Countach Downdraft

Discussion in 'LamborghiniChat.com' started by joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015.

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  1. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #1 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    For some time I have wished to start another thread dedicated to a single variant - the Countachs built @ Sant Agata with the 6 Weber (44 DCNF) vertical twin-barrel carburettors, the 'Carburatori' version of the now-legendary 'Motore Tipo L 507 V4', affectionately known these days to enthusiasts the world over simply as the 'Countach Downdraft'.

    Those who love the Countach Downdraft possibly do so because they view it as Ingegnere Guilio Alfieri's stroke-of-genius return to the original Lamborghini V12 Downdraft concept - think Miura. Or simply because it is the most powerful production variant of the Countach ever built by the Lamborghini factory.

    The intent of this thread is to provide a resource for the QV DD, to the benefit of the car-community at large with useful information. I will do what I can in my spare time, and I invite all to participate with historical & technical information. We are all here to learn!

    This thread has nothing to do with market values, is not being created to boost values, or sell cars. Its simply an enthusiast's resource, nothing more, nothing less. Besides, there are dedicated auction & values threads elsewhere.

    I especially thought it essential for me to start a thread on these cars, because recently I have come upon some material that has never been published or shared anywhere, courtesy of some of the men behind the machine in Italy, all of whom have generously supported the effort to uncover the exclusive material.

    I humbly propose this thread as a small resource for the Countach Downdraft.

    Please enjoy.
    img092.jpg
    6014533376_717e433e53_b.jpg
    86-Lambo-Countach-5000_DV-14-RMA_05.jpg
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  2. joe sackey

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    #2 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Some of these images below have not been published before. They were given to me by Aaron Kiley who took them in late 1985, after I tracked him down.

    The featured car is a 1985 Countach Downdraft, and the test took place at the Ford Motor Company Proving Ground (MPG) @ Romeo, Michigan.

    Its a treat to regard a nearly-new car unmodified and by all manner of DOT appendages. In that regard, these images serve as a reference.
    Countach_DED-exterior detail_14_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_A-OVH CCA-04_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_A-OVH CCA_23_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_A-testing_05_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_A-testing_06_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_APA_Pans-08_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_APA_Pans-09_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_D-Instrument panel_16_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_D-interior_15_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_D-interior_18_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_D-Radio-pub231_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_DED-exterior detail12_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_DED-exterior detail_13_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_S-rear-21_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_S-Static Rear_20_Lo9.jpg
     
  3. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #3 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Frankie's goes to school, in a Countach, changing his life forever!
    Countach_T-School_10_Lo9.jpg
     
  4. joe sackey

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    #4 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    All open salon shot at the Proving Ground
    Countach_S1-Static doors open07_Lo9.jpg
     
  5. joe sackey

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    #5 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    The many uses of duct tape.

    "Tape Please!"
    P_CarDriver Sherman Idzikowski Csere Griffin_Lo9.jpg
     
  6. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #6 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    A few more of Aaron Kiley's images
    Countach__A-OVH CCA_pub230_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_D-shifter_17_Lo9.jpg
     
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  8. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #7 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Last two images, a staged scene for fun.
    Countach_S-umbrellas_pub28_Lo9.jpg
    Countach_S-umbrellas_22_Lo9.jpg
     
  9. joe sackey

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    #8 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    These are the illustrations defining the car's final road-going engineering specification, as submitted to the Italian Transportation Authority (& other entities worldwide) for type-approval.

    I received these documents personally from none other than the Countach Downdraft engine patriarch, Ingegnere Luigi Marmiroli himself.

    Marmiroli joined Lamborghini with a background of the Alfa Romeo F1 team, so his approach to the existing platform was that of durability & performance. He was generous enough to empty his treasure-trove of illustrations & diagrams pertaining to the QV DD, some of which I'll post here.

    He also clarified the truth behind engine performance output, the QV DD's FIA Homologation, the Countach Evoluzione, and the ill-fated Countach QVX racecar.

    Thank you Igegnere.
    Marmiroli2.jpg
     
  10. joe sackey

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    #9 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    From the Marmiroli folder
    Marmiroli1.jpg
    Marmiroli6.jpg
    Marmiroli4.jpg
    Marmiroli7.jpg
    Marmiroli5.jpg
    Marmiroli3.jpg
    Marmiroli8.jpg
     
  11. joe sackey

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    #10 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    I recently interviewed Luigi Marmirolli the resident engineer at Sant Agata during much of the Countach Downdraft's production, by e-mail. Here is how it went:


    1. (JS) Stefano Pasini writes in the book he authored on the Countach QV in 1987 that even though the standard output was 455 BHP, many engines saw @ 470 BHP on the test bench even without much tuning. Is this accurate?

