional gold wheels and the iconic rear spoiler, just as it is seen here today. The car was immaculately preserved by its first owner for over 30 years, and then, in 2011, it was purchased by its second and current owner, showing just 520 kilometers on its odometer. Since then, the car has been the owner’s prized possession, and he made it his mission to preserve it in the very original condition in which he purchased it. As such, it has only been run and driven to ensure the functionality of the drivetrain and has only accumulated less than 100 kilometers in his ownership, just from driving the car around the block and back into the garage a handful of times.

The Lamborghini Countach is without a doubt the most iconic automobile of the 1980s. It was the poster-child for a generation. Those who lived through that decade were mesmerized by the car’s incredible looks and performance, yet only the fortunate few had the wherewithal to put one in their garage. As original and well-maintained models have become increasingly difficult to find, exceptional examples are quickly being snatched up by collectors in anticipation of ever rising values, rarity, and desirability. This Countach is virtually as-new, as it has been incredibly well cared for and preserved every day of its life, and it marks a wonderful opportunity.