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25th Anniversary Countach - Possible Disadvantages... Weight, Steering, Driving

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I'm in the market for a Countach (here in the US), and have been doing quite a bit of research on the various models/years, and I'm thinking I'm going to go with a 1989 25th Anniversary edition.  I'm okay with fuel injection... I actually like the way the 25th Anniversary looks (side-skirts, etc.), and can appreciate the colder AC and some of the other creature comforts of the 25th.  The fact that it's priced cheaper than other models doesn't hurt either.  For me, it's pretty much a decision between a 5000 QV (fuel injected) or a 25th Anniversary.  All things being equal, I think I would actually slightly prefer a 25th over a QV...

However, my main concern with the 25th Anniversary is the fact that it weighs about 220 pounds more than a 5000 QV (according to wikipedia).  My assumption is - that surely it must be noticeably harder to steer at low speed (heavier) than some of the other variants (specifically a QV).  Yes, I know I will develop muscles steering ALL countachs... but I would think the added weight might make slow-speed-steering, reversing, and parking - slightly more of a hassle than a similar 5000 QV. 

Also - fun factor in driving.  Might there be any quantifiable or non-quantifiable differences in the 25th Anniversary (other than the Fuel Injectors vs Carbs) that might make driving a Anniversary car "less fun"?  It's supposedly the "fastest countach ever" according to official documentation and the history books - but most folks on the forums, youtubers, etc - seem to elude that in the real world, the QV might be a hair faster (I assume out-of-the-gate, perhaps due to its weight) - nobody will flat out say it's faster though.  I really don't care if the 25th is a touch slower off the line - but let's set the record straight - I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.  Maybe I'm wrong and someone can reinforce the fact that the 25th truly is the "fastest"?

Harry (of Harry's garage) notes "...the 25th....is the most 'sorted' Countach <variant>... they're always slightly less money than the true QV, but then again they actually drive pretty well...".

Can someone who has actually driven (or owned) multiple Countach variants including the 25th Anniversary chime-in and tell us if the 25th handles and steers (especially at low speed) the same as something like a 5000 QV?  Is the steering "heavier"? Do you notice the extra 220 lbs of weight?  Fun Factor - just as fun?  Power/speed?  Any disadvantages you can think of?  The seats are usually different - any major disadvantage to seats, seat-height/headroom?  Conversely, are there any major advantages with a 25th (colder AC, more reliable, etc.)?

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I don't know about  better A/C or reliability but I'll say buy what you like.

I like the 5000 S style. That's me. I like the cup seats, the old style interior  and, no bumpers.

You're owning and driving it so I'll reiterate, get what appeals to you. Any Countach is a rare supercar legend so you can't miss. 

Good luck in your search and be sure to have a PSI performed by someone familiar with the model. I can assure you a new looking car could need 50k or more in repairs which is no big deal as long as you know up front.

count 666.jpg

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Fuel Injection over carbs anyday.  The a/c on the 25th doesnt work any better than the QV. It just has an electronic control module that is also found in the 88 1/2 QV.    The 25th is slower than a QV, as yes it is heavier. Steering feels the same.  If my only choice for a Countach was a 25th, Id certainly have one. But if I could have any of them, the 25th would be my last choice.  Also, depending on your build, the 25th is more cramped inside then most. I personally love the sideskirts on pre Anniversaries. I just feel they went to far on the 25th.   Roy Cats has what looks to be a nice Qv, as well as a 25th.  

