Lamborghini: Countach 5000s

Sale price: $200,00 make an offer

Technical specifications

Manufacturer:Lamborghini
Model:Countach
Year:1980
Type:Coupe
Fuel Type:Gasoline
Color:White
Mileage:13,756
Transmission:Manual
Interior Color:White
Engine:359ci V8
Number of Cylinders:8
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Photos

Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2)
based on 3 votes

Description

You've clicked on the auction for arguably the most awesome Countach Replica ever created. I know that sounds arrogant and possibly even a little ridiculous. But if you happen to make it through this entire write-up, there is a decent chance you'll end up sharing this opinion with me.
Although extremely accurate to the original car, this is not the most accurate replica ever produced. Although extremely fast, this is not the fastest Countach replica to ever be engineered. Although the level of workmanship shown in every area of the car is first rate, I'm sure there is one or two out there which show even more care and detail. And lastly, although the engineering employed is quite impressive, I'm sure there was one or more better out there somewhere. However, it is my firm belief that if awarded a score between 1 and 10 for each of these categories, this car's total score could very well be the highest among all Countach replica cars ever created. This car was created to pay tribute to the original Countach 5000s. That means a tube chassis, normally aspirated, manual transmission. No turbos or superchargers, no air suspension, no sunroofs, etc.. This car tries its best to stay as true to the production car as possible.
Clarification:
Let me clarify one huge issue for me. This is not a "kit car". This car is a handmade replica of the original car. It was not "purchased and put together", but instead it was 100% "handmade". This entire car was created from scratch in a garage much like the legendary Ken Imhoff's aluminum bodied "Basement Countach Replica". Let me be clear, nothing from this car was purchased from a kit car manufacturer. This car is not an "Armstrong" or "Prova" kit. this car is a one-off. Everything on this car was hand made especially and only for this car. That's right, body, frame, dash, seats, even the wheels!
I have so many build and progress pictures I'd love to share, but Ebay has made me select only a few. There is soooo much more to this car that I was unable to show.
Accuracy:
Nothing ticks me off more than someone advertising their Countach Replica as, "Indistinguishable from the real thing", when nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could be further from the truth. Let's take a quick virtual tour around a proper Countach replica in order to educate you and point a spotlight on these false claims. I'm quite certain that only a very, very, very select few replicas would pass this quick test.
Let's start at the front of the car. Does it posses Carello Fog lights/driving lights in the spoiler? Does it have the correct dual blade single wiper arm and is it clocked in the correct position? Let's move to the side of the car. Are the fender flares and air intake boxes separate body components, as in removeable, or are the body, wheel flares, and air intake boxes basically one large molded mass of fiberglass? What sort of mirrors are on the doors? They must be Vitaloni Turbos and nothing else. Let's check out the wheels now. Do they have Route OZ rims, or some other style wheel, or even a poorly executed replica wheel? If they happen to be Route OZ rims, do they have the correct center caps, silver with a black outlined bull? To the rear now. Does the badging say 5000s, but the rear hatch is actually one from a Quattrovalvo model? How about the rear lights. Do they have the small rectangular Carello reflector underneath the light on the red tail light surround? Does the red surround tail light cast acrylic have a metal backing plate that can be seen through it? Is the license plate held by a proper Countach license plate holder assembly? Now let's peek inside. Is there a proper gated shifter where the shift rod actually slots into position? Is there an authentic 3 spoke Raid leather steering wheel with finger "bumps" on the back at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions? Is the horn actuated by pressing the turn signal stalk? Does it have the proper door cards with two opposing triangles with a circle in the middle as a place for the window crank? Does it have Jaeger Lamborghini gauge set with a speedo that reads primarily in kilometers? Is there a strange looking footrest bar across the passenger footwell? Check out the console now. Is there a factory pod for the 5 buttons, sliders, vents and AC/Heater lights, or did the owner take major liberties with the size, shape, and position of the console? Now take a quick glance underneath. Are there 2 rear shocks per wheel at the rear? Is there a 5 link suspension setup exactly like the original car? I think you get the idea. Bottom line, no Countach Replica that has been listed on this site can answer 'yes' to this simple list of questions. None. Not one. Expect this one.
Even though this car is much, much more than a car which resembles an iconic sports car, as the performance is every bit as important as it's accuracy, I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that the level of detail obtained in the quest for accuracy is a point of pride. Every visible bolt or screw is visible because it's visible on the production Countach. Every vent is there because it's present on the original. The shifter gate is clocked ever so slightly to the right, because that's the way it rests in a 1984 production Countach. You get the idea. At $700 for the rear view mirror, $400 for the easily overlooked electric mirror switch, to the $800 framing around the windshield, no expense was spared. No detail was too small to be considered. No effort was too great when it came to replicating the smallest detail of an '84 Countach. The stance is perfect, standing exactly 42.5" tall. The wheels sit in the wheel wells exactly where the production Countach's does. This thing is dead on.
One reason why this car will always be special is because it simply cannot be built today. All of the parts used to replicate it are just not available for purchase today. Silly things such as the idiot lights in the dash, or the foam center pad for the steering wheel, or the evacuation vents behind the occupant's heads to the gear shift knob simply aren't available for purchase anymore. I started collecting parts 19 years ago. That's the only reason I was able to pull this off.