    (LM) Yes, it's true. Also because there was a team of assemblers whose engines always gave more power by 3% compared to others.

    2. (JS) Can you elaborate on the engine used in the Spice-chassis Lamborghini QVX as tested at Monza for David Joliffe & co? I think Mauro Baldi drove. What was the output of that engine?

    (LM) Yes. The main changes were:
    - Change engine rotation from left to right
    - New electronic injection TDD
    - New intake system
    - New exhaust system
    - Dry oil sump
    - Capacity improvement

    The engine code was 509i
    Capacity 5825 c.c.
    Power at 7000 rpm 585 HP

    See attached:
    Drivers and engine photos
    Photo of the Monza test in October 1986

    3. (JS) Can you elaborate on the engine used in the Countach Evoluzione as tested extensively in 1987, what was the output of that engine? Also, what was the real purpose of that car? To build a special series?

    (LM) The purpose of the Countach Evolutione was:
    1. Verify the feasibility of a frame made of carbon fiber in comparison with the traditional on steel tubes.
    2. Check the on-road performances
    3. Check the behavior to crush. This is why the car was subjected to the crush test at MIRA in the UK.

    There was therefore no reason to change the engine and also it was a test vehicle.
    I had just arrived in Lamborghini coming from Alfa Romeo F1. On F1, for the first time, we employed for the fuel tank, integrated to the frame, the carbon fiber. It was my intention to transfer the same technology to the chassis of the road sports car. Also because the Lamborghini already had a department for the construction of flaps and bonnets in composite materials.

    See photos of the chassis and of the engine compartment

    4. (JS) Can you elaborate why on Jan 1st 1988 the Countach QV was Homologated with the FIA? Please see attached:

    (LM) The FIA approval was based on the standard engine. The FIA approval was to allow to the Countach to compete on the racing track .

    Ciao
    Luigi

    I thank Luigi Marmiroli for this image below from his own library, showing the legendary Countach Evoluzione with its Downdraft engine. All 12 trumpets are an impressive sight.
    Marmiroli small.jpg
     
  12. joe sackey

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    #11 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    180 mph - This 1986 Countach Downdraft was tested in the UK @ Bruntingthorpe (sounds familiar? Top Gear test track) in the summer of 1987 to a terminal velocity of @ 180 mph (the Yamaha FRZ 1000 bike maxed out at 160 mph!) on its 2 mile-long runways. The timing was done with Leitz Correvit Test equipment. These images were made by Andrew Yeadon.
    Autocar27May87_6 low.JPG
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  13. joe sackey

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    #12 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    A fabulous Downdraft I was acquainted with when it was new
    Autocar27May87_8 low.JPG
     
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  15. joe sackey

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    #13 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Last two
    Autocar27May87_1 low.JPG
    Autocar27May87_3 low.JPG
     
  16. joe sackey

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    #14 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    This is perhaps the most exciting document discovery I have made in 25 years of automotive research.

    Last month, I discovered that the Countach QV Downdraft was FIA Homologated (# B 291), in the same Group B Class as the 288 GTO (# B 273).

    At the end of 1987, upon the production of 200 series Countach Downdrafts, Lamborghini SpA submitted the necessary paperwork to finally Homologate the Countach for competition purposes with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

    The entry in the FIA's log simply reads:

    "B 291 - Lamborghini Countach Quattrovalvole, 5167cc - January 1st 1988"

    Most cars Homologated to Group B from 1982 onwards were specifically for participation in the World Rally Championship and international rally events. However, Group B Rally participation was banned at the end of 1986, so all subsequent Homologations for Group B (including the Countach QV) were for participation in GT1 & GT2 classes on closed circuits. Like Ferrari's 288 GTO, the Countach's Homologation became a story of promise unfulfilled, yet it is exciting to know that the this specification of the legendary Countach sufficiently inspired competition intent from its iconic manufacturer.
    The 470bhp carburetted Countach Evoluzione tested extensively on the road and at Nardo @ 200 mph motivated Ing. Luigi Marmirolli to file for FIA papers on the basis that a limited run of lightweight QVs would be built for GT1 & GT2 in 1988. Sadly, by then Patrick Mimran had decided to sell Automobili Lamborghini to Lee Iaccoca's Chrysler, and the whole idea was shelved in favor of a tilt at F1 involvement.
    As with Ferrari's 288 GTO (B 273), the 85/86/87 Countach QV Downdraft (B291) is a genuine FIA Homologation car, a member of the exclusive club of 'Killer Bees'.
    To the faithful, the FIA documents are the ultimate in terms of sporting approval for the variant they love. Supercar provenance simply does not come any better.