 

http://www.catsexotics.com/vehicle-details/1988-lamborghini-countach-5000-qv-lynnwood-wa-id-36742100

 

http://www.catsexotics.com/vehicle-details/1989-lamborghini-countach-25th-anniversary-lynnwood-wa-id-36742933

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Oooh - Allan, I like  that - FI over Carbs, quite the dissenting opinion.  Care to elaborate on why you like Fuel Injection over carbs?  Simply the ease in which they operate, and not ever needing to tune carbs down the road?  As for the AC - that's good to know - I was led to believe not only did it have the electronic "climate control" but that it was also colder in the 88.5 and 25th...  I've got to believe they re-worked the AC at some point during the QV lifespan, as a lot of folks seem to complain the AC didn't work very well, but maybe I'm thinking pre-QV.  Thanks for your input on the steering on the 25th, and overall impressions.  The color combos Roy has don't quite do it for me... I'm optimally looking for a Red over White (cream)... but I'll probably have to settle for a Red over Tan.... actually hoping for a high-mileage  (less of a price premium on the miles) car because I plan on driving the sh*t out of it.  Yes, I should have bought that Red/Cream they had at Park Place in Bellevue (kicking myself).

4XChamp - I'm trying to narrow down and figure out what I want.  Like I said, I love the look of the 25th, but it needs to drive pretty much just as good as a QV, otherwise I think I'd probably prefer a QV (with skirts if possible).  I'm not all about the looks - I can buy a poster if all I wanted to do was look at it!

I like what I'm hearing so far on the steering from Allan... I can live with it not being quite as fast, as long as the handling, steering, parking-effort, is pretty much the same.  If others can chime-in, great - would love to hear other people's (brutal) opinions.  Come on, feel free to crush my dreams on the 25th... I can take it... 

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It's interesting that by all accounts the 25th and QV share pretty much the exact same mechanics, yet the wikipedia page lists the 25th as faster... going from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds (on the year-by-year grid).... lists it as 4.7 in the article paragraph (section discussing the 25th) but lists the QV as 0-62 in 4.8 seconds (on the year-by-year grid).... both times (4.5 & 4.7) being faster for the 25th than the QV (4.8). I'm sure this is just a matter of different sources and official runs, but you'd think they would have straightened out the timings 30 years later if the QV is truly a hair faster off the line.

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All those tests from that era should be taken with a grain of salt.   In todays terms it doesnt matter which one you get, they are slow so you wont be racing anyone.  Fuel Injection has the common misconception that it makes less power than carbs. What people arent factoring in is that the fuel injection was tested with full emissions while the carbed cars were without emissions. Valentino himself told me that the F/I made more torque down low than the carbs do.  Carbs are also finicky., while my FI starts instantly at the touch of the key. 

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glad joe is not here as we would have 20 pages of testimonials carb vs. injection.

Countachs are beautifully(brutally) slow, you don't buy them for speed.

 

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2 hours ago, topcabron said:

glad joe is not here as we would have 20 pages of testimonials carb vs. injection.

Countachs are beautifully(brutally) slow, you don't buy them for speed.

 

Fuck SackoShit....   I wouldnt exactly say they are brutally slow.. They still have enough performance to get in trouble with.   Brutally slow is my Jalpa and I love that too! I do think the Anniversary is slower than a good Qv . I know Steve here in AZ weighed one and it was like 3550 lbs, vs Hairy Metcalf weighed his Qv DD and it was right around 3250 lbs.. 

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slow compared to todays supercars.

no less fun to drive as nothing is taken for granted

you make a mistake and the car won't save you

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It's funny - I've never actually read anything written on the forums from this Joe fellow (aka Joe Sucky, aka Joe insert-funny-play-on-last name - it's a requirement if you mention him)... all I ever hear is people b*tch and/or laugh about him.   Kinda like "Tony from Florida" - I don't know dude's last name, but hotdamn, I know enough that I'll never let any guy who happens to be named Tony (and lives in Florida) touch my freakin' Countach!  I feel like I'm out of the loop, but in on the joke - and it's purrrrrrfect!

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One buys a CT to mark a milestone in life; one doesn’t not buy a CT for its performance; at least not anymore.  Although given its age, there is nothing to be ashamed of on its swiftness; just don’t compare it to any other modern supercar’s acceleration, braking, handling, comfort & safety features.

