Which Countach Has Aged Better: 1970s Original Or ’80s Bling?

Exotic automakers don’t replace their models quite as frequently as more mass-market brands. Lamborghini especially. The Diablo was in production for the better part of 12 years. The Gallardo for 11. But the Italian automaker never produced anything for as long as it did the Countach.

Only the second in Lamborghini’s line of mid-engined V12 supercars – a segment it had pioneered with the preceding Miura – the Countach may be the ultimate icon of 1980s style. But it actually entered production in the first half of the 1970s, and remained so until the Diablo replaced it in 1990.

Over that 17-year production run, the model evolved considerably from Marcello Gandini’s original angular (but clean) design to the highly festooned version of that followed in the late 1980s. And few occasions could illustrate that quite as clearly as RM Sotheby’s upcoming auction on Lake Como in northern Italy.

Pictured (by Tim Scott) in yellow is an early 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 – a rare “Periscopio” model, so named for its periscope-like rearview mirror. Only 150 of these early versions were made, of which this was the 31st. It was delivered new in this striking combination of yellow over tobacco leather to a Saudi prince, but was eventually repatriated in the 1980s to Italy where it was restored and upgraded.

The Periscopio looks downright uncluttered in comparison to this later example (captured by Dirk de Jager). This ’87 5000 QV packs an upgraded engine, bored out from 4.0 liters to 5.2 and fitted with four-valve cylinder heads. Of the 610 examples of this model that were made, only two were blinged out like this one. In a blinding display of Eighties opulence, it’s decked out in white bodywork and matching white interior with gilded steering column, shifter, instrument cluster, trunk and engine handles, door sills, exterior badging, and exhaust tips.

Originally delivered to the United States, it has spend time in Japan before its current owner in the Netherlands bought it and subsequently had it restored and certified by Lamborghini PoloStorico – the first vintage Raging Bull submitted to the factory’s historic division. In the evolution of the breed, only the 25th anniversary edition – redesigned by Horacio Pagani with even more strakes and vents – took the design further.

Both are consigned to the same auction and are sure to fetch a pretty penny or two. The question on our mind, though, is which better represents the Countach we remember. For our part, it’s posters of the white QV that we remember pinning to our childhood bedroom walls, but the Periscopio that has arguably aged better. What do you think?

1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400

1987 Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV

  • Infinite1

    I like the way the 5000 QV looks but all that “bling” feels out of place to me. It’s like buying a luxury car and putting huge rims on it…. Just a sight for sore eyes.

  • TheBelltower

    The 70s is more pure, but I love the excessiveness of the 80s Countach. And you just know that there’s an 8 ball somewhere hidden.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Deffo 70’s original for me. The later variants were bloated and looked like someone drove through an auto-parts store.
    BTW, love the big phillips-head screws next to the ‘opulent’ gold release lever. Classy.

  • Auto

    i like the 70’s one. The 80’s one is way to overdone.

  • Vassilis

    I love how the QV looked. Especially with a wing. Proper beast.

  • MMNYC18

    The original is an aesthetic gift that has inspired countless designers. Truly a work of art.

  • TheHake

    I’ll just have both, just remove the gold on the 80’s one.

  • Mind Synthetic

    70s, duh

    • fabri99

      I was just about to write the exact same thing.

  • Dariush

    why making such obvious questions…?!?!

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    I love the 80s except for that damn gold BS.

  • Nordschleife

    I am going with the 80’s. While the 70’s version is clean and simplistic, the 80’s version excites me more and therefore has aged better to me.

  • Chad Gordon

    As a kid I always loved cars. I was twelve years old in 1982 when I discovered the 1982 Corvette and The Lamborghini. To this day nothing (except the Miura, which I didn’t discover til after the Countach) gets me more than the those two cars. So for that reason I’d have to pick the 87. I must say though, the 75 looks way more sleek to me especially that front end.

    • Chad Gordon

      That gold is just AWFUL .

  • BlackandWhiteRhino

    LP400 hands down. This is a premium restoration that incorporates the Italian originality. Superb in every way including the perfect yellow hue. Well done. The 5000 mods, conversely, detract far too much from the original. Moreover, if you’re going to get the 5000 you may as well throw in the iconic wing. The body cladding appears incomplete without it.

  • Six_Tymes

    Both looks fantastic. the only one i never liked was the anniversary edition, that had way too much heavy looking tacked on elements.

  • Kash

    The 80’s model looks like it was better taken care of. Something about the yellow one just gives me a dingy vibe. I’d probably take the white one, i like the gold accents, especially the door sill. Pics 51 & 52 look great and look super chic.

  • Zandit75

    The original will always be a classic, but the 80’s QV with a spoiler was my first true car love. Whoever loaded up that white one with gold needs to be shot.

  • Ray


  • casho2015

    80’s needs the spoiler! Pointless comparison without it

  • timothyhood

    The exterior of the 80s and interior of the 70s. Without all that tacky gold, the 80s would have won hands-down. That “white gold” look of the ’80s got outdated really fast. Lexus was the only one still doing gold bling in the ’90s.

  • Richard Sloman

    If memory serves me correctly, some of the first Countach models were built in South Africa, or at least body parts were.

  • Richard Sloman

    Best memory from my youth…

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