    Not only are the Homologation papers a revelation for Countach owners everywhere, but they are also a treasure-trove of information in that they are a source of all aspects of the car's technical specification, including gear-ratios, output numbers & materials used, confirmed by an independent entity.
    I have all 16 pages of the FIA Homologation papers, the originals given to me personally by Louis Quiniou the FIA Sporting Coordinator based in Geneva, to whom I am very grateful and wish to extend my thanks yet again. The trouble it took to get these papers was not inconsiderable!

    Also special thanks to Ingegnere Luigi Marmiroli for helping establish what happened.

    I won't bore you with all 16 pages, here are just the first 4, I have an original set saved away
    *FIA LOUIS.jpg
    *FIA P1.jpg
    *FIA P2.jpg
    *FIA P3.jpg
    *FIA P4.jpg
     
  17. joe sackey

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    #15 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    The full list of Group B cars can be found on this website:
    Grand Touring Sports Cars - Racing Cars

    In spite of the 1988 Homologation and any hopes for a competition version, once Mimran sold the factory to Lee Iaccocca & Chrysler, plans for the Countach (bar the 25th Anniversary version) were shelved
    Scan 152180001.jpg
     
  18. joe sackey

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    #16 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Another man arrived around the same time to help shape the end of the Countach era
    1637006d1357072929-countach-25th-anniversario-pagani.jpg
     
  19. joe sackey

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    #17 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Another of my favorite images is Valentino overseeing a Downdraft engine sing at full volume!
    Scan 152450002.jpg
     
  20. joe sackey

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    #18 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Nuccio Bertone received a production Downdraft which Bertone SpA kept in its Museo
    Scan 152180013.jpg
     
  21. joe sackey

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    #19 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Bertone SpA used it in advertising the company
    Scan 152180014.jpg
     
  22. joe sackey

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    #20 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Countach Downdraft factory brochure
    Scan 152180008.jpg
    Scan 152180007.jpg
     
  23. joe sackey

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    #21 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    The Countach Downdraft shown at the 1986 Paris Salon
    1762272d1377483308-countach-ultimate-supercar-9584320733_89bb5bfe3c_z.jpg
    9402457321_fbe254b907_k.jpg
     
  24. joe sackey

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    #22 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    Swiss version Bianco/Bianco Downdraft (see turn-signal lens configuration) coming down the 'line at Sant Agata
    2148280d1445752897-countach-downdraft-swiss.jpg
     
  25. joe sackey

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    #23 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
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    1986 QV Downdraft production @ Sant Agata
    2148284d1445753150-countach-downdraft-scan-151930002.jpg
    2148286d1445753169-countach-downdraft-scan-151920006.jpg
    2148288d1445753197-countach-downdraft-scan-1519300900.jpg
     
  26. raymondQV

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    This is already a MY 1987 car from September 1986 on, easily recongizable through the engine Hood missing the vertical side vents.
     
  27. em42

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    Thanks a lot Joe for these amazing documents. We are craving for some more!

    We can also include some Downdraft reference videos!

    Let me start with one of my favorite, which is the Henri Pescarolo test of the Quattrovalvole. He was stunned by the car and by its engine. As a reminder, Pescarolo was a Forumla One driver and multiple Le Mans winner. My favorite quote is: "at 300 km/h in a Testarossa you smoke cigar, in a Countach you swallow it!".

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIOHnEFriQg[/ame]

    Then this very interesting period test made by "M6 Turbo", a french broadcast that still exist, still with the same presenter:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOusUJISjg8[/ame]

    Then this short clip made with the Bertone collection car:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_nTLPI1aD8[/ame]
     
  28. BlueBiturbo

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    The top picture was used as the Road and Track magazine cover.
    Thanks for sharing these pics Joe.
     
  29. Peter K.

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  30. cnpapa24

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    For me, this is a huge part of what the hobby is all about. I love learning about the cars and the colorful history each one holds. While I'm certain I won't have much to add in terms of knowledge of the DD, it will be great to add this to my list of threads I visit on a daily basis and learn as much as possible. Thanks for the great contribution!
     
  31. BBBBBBB

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    #29 BBBBBBB, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
    Congrats Joe,

    i love all threads that are giving insight in whatever part of our cars and in whatever variant of our cars.

    Therefore i recently started the new Connolly leather thread (in the Vintage Ferrari section) and i see you are sailing the same logic here again as you already did before in your other threads.

    IMHO Once our cars were produced the first and following owners in that period didnt think about the price of our cars neither had "investment" ideas. Just as Henry Royce said: “The quality will remain long after the price is forgotten”. They did not buy our cars to speculate or flip, but they just paid the asked price to purely enjoy our cars as they were meant to be driven.

    Let us all please see more of such "theme" and not "investment or price" relatated new threads to learn and enjoy.

    Many thanks and compliments.