Performance:
In some ways I feel that being an exceptional replica of a supercar icon is a curse for this car. Everyone automatically thinks that it's sole reason for being created was to simply look the part. But in reality, it's primary reason for existence for me is to perform like the best of the best on the street, with looks coming in second. Most iconic supercar replicas are created to be boulevard posers only. They, on occasion, look the part, but the fantasy ends when you press the accelerator or stand on the brakes. Whatever you may think about the accuracy of this car, I promise you it is that much more a performer. This car possesses the best of the best in race car parts and features. The parts I'm about to rattle off would make your weekend or even pro dirt or circle track car the the envy of many racers if that engine were built using the parts in this drivetrain. But please keep in mind, these parts are used, not in a dedicated high end race car, but in a STREET CAR!!
Del West Titanium intake and exhaust valves
Lithium Ion battery (14 pounds!)
Shaft mounted rocker system using Polymer Bearing
Custom ground 4/7 swap cam w/50mm cam journals
Roller cam bearings
6 piston Wilwood mono-block calipers
Jesel adjustable timing belt
37 pound Bryant crankshaft w/ Honda journals
Carrillo connecting rods w/ ARP 2000 bolts
Titanium Wrist Pins
CP light weight custom pistons,
March Underdrive Pulley System
Evans Waterless radiator coolant
Accel Multi-port Sequential fire EFI system,
Kennedy Engineering Products Stage II clutch with Kevlar disc
LSD transaxle installed and set up by California Motor Sports
2 stage ECU controlled water methanol system
MSD crank trigger
etc., etc., etc.
Rarely would you need to open the engine cover as most everything can be controlled from a laptop!
Why did you bother doing all this to a replica?
I know many will read this and say, "Geesh, why did you bother with all of this?" "You're an idiot". "With the money you spent trying to create a supercar, you could have bought yourself a "real" Lamborghini!. And to that I would respond by making three points: Point One: This car has been my hobby for the past 19 years. So it's not really a vehicle more than it is a rewarding mental and physical project for me. I've enjoyed all aspects of this car. It's afforded me the thrill of hunting down and collecting rare parts in an effort to make something as close to an original as possible. I enjoyed the engineering side of things as well. Turning and milling special parts in an effort to make something functional and neat. With this car I'm able to do crazy things like spray a nitro/nitrous cocktail with a custom system I designed. And, at the end of it all, I love the performance the car ultimately provides. It performs at a higher level than cars costing way more money. Point Two: This is no ordinary replica. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to purchase and then complete such an extraordinary car. I don't view this car as a replica, but as a legitimate ultra high-performance car, period. And point three: I should mention that I do own a "real" Lamborghini along with other high end exotics. I have a beautiful and rare (1 of 184) Diablo SV that I've owned for many years. So this isn't the case of a guy settling for a "fake" because he can't afford his dream car. No, this IS my dream car! Everyone who knows me knows that this car is number one to me over all the other cars I own.
This "replica" will always be a favorite because a car like this allows your creativity and changes since it has no built-in value to be destroyed. The other cars are great to drive, but ask for very little from me personally. This car has been a constant project. In constant need of this new piece or that little setting change. I guess the strive for perfection and performance is what has kept my interest all these years.
The History:
This car was originally the 8 year project of one man, the late Bill Parquet. A civil engineer by trade, Bill researched, designed, and engineered every piece of this car that I purchased. It was a project he started to occupy his time while his wife worked nights as a shift nurse. Welding steel doors, milling custom engine/trans adapter plates, building jigs to tig weld his own stainless headers, and on an on. The skill set involved in designing, and then building a car is vast. It's one thing to design, say, a retractable motorized headlamp system. But it's another matter entirely to be the same person to then mill, turn, and assemble the parts to actually make such a system work. He did it all. The body was molded from an actual car. It is a one-off affair. So please no questions about which body this uses, Prova or Armstrong. It's neither. It's a one of one. Since it is accurate in every dimension, it uses many pieces from the production car. Bumpers, wheel arch flares, glass etc, can be repaired or replaced with original parts. I know that line has been used countless times by Countach replica owners looking to sell, but the difference here is that this car actually uses the parts it's referring to. Bumpers, flares, glass ARE Lamborghini Countach parts.
I purchased the car from Bill's widow, Joyce, 19 long years ago. Bill died before the car was finished while waiting for a heart valve replacement at the age of 51. He left the paint, some bodywork and the whole interior to be finished by his wife. Although all of the engineering was sound, replicating the essence of the original car to true "replica" status was not the goal for Mr. Parquet. He was happy taking liberties with many of the important details. That's where my part of this story starts.
I purchased the car while it was fitted with Golf GTI mirrors, Weld Drag Lite wheels, incorrect tail light lenses, plexiglass side windows with visible screws holding them in place, vertically mounted visible mufflers, round AC vents in the console, Fiat window cranks, leather shifter boot, etc., etc. Oh yeah, it even had a brake light molded into the roof of the car! The basic layout and configuration was decent, but many details were not up to my high standards.
Steering wheel, digital clock, window cranks, rubber Lamborghini clutch and brake pedal covers were a must have and were collected methodically down through the years. Over the past 19 years, I replaced, redesigned, and in some cases, re-engineered most of this car in an attempt to make it look the part, while also out performing any production 5000s Countach in any area of measurable performance.
The Body:
One unique thing about this car is that it is modeled after the 5000s. Most replicas take the easy route, replicating the newer Quattrovalvole Countach because it is much simpler. The one piece hump covering the imaginary 6 carbs European version is much easier to reproduce. There is simply no quick and dirty way to hand form the more intricate (and much better looking) individual vent slats of the neater and more desirable 5000s model. Since 99% of replicas are pulled from a mold, it's in the kit maker's best interest to cast a mold with the fewest number of parts. Not so with this car. The body is steel reinforced glass fiber with a fit and finish equal to any production Lamborghini.
