The '80s called, they want their poster-child back.
With a name that roughly translates to "holy shit" it could only be a Lamborghini. Introduced at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, the Countach is the quintessential car of the late '70s and '80s glamour and excess. The iconic wedge shape, giant wing, and scissor doors perfectly match yuppies' white tux and feathered hair. While the Countach is the Lambo that everyone had on their wall next to a poster of Cheryl Tiegs or Bo Derek, here are five variants you may not be so familiar with that kick up the awesome and let the power ballads rock.
First up, we have the Wolf. No this isn't a reference to Mr. Belfort's antics. Walter Wolf, owner of the Wolf F1 Team, was dissatisfied with engine of his 1975 LP400. He asked then Lamborghini Chief Engineer Gianpaolo Dallara to build a special engine for him. The "Walter Wolf Special" was a 5.0-liter V12 that churned out 450 horsepower at 7900 rpm. Flared wheel-arches housed Pirelli P7 tires, a Borg & Beck double disc clutch and electrically adjustable rear wing. The enhanced power was met with eight piston brakes and a new front spoiler. Capable of 201 mph in 1975, the Wolf is a good sum faster than the 25th Anniversary Countach. Only three were made.
Meet the most advanced Countach ever, designed by none other than Horacio Pagani. The Evoluzione, built in 1987 by the Pagani led "Composites Department," the Evoluzione retired the steel space-frame and replaced it with carbon fiber and kevlar. The result was 1100 lbs being shed from the Countach QV5000S for a dry curb weight of 2200 lbs. No headlights, A/C, or horn were installed: the car was built purely as an engineering test bed. The engine was modified and brought up to 490 horsepower. Various ideas continued to trickle down including electronically adjustable ride height, ABS, and a four-wheel drive system with variable torque split. Lamborghini of course said no due to the insane costs.
Given the unanimous use of carbon fiber in todays cars an "I told you so" is warranted from Mr. Pagani. Toward the end of 1986, Lamborghini was under immense pressure from Ferrari in a bid to stay ahead of Modena, so Sant'Agata presented the Countach 7000. Featuring a 7.1-liter twin turbo V12 producing well over 600 horsepower and a theoretical top speed of 240 mph, outside the car was radically redesigned. The NACA ducts on the side were replaced with large side grilles featuring thermostatically-controlled louvers, the front spoiler melded into the body, and the chassis was redesigned to accommodate the larger radiator and oil cooler. The car featured full-size side windows and a small rear wing integrated into the bodywork.
Lamborghini built a working prototype of the 7000 dubbed the Countach Restyling or Project L150. Not a factory effort, but would that stop anyone from lusting after a topless Countach Spyder? We thought not. Meet the Countach SS. Built by Al Mardikian in the US and based on a standard 1980 model, the SS featured a targa-like removable hardtop. Bodywork was heavily revised and is alleged to have been completed by Giacabone's Executive Coachcraft. The doors were cut in an effort to complete the "spyder" design. Once the roof is removed the top of the doors are absent, when fitted the doors are complete. Documents suggest that the engine was bumped up to 4.4-liters and horsepower sat around 510.
With a $205,000 price tag in 1980, only the wealthiest people could enjoy a topless Countach. Rumor has it that rocker Rod Stewart was one of few lucky owners. No word on how many were built but every so often a unicorn like this rears its head.
Built from the burnt husk of a 25th Anniversary, Teruaki Terai decided to take a 12-cylinder bull racing in the still-new All-Japan GT Championship in 1994. Not completed in time for the first race at Fuji Speedway, the car was mostly stock but featured a myriad of safety, suspension, and bodywork changes. The JLOC Countach competed in all five races of the 1994 JGTC season, until replaced by the Diablo the following year. Plexiglass side windows and an adjustable rear wing and front splitter helped keep the car planted on 18-inch wheels. The engine was modified ever so slightly and is rumored to produce 550 horsepower on race fuel.
The front hood featured a massive air extractor, and the NACA ducts on the side were reworked for better airflow to the engine. The car wouldn't be complete with out sponsors and Rain-X came full swing with a retina searing yellow livery. Very fitting for a Lamborghini.