Amelia Island

8 March 2014

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Lot 148

1986 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole

  • Chassis no. ZA9C005A0FLA12887

Sold for $319,000


455 bhp, 5,167 cc DOHC V-12 engine with six downdraft Weber carburetors, 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

  • One of just 13 carbureted examples imported to the United States in 1986
  • Two owners from new, and under 9,000 kilometers
  • Recently fully restored to as-new condition


Upon its introduction at the Geneva Auto Show in 1971, Lamborghini’s Countach simply stunned the crowd, just like its predecessor, the Miura, had five years earlier. While it looked outrageous on the stand at Geneva, the Countach was simply otherworldly on the open road. Most cars at the time were being built based on the phrase of form follows function, and the Countach turned that saying on its head. There was nothing available for purchase at the time like it. Standing just over 40 inches tall, there was no mistaking a Countach for any other vehicle.

Marcello Gandini’s brilliant design predicated the angular style typical of the 1980s nearly 10 years in advance. Upwards-hinging “scissor doors” proved a magnetic attraction, and they were only the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae of outrageous design. Not only was the Countach on the wish list of some of the world’s wealthiest individuals looking to stand out from the crowd, but the Countach also found its way into the hearts of an entire generation, and it was often hard to find a bedroom of a boy growing up in the 1980s without a poster of a Countach on the wall. Even though the design seemingly evolved constantly over the car’s 16-year lifespan, adding vents to aid engine cooling, fender flares for wider tires, and safety bumpers for the American market, the Countach was always just as desirable as it was the day the cover was lifted off the original at Geneva in 1971.

The third iteration of the Countach debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1985, with its major change being the addition of four valve heads to the already potent V-12 engine. It was dubbed the Quattrovalvole, or QV for short. Its engine displacement was increased to 5,167 cubic centimeters, and the compression ratio was increased to 9.5:1. As a result, horsepower increased to 455 brake horsepower at 7,000 rpm in European-carbureted specification, which now featured downdraft rather than side-draft carburetors. The only cosmetic styling change was to the rocker panels, where vents were added to extract air for the rear brakes.

While most of the 610 Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole models imported into the United States from 1985 to 1988 were outfitted with a Bosch Electronic fuel-injection system, only 13 models fitted with downdraft carburetors arrived at U.S. ports before the EPA and DOT banned Lamborghini from importing them. This 1986 model is one such carbureted example.

This Countach was sold new in the state of New Jersey, and it has had only two owners since new. It has accumulated less than 9,000 kilometers over roads in New Jersey and Florida, where the owner moved with the car in the early 1990s. This Countach, fresh from a recent full restoration, was brought back to as-new condition both mechanically and cosmetically, and it features a repaint in red and a new beige leather interior, which was its original color combination. This Countach sports a brand-new clutch, which was installed after a complete engine servicing, and it is just as prepared for spirited driving as it is for a concours lawn. Accompanying the car are titles from both New Jersey and Florida, as well as receipts from the recent restoration.

There is nothing more eye catching than a bright red Lamborghini Countach, and no collection of Italian supercars should be without one, as it embodies the best of 1980s performance and glamor all wrapped into a single, exciting package. Many consider the QV to be the most desirable Countach model, and as one of thirteen carbureted models imported to the U.S., this example is simply the crème de la crème.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more