One thing I'd like to explain about the NACA ducts that are built into the doors and rear quarters is they are functional. These ducts actually ram fresh cold air directly into the throttle body. The ducts have molded receivers to allow 4" flexible ducting hose that connects to the RamAir cold air box that sits atop the throttle body. This system isolates the intake from any hot engine bay air. This means the engine gets 100% of its air from outside of the car. And there is also a ram air effect at play when traveling at speed. Very, very trick feature.
There was a ton of work in the rear of the body. The rear lights, for instance, were recently upgraded to the proper cast acrylic instead of red plexiglass. The difference in the finish and durability is pretty significant. These parts along with the metal backing plate (something no other replica I've seen bothers to incorporate even though it's clearly visible) were created on a CNC mill. The very fragile exhaust grate that sits between the dual tips is 100% Lamborghini and impossible to purchase today.
The other project that was recently completed was the air dam brake cooling system. One of the remaining things the real car had over this one was the ductwork for cooling the front brakes. We fiberglassed air scoops into the extreme outer vents in the front air dam to catch and funnel the air to the front brake rotors. As you would imagine, the installation has a very sanitary look while being functional. The inside holes on the air dam funnel air straight into the cockpit for ram air passenger cooling. You would be quite surprised at how well this system works to keep the passengers cool. Of course you need to be driving to be able to take advantage. But the car does posses A/C that is charged up and ready to go.
The iconic doors have perfect weighted nitrogen strut assist. They raise on their own once they are moved past their halfway point. They stop their upward movement gradually and come to rest with an ever so slight thud.
The Chassis:
This is the most fascinating part of the car. It's truly a work of art. It's a shame it's totally covered by the flawless body. Using the same configuration, including body attachment points, suspension attachment points, as the original car. Each and every tube in the chassis is under tension or compression. Fact: The chassis was used as a case study by the University of Toledo, a school known for its automotive engineering department, and was found to exceed every case of extreme use a car of this nature would happen to face. I have multi-page documentation of this engineering study, complete with computer printouts and stress graphs. The conclusion was that this particular frame has the capability of handling 1,000 ft. pounds of torque. Dare I say, much more than the production car, while weighing in an astonishing 350lbs less!
All components are designed around this chassis. The dual custom fabricated aluminum fuel cells fit inside either side of the body to distribute weight near the rear wheels. The dual radiators, again in their proper location as dictated by the production car, fit perfectly with the design of the custom chassis.
The Interior:
The interior was the toughest task of the whole project. Accuracy was extremely important, yet very difficult to achieve. I was lucky enough to start collecting key parts and pieces some 19 years back. Things like the digital clock, interior light, windshield framing, ashtray, rear roof vents are nearly impossible to purchase today, but will make or break a build striving for the highest level of authenticity.
The toughest, yet most rewarding feature of this interior is the gated shifter. This is the first and biggest tell-tale sign of a poorly executed replica build. We must have milled 10 gates in order to get the perfect throws and angles. The final material used was for the gate was nylon, interesting enough, and not steel or aluminum. The polished stainless shifter rod is the proper length and width, and has the proper, impossible to find, Countach shift knob on top.
The button console was the next hardest piece to replicate. The profile of the center console took a few tries, but we finally achieved the look we wanted. All buttons perform their intended functions except for the hazard switch. It has the unique job of arming the on-board computerized nitrous system (the actual active hazard switch is on the steering column). The green and red buttons in the console area are functional, although not to indicate A/C and heater functions as in the real car. The green light alerts the driver that the water/methanol system is currently spraying, and the red alerts to a low water/methanol fluid situation. Pretty trick. The air conditioning enters the cabin through the authentic (and very expensive) AC vents. All in all, the cabin is a nice place to sit. Clean white leather and black wool carpet all around.
I have to admit to taking one small deviation from the actual car when it comes to the seat belts. I opted for 5 point safety harnesses instead of regular seat belts. I did have slits neatly cut into the seat to accommodate the belts right under the headrests. I feel it adds to the serious attitude of this car. The black short nap suede headliner rounds out the interior. A nice touch, even though it's never seen by passing by admirers since the car stands only 42.5" tall. The few screws in the interior that are visible are there because the actual production car has them visible. Most replicas have screws in unsightly places making the overall look very amateurish. The doors lock by electric solenoids triggered via key fob, accompanied by flashing park lights and horn chirp.
I finally broke down and put a stereo in the car, but not violating my self imposed rule to not make any holes or allow for any switches that are not part of a production Countach car. I used a 1 DIN high stereo (standard stock stereo size) but it has a 3.2" LCD screen on the face. I then ran a camera to the rear (authentic) license plate holder and wired it into the transmission reverse switch. So now you don't have to sit outside on the sill to reverse. Just watch the monitor. It also has bluetooth, so hands-free calls can be made and wired free music can be played from your phone. It also uses a 3 channel amp and 6.5 inch subwoofer. We also soundproofed and insulated the cabin so we have a fighting chance of hearing the music or each other over the roar of the engine.
Engine History:
This is the heart of the project. This car's sole reason for existence for me is to house this screamin' motor. I love making power through RPM. So, this engine is a short stroke, over bored, over square violent screamer. This motor shares the same bore/stroke configuration as many NASCAR motors. In fact, the crankshaft and rods were purchased from the RCR Nascar team (Richard Childress Racing).
