Ferruccio Lamborghini's personal 1980 Lamborghini Countach S is a well-publicized car thanks to a number of tractor- and farmland-related publicity photos from back in the day, yet in other ways, it's been kept out of the public domain. After Mr. Lamborghini's passing, the car went to a relative of his, and eventually two other collectors since, exchanging hands the last time for a record price for a Countach.
The plate on the iconic bull is Z92885 ROMA. Roma, because while Lamborghini's estate was closer to Bologna, this car was a canceled order destined for Rome, originally specified with a rosso exterior over a black cabin. With the factory being on the edge of bankruptcy once again, the dealer called Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1980 to tell him how this very well may be the last time he could purchase a new Countach. The company's founder took the bait, asked for a factory color change to white, and drove away in his Countach S Series II "low-body" happily after.
As a lifelong fan of front-engined V12 gran turismos who also supported the production of pioneering mid-engine supercars, Ferruccio Lamborghini may have started the Countach project to follow up on the Miura, yet couldn't stay around to see it through. Following trade union disputes that straight up closed down his factories, Ferruccio Lamborghini sold his final stakes in the carmaker in March 1974.
Prior to that, Bertone's latest masterpiece, Marcello Gandini's Countach LP500 prototype debuted at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. However, it took chief test driver Bob Wallace another three years to develop it into a functioning road car. After Ferruccio had left it to Swiss investors Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer, Lamborghini managed to build 150 LP400 'Periscopio' cars before upgrading to the Countach S.
As explained by Iain Tyrrell in the video below, the head of classic car specialist and Lamborghini expert at Tyrrell's Classic Workshop, Ferruccio Lamborghini's 1980 car is a Series II S featuring the low body, made just before Lamborghini raised the roofline by just over an inch to make taller people fit as well. These wide-fender cars also came with the shaven Bravo wheel design, and Pirelli's latest 345-wide tires on the rear axle. Due to the suspension geometry, these massive chunks of rubber would only provide sufficient grip when perfectly flat to the ground.
Iain Tyrrell is not only the first person in years to drive the world's most valuable Lamborghini Countach in relative anger, but he's also the mechanic identifying and fixing all the minor issues it has since it's spent most of its life hidden away in a heated garage. Bleeding the clutch, replacing part of the door mechanism, ordering a set of rose joints, etc.
And after all the repairs are completed, then taking Ferruccio's Countach for yet another spin, just to make sure all 350 horsepower out of that 3.9-liter DOHC V12 are present. No disappointment regarding that, or any other aspect of this unique supercar.
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