    Have fun
    et surtout n'oubliez pas de prendre beaucoup du plaisir
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    Carissimi saluti
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  32. Mang

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    #30 Mang, Oct 25, 2015
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    some fun bits to share about these dd beasts...

    the first photos/ad are from a Lamborghini Owners Club mag from the early 90's, and the other quip is from some 'campy' British car mag, same period.
    CIMG0430.jpg
    CIMG0429.jpg
    CIMG0363.jpg
     
  33. 97diablo

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    #31 97diablo, Oct 25, 2015
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    Love the thread!!!

    Here is a picture of my DD��
    image.jpg
     
  34. slownrusty

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    So downdraft production years were '85 to '88?
     
  35. shross

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    #33 shross, Oct 25, 2015
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    I own a bit of a special QV DD. it was purpose built by request of a long time friend of the factory from my home town. Early in 1985 he flew to the factory with two colour swatches in his hand and asked Lamborghini to build a DD in the colours he brought with him. The factory created "Rossa Speciale" for the exterior and then used a variant of the tan interior they already had for the interior. This fellow owned the car until, at the age of 90, he could not get in and out of the car anymore. Apparantly, they only made a couple more in this colour. He sold it to me in 2003.

    In 2008, we were in Italy for a family vacation. He spent one day at Ferrari and then the next at Lamborghini. Our tour guide for the day was Valentino. At one point we were chatting and he asked about the cars I owned. I rattled off a few and then I mentioned this special DD I own. We were waking by the people working the sewing machines and, at that point, everyone went quiet. Valentino said he remembered the car and the, now deceased, owner and congratulated me on the car.

    I purchased the car with 11,000km on the car and now there is just over 22,000.

    As an aside to this story, at one point my wife wanted to ask Valentino a question. She stood next to him and started with, "Excuse me Enzo........" Everyone laughed!!
    image.jpg
     
  36. EarlyCat

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    Don't forget this one. A prerequisite to be watched by any Countach fan, featuring the dd.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezvyb9rzX6Q[/ame]
     
  37. Jalpa_Mike

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    #35 Jalpa_Mike, Oct 25, 2015
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    I never noticed that before.... Is the washer fluid Resevoir located back that far on euro spec cars?

    On the USA models its mounted like mine.

    Mike
    image.jpg
     
  38. Downdraft1

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    #36 Downdraft1, Oct 25, 2015
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    Italian modern art at its best .....
    Over the DD years there were a few modifications, these are just few:
    The 1985 DD cars finished most of the stock of the Lamborghini 5 speed transmissions of the 5000S and then in 1986 moved to the ZF transmission. As Raymond pointed out in 1987 the Countach sported a the new dash (with extra side vents), the rear DD engine cover which "lost" the side cooling apertures, the re-positioning of components inside the front trunk area and moving the relays form the passenger side to the rear trunk.
    Did the 1987 configuration remain unchanged until the 88.5 cars?
    DD Motor 001.jpg
     
  39. 400GT4doors

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    Sorry, Joe. Am I wrong or the Countach Downdraft is simply the european version of the QV?

    Thank you.
     
  40. EarlyCat

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    Downdraft is the carbed version of the QV.
     
  41. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    That's what I said when I found out the Downdraft was FIA Homologated. Actually, it was a four-letter expletive.
     
  42. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Correct, and I'd like to retain you as one of the thread's resident expert, as much Downdraft experience as you have. Please look over the thread from time-to-time to make sure we don't miss details like that. Thank you.
     
  43. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes it did, and thanks for your participation Alex, I'd love to see much more of your fabulous car.
     
  44. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    The Bertone SpA car has very low miles today!
     
  45. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #43 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Actually, Car & Driver's legendary April 1986 cover, but you were on the right track!

    With that in mind, I'll post all the cover & famous articles of the Countach Downdraft.
    Scan 151920011.jpg
     
  46. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Chris I am embarrassed to say that I alone have collected enough material over the years to keep this one going for a long time, but the thing is that its all about participation from everyone I'll be posting a lot in the beginning, then over time leave it t everyone else, as I usually do. Glad you are reading.
     
  47. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #45 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The car was launched in your beautiful country in the Spring of 1985
    geneve-55e-salon-de-l-auto-accessoires-mars-1985.jpg
     
  48. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Indeed, I have some great images of that Lamborghini factory visit, one of Valentino laying down 2 black rubber lines 50 feet long, I'll post later.
     
  49. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Thank you for sharing Scott, and welcome!

    It looks so good without side-markers. It goes without saying that you owe the thread more images...
     
  50. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Correct, for the QV.

    25th had cars made from 88 to 90, but I created a separate thread for those cars.
     
  51. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I'll defer this one to our European friends!
     
  52. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Thank you for sharing, a very neat color, close to the original Lamborghini classic Rosso Granada.
     

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