The current engine is the 5th one outfitted to the car. The car started life with a 377 Chevy with hydraulic roller. It was good for 475 HP. Not bad, but once it dropped a valve and destroyed the AFR head and fragile OEM 400 block, I opted for a more fitting engine for a European bodied car. An original 3" stroke DZ 302 was located in California and transplanted. This engine was a blast, until it cracked one of it's heavy stock TRW pistons. Although it rev'd to 9,000rpm, the lack of torque didn't properly match the gears of the 930 Porsche transaxle. Engine number 3 addressed all of the weaknesses of the first two. I opted for a 400 bore World Motown block with 350 mains, with a custom made 3" stroke 41 lb. King's crank running 4.185" Diamond pistons for 331 cubes. This was topped off with a Barry Grant 770 Race Demon RS carb sitting on a Wieand 7532 single plane. Awesome combo. It rev'd like the DZ, but had a bit more torque due to it's larger bore which provided 29 more cubes. That engine was destroyed after a roller lifter failed, allowing metal shavings to enter the bearings . The 4th engine was a variant of this same bore/stroke configuration, only using a more aggressive cam profile. It proved very strong in the higher RPM's. And quite honestly, this was my favorite configuration of all (yes, including the current engine), but it still didn't match the gear ratios of the transmission properly. So, I contemplated changing the gear ratios of the transmission to match the motor, instead of vice versa. End the end, I elected to not take this route, but instead elected to increase the crankshaft stroke to 3.265" and bore the block to a maximum 4.200". Even though I increased the stroke, I refused to give up the RPM potential of the 3" stroke motors. The only way to accomplish this is by making EVERYTHING in the rotating assembly as light as possible.
Current Engine:
This new configuration checked all the boxes. It revs as quickly and as high as the previous 3" stroke motors, but yet has much more torque to better match the transmission gearing thanks to the huge bore and increased stroke. No expense was spared on the lightweight components of this engine. I know of highly competitive race cars that do not approach the list of quality components used in this "street" engine. The entire rotating assembly was made as light as possible, including the 11 pound flywheel and lightweight custom CP pistons. The result is a throttle response that's intoxicating. The EFI fuel system was also essential in making this aggressively cammed motor idle somewhat civilly. Since EFI injects the fuel instead of waiting for negative pressure to draw air through a carbs venturis, the idle quality and throttle response is that of your typical "big cam". The EFI system runs in sequential mode, of course, allowing for optimum idle quality and rapid throttle response. Induction is by way of Edelbrock's tried and true Victor Jr. single plane manifold offering a rev range reaching 8,500rpm. And by the way, this motor was built to reliably spin to 9,100 rpm. I could go on and on, but I think the parts list speaks for itself. Static compression of the engine is 11:1, so it will accept 93 octane safely (although I choose to up the octane to 98). This engine spared absolutely no expense. Every single part is race quality and was selected to allow this car to perform as the street legal race car it is designed to be.
The Engine Specs / Parts List:
359ci Full Solid Roller SBC rated 532HP @ 7,800 RPM (700+ HP when running nitrous oxide w/nitromethane & water meth mix)
Engine Parts List:
Block:
SBC Motown Block w/4bolt splayed Main Caps. Bored to 4.200" (HUGE Small block bore!)
ARP Main Cap Studs/Nuts
Priority Main oiling
Cam Bore machined to accept 50mm roller cam bearings
Rotating Assembly:
Bryant 37 lb 3.625" stroke Crankshaft w/1.88" Honda journals & Big Block Snout
Jessel timing belt w/adjustable Cam Timing
6.25" Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer for Big Block Chevy
Cam-motion custom dual pattern roller camshaft w/50mm Cam journals and ground with 4/7 Swap
Camshaft rides on Comp Cams Roller Cam Bearings
Comp Cams Roller Cam Bearing Kit (outer bearing race was modified to allow pressurized oil to needle bearings)
March Aluminum Under Drive Pulley System
CP lightweight Custom Pistons w/gas porting
Carrillo 428 gram 6" H Beam Connecting Rods
ARP 2000 Connecting Rod Bolts
Zero Gap Ring Pack
Valve Train:
Lunati Solid Roller Lifters
Comp Cams 3/8" Hardened Push Rods
Del West Titanium Valves 2.02 Intake, 1.6 exhaust
43 gram Titanium Wrist Pins Protected with DLC (coating)
Titanium Valve Retainers
Titanium 10* valve stem locks
Crane Cam Shaft Mounted Rocker System
Crane Cams Rev Kit
Hamburger snap on Quick-Release Racing Valve Covers (Wrinkle finished Powder coated)
Fuel/Induction:
RHS 23* 220cc heads w/64cc chambers. Pro race port, (flowed 309 cfm @ .700 lift)
ARP Race Series Cylinder Head Bolts
Edelbrock 29875 EFI Intake Port Matched To a Felpro 1206 Intake Gasket
Aeromotive Single Feed EFI Fuel Regulator
Edelbrock Aluminum Fuel Rails
Edelbrock 1000 cfm Aluminum Throttle Body
All Stainless Braided fuel lines -8AN Feed Line with -6AN Return Line
AN aluminum fittings used throughout
Liquid Filled Fuel Pressure Gauge
Ram Air Box air cleaner system hooks to the car's existing NACA Side Ducts
ACCEL DFI Multi Port Sequential Fuel System
ACCEL Wide Band O2 Sensor
ACCEL 48lb. injectors set at 50psi
MSD EFI Sensor Pack (Coolant, Air Temp, MAP)
Earl's Billet Aluminum Valve Cover Breathers
