Countach Downdraft

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

  1. ATTENTION: http/https Bug Fix! Most of us have been experiencing problems staying logged in as we navigate the site. That is simply the result of links varying between http and https, which each require different logons. To resolve we are going to force https starting sometime Wednesday. However, you may have problems accessing FerrariChat until after you log out, clear cookies/browser cache, and log back on. Keep in mind my email is admin@ferrarichat.com if you do have access problems after Wednesday. Thanks!
  1. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #1 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    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.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  2. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #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.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  3. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #3 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  4. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #4 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  5. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #5 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  6. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #6 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  7. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  8. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #7 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  9. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #8 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    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.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  10. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #10 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    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.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  11. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #11 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    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.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  12. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #12 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  13. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  14. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
  15. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #14 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    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
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  16. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #15 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #16 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  18. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #17 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  19. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #18 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  20. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #19 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #20 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  22. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #21 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  23. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #22 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  24. joe sackey

    joe sackey Four Time F1 World Champ
    Sponsor

    May 23, 2006
    43,955
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Joe Sackey
    #23 joe sackey, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  25. raymondQV

    raymondQV F1 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2007
    2,831
    Switzerland
    Full Name:
    Raymond S.
    This is already a MY 1987 car from September 1986 on, easily recongizable through the engine Hood missing the vertical side vents.
     
  26. em42

    em42 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 30, 2008
    1,170
    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]
     

Share This Page