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Which to buy? TR vs. Countach

Discussion in 'Chicago' started by screentime, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. screentime

    screentime Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    344
    Malibu & Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean McKee
    Hi Guys,

    So now I have a few cars for different reasons, an 85 Euro 308GTS for the "classic" fun car, a Porsche Boxster S for a daily driver, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee for my wife and moving stuff around. So now I'm looking to round out my collection with a "supercar". I'm 31 years old, and I love the newer Ferraris and Lambos, but I grew up drooling over both the Testarossa and the Countach (specifically the 89 Anniversary edition).

    I actually was going to buy a Countach about 2 years ago. I was on my honeymoon, and Fox Valley Motors had a red 87 Countach for sale. I wired them $10K to hold it for me until I got back, and then went out there for an inspection (the day the Murcielago was premiered with the jazz trio, champagne, etc.) I hired a top mechanic named Ted from Al Burtoni's Milano Imports to fly out from California to inspect the car. I was looking for something as close to mint as possible. He told me the car would need about $30K to get it there. Also a mechanic from FVM admitted they don't really know how to work on the Countach, as all their training was on the Diablo.

    So I passed on the purchase. Now I'm looking again, and I wanted to get all of your opinions (and this should make a good thread!) I believe the Testarossa would be a more driveable car, less to maintain, and knowing there aren't really any capable Countach mechanics in Illinois is putting me off somewhat. But in many ways the Countach holds a special place in my heart, so I am torn between the two. There are no substitutes for either of these, and I'm set on one or the other, just wanted to get other peoples' thoughts.
     
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  3. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 3, 2002
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    In my teenage dorm I had posters of 308, 911 and Countach on the walls (and some others, but we won't go into that here...). So I know what you mean in regards to growing up with it. Well you took care of the 308 and P car, so what's left? The Countach, true. And I would understand.

    But there are a few good arguments for either:

    - TRs are IMHO undervalued, especially the earlier ones, not so much the 512M. Because of the expensive maintenance and 30k costs people are dumping them at ridiculous rates. So a good buy is in the stars. However I have the feeling with the number of TRs produced their prices will go even lower; they'll become the 308s of the 12 cylinders (whereas the 308s become the GT/4s pricewise). So a good deal could be had on the TR and it has that exotic feel, no doubt.

    - The Countach however IMHO is in an even more exotic group. Along there with the Mc Laren or the Vector. Also I just picked up the British mag Classic Car Collector (or something like that). They hinted at the Countach becoming the next supercar to keep/rise its value. And they have a point I think.

    If it were my choice I would go with a TR. Not because I'm a Ferrari nut, but mostly because to me it sounds more like a quantifiable unknown as opposed to the Countach. But I don't know much about Lambos to begin with. If it is superstar status you want, go with the Countach. And add a rear wing to it. Seriously. Please.

    PS: One more thing: Of course the ULTIMATE exotic would be a Koenig TR. Either the spider or the Competition. But you won't find one of those for sale I guess. But I could borrow a video about them. It will drop your jaw, guaranteed.
     
  4. Bob308GTS

    Bob308GTS Formula 3

    Sep 26, 2001
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    Bob Campen
    If it were my money, a 512 TR would be the choice. But there is lot to be said for the RAW image the Countach has, for sure it jumps out at you, the doors by themself can bring people over just to look. Rear vision sucks on both, what the hell, get one of each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Actually I thought the TR I once drove (even in city traffic) had surprisingly good rear vision. Also I was stunned by how easy it was to drive, even its width wasn't as intimidating once you sat in it. It basically felt like a 308 that grew up.
    :)

    Have never driven a Countach, but the word is traktor feeling. Ask Allanlambo, he'll probably have a better and different opinion.
     
  6. Tod328gts

    Tod328gts Formula Junior

    Jul 23, 2003
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    Tod Whitmore
    Sean,

    Funny you brought up a Countach.... When i flew down to Florida last summer to test drive my 328, which i bought, the dealer had a Black Lambergini Countach sitting there. I couldn't keep my eyes off of it and it was tempting to say, 'the hell with the Ferrari, i want that car instead' HAHAHA. I then brought myself back down to reality and thought about it. I had already spent over 6-8 months looking for the right 328, so i stuck with it. Plus, i thought driving a countach around would be TOTALLY crazy... hahaha I'm sure it would get 1000 times more attention than i get with the 328, but, i think that would be going way overboard for me.

    In fact, i had to control myself a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine had a contact in Texas of someone selling an old WWII fighter in mint and flyable condition. He was selling a F4U Corsair, with complete Navy colors.... OOOOOOOHHHHHHH......... I had to pull myself back down again.... hahaha..... :)

    Tod
     
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  8. skipgt4

    skipgt4 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    399
    GR Michigan
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    Charles VDB
    i would get the Countach without a second thought. Rear vision is better in the TR, and I don't think they drive like a "traktor"
     
  9. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
    2,559
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    Sean
    I think the issue is parts and service. I don't know where you'd go and it strikes me there's a chance of getting "stuck" unless you find someone to help and are also willing to invest the time to educate both yourself and the technican.