ARP Carb Studs
Neal Hydraulic Throttle/Pedal System
Dual Aluminum Custom fabricated fuel Cells (designed for this chassis)
Heavy Duty 11106M Mallory Fuel Pump rated at 110gph
Electrical Ignition System:
MSD 6AL CD Ignition Box
MSD 6.125" Crank Trigger
Heavy Duty Nippondenso 120 amp one wire alternator with CNC'd custom aluminum housing
MSD 85551 Distributor w/large cap & Bronze Pump Gear (Reluctor wheel modified to output Cam Sync Signal for EFI)
Various diameters of Painless Braided Wire Loom used throughout
Lithium Ion battery. Weighs only 14 pounds! Custom HiTorque starter / IMI 101NL (all "L" models are made to order)
Oiling System:
Canfield Racing Remote Oil system using -12 braided stainless lines
Moroso 6 quart oil pan
Melling High Volume Oil Pump
Moroso Windage Tray
Full Synthetic 20w50 Royal Purple Racing Oil used
Professional Products Billet reusable oil filter w/stainless mesh screen
B&M Oil Cooler with electric thermo controlled fan
Cooling System:
Dual Custom 5 core copper radiators (4 gallon capacity)
Evans Waterless Racing Coolant used (boiling point raised from 212* to 375*)
2 Thermally Controlled Electric Radiator Cooling fans (Pull) w/custom shrouds
1 Driver actuated Auxiliary Electric Radiator Coolant (Push) Fan
Stainless T-Bolt Style clamps for all Coolant Connections
Vintage Air AC/Heater system
Custom Tig Welded Stainless Steel Coolant tubes linking dual Radiators
Sanden 505 A/C Compressor
Exhaust:
Stainless Steel Custom Fabricated Tig welded equal length headers Jet Hot Coated in Black
ARP Header bolts (Header to Cylinder Head Bolts)
Dual 10 inch straight through glass pack mufflers
Dual Stainless Steel 2.5" Pypes exhaust tips
1" and 2" black exhaust wrap from headers to mufflers
200 Horsepower Nitrous Oxide System:
The ECU from the Accel Multi-port EFI controls the arming switch, the solenoid activation, and also adds the additional fuel needed via the 48lb Accel fuel injectors. Again, quality parts are the rule here as well. I'm not the sort of person to purchase and install the "NOS kit", or the "ZEX kit". Instead, I prefer to use the best component for its specific function. I chose the ZEX Perimeter Plate because of its lack of interference caused by the spray bars on all other nitrous plate. I like the CNC machining and carbon fiber components of the Nitrous Express solenoids. And the carbon fiber NOS bottle it's just cool to see it sitting back there. The ARC bracket with integrated heater was chosen for the simple fact it allowed me to not have to cover up my carbon fiber bottle with a conventional bottle blanket. You don't drop $600 on a beautiful fiber nitrous bottle only to then cover it up with a $30 blanket.
I recently added a purge line in which the nitrous plume exists the vehicle through the windshield washer spray nozzle. Purging is activated by pressing the low brake fluid warning button. This happens to be a momentary switch on the left side of the dash on production cars which has no use in my application. Running the car on just the power of the engine is a blast, especially once it crosses 4,000 rpm. But if you decide to activate the nitrous, the fun level doubles. It's an amazing rush that you can't possibly tire of or ever get completely use to.
Monitoring a nitrous system's bottle pressure is crucial. Since I had a rule when trimming the car's interior that stipulates, no buttons, switches, screws or gauges could be added to the interior. I didn't allow myself to add anything to the interior that was not part of a stock 1984 Countach. So adding a conventional nitrous gauge, heater switch or system arming switch was not an option. To get around this self imposed design limitation, I opted to place the gauge in the ashtray. A DynoTune Digital Nitrous Gauge was wired into the ashtray along with the nitrous heater bottle rocker switch. The digital gauge is electrical, meaning no braided steel nitrous line was routed to the gauge. It uses a much more install friendly sending unit system to send its reading from the braided purge line to the gauge. The nitrous heater rocker switch has a light inside of it, but the light does not necessarily light when switched on. Instead it lights only when the button is switched on AND the heater is actually heating the bottle Once a predetermined pressure is met, the heater and the light in the switch go off. Pretty trick. It took two relays to make this seemingly easy arrangement work.
Parts List:
12.5 lb. Carbon Fiber NOS Bottle
ZEX 1/2" Perimeter Plate
Nitrous Express Solenoid (main)
NOS Solenoid (purge)
ARC Aluminum Bottle Bracket w/integrated Bottle Heater
Additional Fuel added via EFI ECU using 48# ACCEL Injectors
Integrated Bottle Pressure Switch to Control Bottle Heater
Accel Single Stage Auxiliary Nitrous Harness
DynoTune Nitrous Digital Square Gauge
Edelbrock mini rocker switch for arming bottle heater
NOS electric remote bottle opener
Water Methanol Injection (with a shot of Nitromethane)
The car has a Snow Performance Water Methanol Injection System installed. I get asked all the time, "What exactly is a water methanol system?". It's basically a system which sprays a mixture of water and methanol into the induction stream via a high pressure pump and nozzle in an effort to increase the effective octane rating of regular pump gasoline, while also lowering combustion temperatures. It basically suppresses detonation when running 93 octane pump gas, thereby allowing for more compression and/or timing advance to be run. More timing advance equals more engine power.