As Allan said, 88.5 also has the electronic A/C, that device lasted into the 1st-gen Diablo series.  I don’t see any superiority on its efficiency; it’s easier to use/adjust; that’s it.  There is an after-market electric power-steering kit available and it works very well, perhaps too well.  The only compromise is the steering position adjustments will be limited.  If you are going that route, a small advice: install an override switch to cut the power.  This way, you will have the best of both world: turn it on for power assisted steering on parking & slow maneuver and turn it off for high speed driving so the steering will be normally weighted and feel “right”.

The 25th anniversary weighs quite a bit more than the 88.5 due to some added pointless electrical options and the restyle.  And it does feel more cramp with the additional storage space added to the side of the seats.  Personally, I prefer the styling of the 88.5 over the 25th but styling is personal and subjective.  As others said, your money, your preference, your car and hence your choice.

CT’s are not user-friendly; never had been and never will be.  F.I. will reduce the fuss over carb; one less thing to worry about and to look after.

Don’t expect to buy a turn key car regardless of how the car is advertised.  It will need some work one way or the other and sooner than later.  Expect to part with an additional few grand (at least) in addition to the initial purchase price.

Member rhino would be most qualified to answered your Q’s.  Hopefully, he will chime in.

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I wouldnt do the power steering.  I dont find the steering all that bad. Just make sure your tires are inflated properly. Makes a big difference in steering feel. 

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23 hours ago, VCR said:

 There is an after-market electric power-steering kit available and it works very well, perhaps too well.  The only compromise is the steering position adjustments will be limited.  If you are going that route, a small advice: install an override switch to cut the power.  This way, you will have the best of both world: turn it on for power assisted steering on parking & slow maneuver and turn it off for high speed driving so the steering will be normally weighted and feel “right”.

Thanks for the info and advice on the electric power-steering kit - I had thought about that... but hadn't thought about the override power switch - good idea.  And to Allan's point... I'll obviously drive it around for some time to get a feel for it before I decided to install the kit or not.  Either way, great thought.  

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1 hour ago, VerdeVentador said:

Thanks for the info and advice on the electric power-steering kit - I had thought about that... but hadn't thought about the override power switch - good idea.  And to Allan's point... I'll obviously drive it around for some time to get a feel for it before I decided to install the kit or not.  Either way, great thought.  

Yea, just make sure the tires inflated properly.... The fronts should be 38psi, rear like 40.5 ... Many people dont run presures that high and are amazed when they up the pressure at the difference it makes.  In terms of power also, you will be amazed at the difference it makes awapping out the exhaust with no cats. 

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I agree that proper inflation of the front tires makes quite a difference on the steering feel & effort.  The power steering is for the added convenience especially during back up parking.  If one is sitting on the door sill, modulating the clutch & gas, having to spend less effort on the steering is a bonus.

The advantage of an electric power steering is that the unit is compact and quite easy to install; just as it is equally easy to remove.  Splicing an on/off switch to a power wire is a piece of cake and the switch can be small enough to be hidden underneath the dash.  It’s just an added convenience but if you want to keep everything stock & OEM, that’s ok too.

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The great thing about the Countach is all the variations of the car. If you like an Anniversary over the previous models, go with it.

Performance wise, they will all get up and go and keep up with others if you go on a drive, but a 20 year old Corvette will out run it and if you have a 2 valve car a 30 year old Corvette will outrun it. The experience in a Countach is like nothing else, speed compared to other cars doesn't matter when you're in it. From my very limited Countach ownership, steering at low speeds & parking wasn't bad at all. It took a little muscle, but on par with the Elise and Delorean. I had a side draft car that started like a FI car because it was properly tuned. . . when driving, it felt the same as my Delorean (same injection as later Countach) in relation to throttle response. This is all very old tech that is incredibly fun because of its faults. 

 

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14 hours ago, whiteout said:

The great thing about the Countach is all the variations of the car. If you like an Anniversary over the previous models, go with it.

