Just Because: It’s A Lamborghini Countach, Dammit!
Photography by Tony Lopez
The title says it all, but as we’ve come to learn, every single Lamborghini Countach has picked up a novel’s worth of stories. For years, it was the hottest thing, coveted by both the world’s elite and 12-year-olds with equal fervor. Stories can be those of inspiration or lust—or plain stupidity, like using Bertone’s wedge to try and Cannonball past a platoon of Highway Patrol officers…
What’s it like to own a car like this in 2016?
Ted Gushue: Tell us the story of your Lamborghini Countach.
Stephen Duncan Peters: Well, my father was a product of the ’80s and whatnot, so of course you have the Lamborghini Countach. Real estate market goes into turmoil from ’08-’10, so dad got out of real estate and was just looking around for other opportunities. He started noticing, “Oh, these cars are getting cheap now. They’re probably not going to be this cheap any longer”. So we start looking, find a car up in Ohio. Through some research back and forth we find out that the car was actually purchased new about 5 miles from where it resides now by a company called Thoroughbred Motors.
The salesman who actually sold the original car was sold originally to a woman who actually lives a block and a half away from us currently. She was a former Miss USA runner up and she bought it for her lover, allegedly. We found all of this out because the salesman who sold the car just happened to turn up to a cars and coffee where we brought the Countach.
SDP: It was funny, we were sitting at a car show and this one guy comes up and says, “This car was local wasn’t it”. I was like, “It was before we purchased it”. He goes, “I remember running from the cops in this thing on 270 and then my buddy missed the shift, and then they caught us”. So we picked it up from a doctor out in Ohio around the Cleveland area in 2010 and brought it back and just kind of been doing a lot of little stuff to the car. There was really nothing major that has gone catastrophic or has been done to the car, it’s just going over little things, cleaning this, cleaning that and whatnot.
TG: Other than that, is there a reason you guys haven’t deleted the safety bumpers yet?
SDP: We actually have two different bumpers. We have a euro anniversary which was just a little bit of a filler on the car that plugs in in place of the safety bumpers. If you look at the Euro anniversaries versus the US anniversaries, the US anniversaries have that rubber bumper but a lot of people just replace it because you don’t have to do that. The correct European QV front on the car replaces that front bumper as well as integrates the lower valence onto the car which relocates the fog light a little bit higher and moves the vents around just a little bit.
We currently have both and we wanted to swap them, but life seems to happen when you’re busy making other plans. Eventually we find the time and we go, “All right, let’s do this”. Then you start to look at the markets and the values on these cars have just skyrocketed in 2010 and then people who really brushed the car off in the past saying, “Oh it’s just a Countach whatever. It’s not that special, it’s not a Miura or anything”. Now all of a sudden they’re saying, “Don’t touch it”.
Now it’s gone into that realm of those collector cars that you see at RM, Bonham’s and whatnot. Those major houses have just reiterated to us: “Don’t touch it. Just leave it alone exactly as it comes from the factory”. So I’m torn as to whether you leave the U.S. DOT bumpers on there or do you just plug it in there and make the car to European specifications because it is a European car. However, the 25th bumper is not that hard. It’s two bolts. It’s not the end of the world if someone were to really want that other one as it’s not that hard to replace.
TG: What’s it like to drive?
SDP: It’s as analog and as raw as you can get. Everyone makes that car out to be this monster and everything else. You have to use the car for what it’s meant for in a lot of ways. They always say that, “Oh it’s impossible to park,” and whatnot. It was never designed for that. It was just designed to look cool. It was just a statement car. Driving this car in traffic, when we drive the car we drive it as 6 o’clock in the morning, go our back roads, to a local Cars and Coffee and just drive it around.
When the car is in that element, it’s amazing. The unassisted rack and pinion steering has just the most feedback that you can ever feel. Obviously, there’s not much rear visibility out the back, but you just don’t really care. The hardest part about it is just figuring out where everyone is behind you. Everyone’s trying to get close to you and they all want to sit in that rear quarter.
That aside, it’s just just a thrilling driving experience of just being so connected to the car.