Of course this car couldn't have a basic water meth setup, now could it? I had to take things to another level on this car. The system I designed is actually a two stage system. It is triggered by the EFI ECU and not the progressive vacuum/rpm controller that came with the Snow Performance system. My system is triggered by the RPM switch via the ECU. It's set to fire when the engine reaches 3,750 rpm while normally aspirated. The second smaller nozzle becomes active whenever the nitrous is activated at 4,000 rpm. By doing this, I have to retard the timing less while spraying nitrous. The general practice is to retard the timing a few degrees for every 50 hp of nitrous sprayed. The water meth acts like 116 octane fuel, retarding timing to that degree is not necessary. Which means more power.
The system carries 3 quarts of Water and Methanol mix on board and alerts the driver when he is running low through the red light on the center console. The green light on the center console lights during the actual methanol spray event. The install is very sanitary and it's integrated nicely into the tail section of the engine bay right along side the nitrous oxide system and remote oil filter.
For an extra kick, Snow performance sells a supplement for their water methanol systems called "Nitro Booster". When mixing the 8oz. bottle into a half gallon of Water/Meth mix, it's supposed to add an extra 30 to 50 horsepower. So, of course I run this as well. Does it work you ask? Who knows? Who cares? Just saying you run nitro methane is a cool enough reason to do it.
Parts List:
Snow Performance Water Methanol System 20200MC
Custom machined bezeled red and green dash lights for low fluid and active spray
Custom designed and milled dual nozzle and vacuum port 4150 style carb plate
After market black tubing used in order to be more stealth (their kit included bright red tubing)
Alcohol Injection System's check valve is used on first stage line
Snow performance solenoid is used to trigger the second stage. Tied in parallel with the nitrous solenoid trigger
Devi's Own water meth line filter
Brakes / Suspension
The front brakes are Wilwood 6 piston Dynapros, and they are incredible. I felt a little guilty upgrading to these since it was a pretty big departure from the stock caliper Countach look (I was running a set of de-marked 4 piston Dynalites before, which looked OEM Countach at a glance), but it was well worth it. The stopping is noticeably superior. The front and rear brakes have their own Wilwood master cylinders with a Tilton brake bias balance bar joining the two in order to dial in the desired braking bias. Stainless hard and braided lines are used throughout, with stainless braided joining the hard line to the calipers.
The suspension is both race inspired AND 100% loyal to the original car. The configuration is identical to the production Countach, using dual coil over shock absorbers per rear wheel. Custom front and rear sway bars, which are of course identical to the production car's, ride on polyurethane bushings, and aluminum suspension rods with QA1 Rod Ends allow for total adjustability of the giant rear 345/35/15 Pirelli P7R tires. Front suspension also stays 100% true to the original, employing the age old double wishbone setup with adjustable coil over springs rated for this car's 2,890 lb curb weight. The front Wilwood aluminum hubs were drilled and tapped to accept Euro style lug "bolts" in an effort to allow the chromed lug bolt head to recess into the wheel, a look not achievable with the stud/lug nut configuration. Along with this procedure, I had the hubs machined to act as a hub-centric setup to insure wheel rotation accuracy.
Parts List:
Wilwood 6 piston Dynapro brake system
Wilwood BP20 road/race low dust brake pads
Tilton Brake Balance Bar
Wilwood compact master cylinders for front/rear brakes & clutch
Wilwood pull type clutch slave cylinder
5 link custom Rear suspension (identical to production car)
1" & 7/8" Custom turned / drilled and tapped Aluminum Suspension Rods
QA1 Heavy Duty Rod Ends
Wilwood rack for the rack and pinion steering system (manual, no power)
Stainless Steel Hard Brake Lines
Dual Coil Over Shocks per side in rear
Custom Fabricated .750" Front and Rear Sway Bars w/polyurethane bushings
Wilwood Cable Actuated Emergency Hand Brake System using dedicated in-board rotor using custom cnc'd mounting bracket
Custom 3" ram air brake cooling duct setup
Wheels:
This was our greatest single project to date. Get this we actually made our own wheels for this car! Since I was not willing to settle for an extremely rare and desirable set of Countach replica wheels, which the car wore for over 10 years, I decided to create our own from aluminum, magnesium. Reason? Well, to be honest, I always hated the Euroworks replica wheels that I bought for it 15 years ago. I can tell they're fakes from half a mile away. I absolutely hated them. I suppose they're a better option than a lot of these replicas are running, but the "telephone" holes in the wheels were simply too big when compared to the production car's .O.Z's wheels (among other visual issues). 99.9% of the people would never know the difference, or even care. But I did. The other reason, and the one that finally got me to start the project, was because of the weight savings. By creating our own custom wheels, not only do they look 100% accurate, but we saved 46 LBS of rotational weight!!!! Saving 46 lbs would have been an great savings if it were sprung weight, but rotational weight?? Come on, that's beyond believable!!
The wheels are truly one of a kind with many, many man hours and ingenuity in them. It was in total an eight month project. We did everything in-house, from the cad design, milling and turning to painting. The car now accelerates like a motorcycle, and brakes a lot better too. Rear wheels weigh a shade under 15 lbs, while the fronts are 12 lbs. This new set saves 13 pounds per wheel in the rear, and 10 per wheel up front. Amazing. The center caps are, of course, original and fit into the wheels center bore perfectly. We also run Dyna Beads in them for balancing, therefore eliminating the need to run unsightly weights. Again, pretty trick cutting edge stuff.