Performance wise, they will all get up and go and keep up with others if you go on a drive, but a 20 year old Corvette will out run it and if you have a 2 valve car a 30 year old Corvette will outrun it. The experience in a Countach is like nothing else, speed compared to other cars doesn't matter when you're in it. From my very limited Countach ownership, steering at low speeds & parking wasn't bad at all. It took a little muscle, but on par with the Elise and Delorean. I had a side draft car that started like a FI car because it was properly tuned. . . when driving, it felt the same as my Delorean (same injection as later Countach) in relation to throttle response. This is all very old tech that is incredibly fun because of its faults. 

 

Not sure where you think a 20 or 30yr old Vette is outrunning a Countach, but ok... Maybe a 2002 Z06. 

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Agree with all the site veterans above.

As an enthusiast don’t buy into all this carb vs fi, variant this vs variant that, zero to sixty comparison, BS.

My experience and happiness is counter to all the elitist talk and I couldn’t be more pleased

  • 88.5 – I love the skirts, it was the first variant I saw in person and what I think of when I think CT.  Buy what you like.

  • I have not, and have no plans to remove the US rear “tail light cove/bumper”.  I think it makes the car look lower and meaner.

  • FI – the car can sit for 6 months, turn the key and it starts.  No gas smell, no adjusting carbs, works for me

  • AC – don’t drive when it’s 100 deg out

  • Value variance – who cares

  • Performance – who cares

Set aside 5-8K/yr on general maintenance.  Keep up on it, do little things every year, and you’ll be fine.

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The guys here have real world experience with various Countach models and their observations are spot on .

 


While I have not had much  time in a 25th, for me,  the standard seat is horrible. It looks like it should be comfortable but 2 minutes in, and I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. It just felt wrong. 

The pre 25th seat (even though it looks weird) is pretty comfortable. 
 

 

.


 

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I think all the Countach owners have summed up the pros and cons of the two models and the Countach overall.

I do own a 1988.5 QV and a 1989 25th. Both are FI. I have also owned another 25th in the past and put a combined 28,000km of driving on all three cars. Every Countach is different than the next. My current 25th is the worst of the three to drive and it’s practically brand new with less than 5000km on it. I agree that 25th power seats suck, I’m pretty small and my body doesn’t fit well in them. I ended up finding a set of sport seats that I installed in my 25th and they are a huge upgrade in weight savings and comfort. 
 

My QV is the best driving Countach I have owned as everything is a little easier to operate.... the clutch is moderate with good feeling (25th releases right at the top of the clutch which makes it difficult to engage smoothly) the shifter is moderate (25th is much stiffer) the steering on the QV is great as I have the power steering installed (25th is very stiff). With all that said I’m selling my QV as I have always loved the look of the 25th! The Countach is the last of 9 Lambos in my garage I will pick as it sucks to drive but It’s so rewarding! The AC is only as good as its last charge and needs it about once a year in my opinion. 

I hope this has helped you in making your choice, I don’t think it has but best of luck. Find one in the best condition possible. 
 

if your interested in a QV then have a look at mine.....

https://www.augustmotorcars.com/inventory/used-1988-lamborghini-countach-za9ca05a1jla12341

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Please talk a bit about the seats in your 25th Ryan.

They are race seats if I remember correctly ?

I thought they were more comfortable than the factory seats.

On a side note, I saw his QV prior to it’s purchase. I thought it was a very  honest (unmolested) car.  During his ownership Rhyno has show a lot of love ($$$) to this QV to make it a great car. 

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The picture of the seats on the ground are the factory power seats that come in almost all 25th cars. They are very narrow in the hips and shoulders and very uncomfortable even though they have power adjustments.

The second picture is of the optional sport seats. I have heard they only made about 50 sets so they are very rare and hard to find. I don’t remember if I weighted them or not but they are vastly lighter then the power seats. They only have a manual forward and back function (no tilting). They are not as comfortable as the banana QV seats because they have less padding but they are 10x more comfortable than the power 25th seats. I’m 5’7” and weight 165 pounds and the sport seats fit me very well, they hug my body in all the right spots. You could be 6’ and 200 pounds and you would still fit well in them. 

12097 you can let the OP know what you thought of them as you did get to sit in them for a short amount of time.

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