The 1980s was a strange time for the automobile, with the United States fresh from the throes of the Oil Crisis. Some really bad cars were made in those years, but a few legendary cars from that decade are worth a look. Hagerty Insurance says Mustangs, Firebirds, Camaros, and Corvettes are in decent supply, with plenty of parts and aftermarket support for restoration enthusiasts, but what about something even more special?
Lamborghini Countach was first unveiled at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, but it took a few years to overcome engineering challenges for production. By 1974, there was nothing like the Lamborghini Countach on the road. The sharp angles, heavy wedge shape, and scissor doors were just a few details distinguishing Lamborghini’s longest-running model, the Countach produced between 1974 and 1990. Though additions would be made over the course of Lamborghini Countach’s production run, such as fender flares, bumpers, and carburetor covers, the build remained practically unchanged.
Countach set the standard for supercars to come, design statements repeated in performance cars since. Legendary would be one way to describe this car and its impact, until it was replaced by Lamborghini Diablo, but let’s backtrack to 1984. Just 321 Lamborghini Countach 5000 S were produced, more than a few in eye-popping candy colors, but a basic red body and tan interior sets this one apart almost as much as its former owner, a legend in his own right.
Mario Andretti started his racing career, in 1954, at just 13 years old. A couple years later, Andretti got involved in amateur racing, moving on to USAC (United States Automobile Club) stock car racing, NASCAR Grand National / Winston Cup, IROC (International Race of Champions), midget car racing, sprint cars, IndyCar, Formula One, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and more, winning some of the most difficult races in the world. He’s been inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, named Driver of the Century by the Associated Press and RACER magazine, even given the highest civilian honor of the Italian government, Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, an honor shared by only one other person in automobile racing, Enzo Ferrari.
Currently, Motorcar Gallery has Mario Andretti’s former 1984 Lamborghini Countach 5000 S listed at just under half a million dollars, $499,000. Aside from its pedigree, impressive on its own, the car has recently been restored inside and out, including a complete engine overhaul to factory specifications. The red and tan color scheme have been retained, only with the addition of a pinstripe and a couple of details featuring the Mario Andretti logo. Indeed, this car is the legend of a legend.
Of course, not everyone has that kind of cash, which means this particular Lamborghini Countach will likely be available for some time. Channeling Andretti and Countach on your own ride might start with a new set of Pirelli tires, just like those keeping Andretti’s former ride stuck to the ground.