Transaxle:
The Porsche 930 transaxle was chosen for its compact size and its strength. Many car builders dismiss this transmission due to the fact that it has only 4 gears. But people out there in the know realize that would be a huge mistake. The reason Porsche elected to use 4 gears in the 930 tranny, instead of 5, was that it needed to make the internals bigger to allow for strength needed due to the extra torque and horsepower of their new turbo engine. Eliminating one gear allowed room for all other components to be made beefier. Basically, what's missing in the 930 transaxle is first gear. The fact that it lacks first gear is actually a good thing for this car and application. With this gear stack, sub 4 second zero to 60 runs involve no shifts. This car will run to 70 mph in first gear before demanding you shift! And it pulls hard all the way through the rev range. Having a first gear that is lower than the current first would get in the way of acceleration, not enhance it. Theoretical top speed is 207 mph with this gearing. This transaxle and clutch package is rated to 700 lb. ft. of torque. The current torque curve of this V8 is a perfect match for the gear spacing of this transmission.
The tranny was sent out to California Motorsports where they went over everything and installed a racing LDS. This transaxle is now capable of putting 700 high RPM horsepower to the pavement.
Parts list:
Porsche 930 4-speed Transaxle gone over and set up by California Motorsports
Flipped Hardened Ring Gear
Billet 1.5 way Limited Slip Differential (LSD) set up at 45/90
Rod/Joint Transmission Shift Linkage for positive feel (no spongy cable shift mechanism here)
Custom Fabricated hardened half shafts with upgraded Neoprene boots
Stage II Kennedy Aluminum Pressure plate with integrated Hardened Starter Gear
11 lb flywheel
240mm Kevlar Clutch Disc from Renegade Hybrids
Custom milled Billet Aluminum .750" Thick Engine Adapter Plate (unique and machined for this car. Not purchased)
Tilton Hi Torque starter w/ custom fabricated mounting plate for mating to the 930 Transaxle
Electric Speedometer sensor
Authentic Lamborghini Parts Used:
Wheel center medallions
Ruote O.Z. Wheel Decals
Tail lights w/Lenses
Cast acrylic tail light surrounds
Tail light metal backing plate
Tail Light Surround Reflectors
Steering wheel w/epoxy bull medallion center
Digital VDO Clock
Muffler Grate
Rear License Plate Holder
All exterior emblems
Windshield
Quarter Glass
Rear Glass
Window crank handles
Clutch / Brake Rubber Pedal Covers
Gear Shift Knob
All 6 warning lights on dash
Dash AC/Defrost Vents
Rear Interior Ventilation Grills
Front turn and park light Plexiglass
Headlight assemblies
Turn Signal Lights/Lenses
Windshield Wiper Arm
Windshield Trim Frame
Console Courtesy Light
Vitaloni Turbo outside rearview mirrors
AC/Heater Control Knobs
All 6 Console Push Buttons
Dash light Rheostat dial
Brake Switch Button (used as nitrous purge solenoid)
Carello front driving lights
Dual FAAM horns
Vitaloni rearview mirror
Electric mirror control switch
So tell me the "not so good stuff":
I'm sure by now you're saying, "Surely everything can't be perfect on this car. Tell me the stuff that's not perfect" Most people claim, and accurately so, that custom cars like these are never really done. But with this car I can honestly say there is but one thing I'd want to upgrade.
Currently the windows in this particular car are fixed and flat. The production Countach uses slightly curved door glass that can be rolled down about 2.5". For me, this is one of the first things I look to to verify a replica from the real thing. However, this car is designed to use roll down windows. The regulators are there behind the door cards. I just never bothered having slots cut into the glass to make them functional. Pinkerton, a UK auto glass manufacturer, is currently working on a complete set of OEM Countach door glass. Once they release it I will probably take the plunge if the car does not sell. Honestly, that's really about all there is left to do on this car. But I assure you this, and from experience NO ONE can distinguish this car from the real thing. It simply presents itself as real. Park it on the street or a car show and listen to the comments. No one EVER questions its authenticity. It NEVER happens.
Buying the car:
I feel somewhat obligated to let any potential buyers know a few things about owning this machine. Although it may look the part, this is not a typical passenger car. It's definitely more race car than sports car. Like I mentioned earlier, I happen to own a real Diablo SV. And let me tell you, the cars are not similar in many respects in terms of driving the experiences. Let me just say, there is a reason Lamborghinis cost well into the 6 figures. And although I'm confident this car will beat any Diablo, Murcielago, or Gallardo to 100mph, there is no replicating the feeling of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Aston Martin V12 with any domestic old school push rod V8. For me there is just something so satisfying about the power delivery of an exotic V12 engine or flat plane V8. Don't buy this vehicle expecting a high end exotic production car experience. Buy it because you want to strap yourself into what amounts to a street legal race car and flog the heck out of it without guilt or sympathy. Where it shines is when you hammer it like you would never dare attempt in a high end exotic. A stock clutch in my Diablo costs $14,000 to replace. The cost of replacing the high performance Kennedy Stage II pressure plate, flywheel and Renegade Hybrid custom Kevlar clutch disc in this car is a mere $1,400. Quite a difference, huh? Of course that price is with you doing the installation yourself, while the Diablo clutch is a dealer installed, engine out procedure. But having the privilege of doing your own work is half the fun of owning this car.
Although the experiences are very different, I enjoy each one equally. Both cars are insanely fast, but the sensation provided while gathering speed is completely different. The SV is an animal but possesses more refinement and is definitely more composed while reaching higher speeds. This particular Countach feels planted at speeds, but a bit unrefined when comparing. Again, this is truly a race car in sheep's clothing. One interesting fact concerns ride quality. Believe it or not, in my opinion, this Countach has better quality ride than the Diablo, even with the Diablo's variable electronic shocks.
So, either this section will serve to free you from the romantic idea you may have had of what owning this car would be like, or it will energize you because now I've verified what you hoped the experience might be like.
The car is pretty reliable and bulletproof since only top of the line parts were used. Maintenance is fairly easy with everything relatively accessible. All that's required maintenance-wise under the hood would be an oil change here or there and possibly a solid lifter valve adjustment when necessary. All of the bugs are sorted out and the EFI takes all the fiddling around out of the tuning process. All adjustments can be made via laptop while sitting inside the car. This includes adjusting water meth trigger points, Nitrous air/fuel, spark maps and trigger parameters, timing and fuel adjustments, and opening and closing the nitrous bottle. The EFI software comes with 6 channel data-logging, which is extremely cool and very useful.
You'll, of course, want to have a routine of checking and snugging nuts and bolts periodically as the vibrations generated from this aggressive engine can work things loose. I have gone through the trouble of safety wiring the half shafts and 2 piece rotors. I had them back off on me while driving twice and therefore vowed to never let that happen again.
Driving the car:
If you know anything about race engines, they love, and too a great extent, they need RPM. This car can seem sort of tame just tooling around town. But it really wakes up in a hurry when you get into the power band. It comes on strong around 3,500 RPM and pulls strong all the way to 8,000. I find that most people are never quite comfortable revving a car this high. Once you learn to drive the car, you'll understand that high revs are rewarded.
And please don't ask me, "Does it sound like a Lamborghini?". Heck no it doesn't sound like a Lamborghini. How could it? It does have a very unique sound, though, since it's a mid-engined car with a very short straight through exhaust and has it's idle set somewhat high. It doesn't sound like a Lamborghini, but it also doesn't sound like a typical cammed up lopey Nova or Mustang, either. I guess it sounds more like a purpose built, very capable circle track race car.
Visibility is poor piss poor. As far as I can tell, the quarter windows are only there as a design accent. You'll undoubtedly adopt the technique of speeding up to gain clearance before changing lanes as rear viewing is pretty much a guessing game. If you don't trust the back-up camera, backing up is best done by opening the door and sitting on the sill then looking back over the roof as you work the clutch and gas pedal. The shifter gate seems like it would take concentration, but it's really not bad at all. It's actually your friend unless you're trying to shift really quickly. The clutch is somewhat stiff Actually, that's a lie. The clutch is not somewhat stiff, it IS stiff. The brakes are manual with no power assist, and there is no power steering. These things may sound like bad attributes for a car, but it actually allows you to be more involved with the car and better discern what it's trying to tell you. You'd be advised to wear driving shoes or the most narrow pair of shoes you own as footwell room to properly operate the pedals is scarce. A person over 6 feet tall may start to encounter some trouble with headroom. I'm a solid 5'10" and I fit perfectly with decent headroom.
People will constantly follow you on the highway to get pictures and to stare, to the point it may annoy you (along with being unsafe). I've learned to stab the brakes to force them to pass you, then drive for a mile or so in their blind spot so they can get a taste of how unnerving that feels when they do it to you. I'm sure you'd develop your own set of entertaining coping mechanisms to deal with the many distractions this car will cause on the road.
What's next?
If I'm unable to find a suitable home for the car, you may be wondering what I'd tackle next, if anything? I suppose the only challenge left for me and this car would be to build a unique engine that is worthy of such a unique car. If I were to keep the car, I would probably attempt to build an all aluminum 15 degree cylinder headed flat plane crank SBC. I've not heard of anyone actually taking on or accomplishing such a project, but I think it's possible.
The sound and the the throttle response would be intoxicating. For those of you who don't know what a flat plane crank is, it's the reason a Ferrari V8 doesn't sound or respond like your Camaro or Corvette V8. A domestic cross plane crank V8 has its signature "rumble", while a flat planed engine has more of a "scream". I've always been looking for a reason to purchase an aluminum block for this car. A flat plane motor would be the ultimate lab experiment. An experiment that would have pretty decent odds of ending in an explosion in the dyno room on its way up to 10,000 rpm. But hey
Selling the car:
Please understand, I do not "need" to sell this vehicle. So ask any questions with the full understanding and acceptance of that statement. The usual reasons: "My wife is pregnant", "I have kids starting college", "I'm recently laid off", "Garage space is needed for another car", none of these reasons apply in this situation. I have essentially finished what I started out to do some 19 years ago with the car. The car will run high 10's @ 128 in the quarter on street tires while looking exactly like any production Countach. And the quality workmanship and engineering displayed are undeniable. There are simply no more real challenges for me to conquer, and therefore I've grown somewhat bored.
If you'd like to own this car, bid as if you do, because there is no "deal" to be had here. Nor should you even expect to get a deal given everything that has been done to this car. You should assume you won't be the only one eyeing this car pretty hard since it is literally one-of-one.
I understand that the car probably won't sell for what I consider a fair price on an auction site since so much has been done to it. So it will most likely remain in my possession for some time. But I must admit it was fun thinking through this essay and listing all the cool features, parts and stories of this one-of-a-kind super car. I rarely get to share this amazing automobile with very many understanding and appreciative people. And if you happened to have made it through this entire write up, I consider you one of those people.
Now that you have finished reading, I have to ask, is THIS the most awesome Countach replica you've ever come across? You may answer yes, you may answer no. But you must admit my initial claim wasn't all that outrageous after all, was it?
Due to my travel schedule, I can't commit to answering phone calls, but will do my best to answer all posted questions or respond to any comments as promptly as possible.

Also published at eBay.com

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