    When I put P6 cams in my 308 (the closest "quasi exotic" analog I can compare from personal experience) it was a lot of work to (i) find the cams, (ii) agree the specs, (iii) have two lobes reground and the cams re-heat treated/parkerized etc (iv) figure out how to set the timing (v) figure out the operating clearances and so on -- you get the picture. I think you'd find the same with the Lambo, it'll just take a fair amount of work.

    Net, net, there are guys that know the cars and I'd be confident you can get done what you need.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd buy the Lambo. I'd not want to "settle" for "2nd place" and be forever lusting after the other "girl".

    Good luck.
    Philip
     
  10. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
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    Frank
    Sean,thats funny. I am thinking the same thing! I definitely want a 12 cylinder car. And,was thinking a toss up between a Testarossa and a Countach.They are both about the same money. There's a white over Black one at Fox Valley,now.VERY cool! But,I am thinking that I,first,need to lose all of the weight that I gained the past couple years.(from an auto accident that rendered me unable to continue working out at the Gym,like I have for pretty much all of my Adult life) Second,get my "achin' back" fixed,(result from same accident) as thats a lot lower car,with a more difficult entry and exit...especially,with those doors. Third,as the other guys mentioned. Parts and SERVICE. Those are 15 something year old cars,that WILL break something. Where will you take it to get fixed? If I lived in L.A.,or Phoenix,(there's a great Lambo place out there) I'd get the Countach,no problem. Just because it's so unusual and cool. But,as I Love Ferrari much more, I think that a Testarossa is in my future. The Ferrari is a much more "civilized" car,with 2 great Authorized Ferrari dealerships close by to fix them,let alone a couple independent shops. I plan on moving out to Phoenix part time,soon. And,Full time in about 6 years,(when my Daughter graduates High school) Then,I may look into a Countach. But,who knows what they'll be going for by then? But,I will consider a 512TR,first. Then a '90 or '91 Testarossa. They say that you should go with an '88.5 or newer car.( with 5 lugs) theres also a thread that I copied on FChat,General discussion,I believe,that had a list of Recalls and Updates that you need to make sure have been attended to,when you are looking at one. I'll make acopy of it for you.And,NO,I will not neglect my first Love...my 308. (like I neglect my Corvette after I got the Ferrari 3 years ago!)
     
  11. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    4,363
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    Allan
    I had both, an 87 Countach and a TR. The Countach is 10X the car. Also, late model Countach motors are virtually bulletproof. TR's are very expensive to maintain. Countach does not need the timing belts changed, they use chains. Find a good, U.S. fuel injected Countach, make sure the clutch and a/c work properly, and youll be fine. They are very tough cars. TR is much more weak and fragile. TR is easier to drive in traffic, Countach is a joy on the open road. My 87, when i sold it, had over 70,000 on the clock, on its original clutch, had 1 valve adjutment, and oil changes. THATS IT FOR 13 years. Try that in a TR.
     
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  13. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
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    Mr. Doody
    wow - that's wildly impressive, allan. if you don't mind, a few questions about this.

    did you put all 70K miles on it from new? or did PO(s) dump money into it?

    what sort of condition was it in when

    i've got my eye possibly on picking up a diablo next year.... maybe... so any data on lambo longevity is interesting to me.

    tia,
    doody.
     
  14. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
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    No i bought it with approx 38,000 on the clock, and the valve adjustment had already been done by previous owner. The maintenence quoted was combined maintenence from previous owner and myself. Only 1 prior owner. Car was in excellent condition. I purchased it in Kansas and drove it to South Florida. Great way to get introduced to a car. Took many a journey in her, never failed me once. It amazed me to no end, due to the fact that it was my first Lamborghini, and i too had heard all the horror stories. I drove the hell out of the car, did some great mods to it, and it was a blast.
     
  15. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
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    Also, if you want a Diablo, they are fantastic. Ive had 2, my latest, a 98 Sv, which ive owned for many years, is modded with nitrous, has been absolutely trouble free, nothing but oil changes. Havent even changed the plugs on her. Runs flawlessly.

    I see one of your wanted cars is a 928GTS. Awesome car. A few years back i helped my girlfriend, now wife, buy a pristine 1988 928S4. It only had 24,000 original miles. Was red/tan with chrome 18 inch RUF wheels, Gts cams, Adjustable fuel presure reg, nology wires, and a chip. Car was automatic, but it would move. I loved it, wife...hated it. Ill have to dig up a picture.
     
  16. Dave Bendl

    Dave Bendl Formula Junior

    Dec 7, 2003
    730
    Chicagoland
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    Dave Bendl
    Ahh yes, If you were a guy in high school during the late 70's there were two posters on your bedroom wall. Farrah, and the others of Charlie's Angel's & Lambo Countach's.

    Now that you have heard the pros & cons of both from others, why not test drive both and decide for yourself. Plan on both being more expensive to maintain than your current 308. Both have their querks. I personally have driven a Testarossa, and found it to be much different from my 308 QV. It is much heavier and not as nimble. Not that thats bad, it just felt different. I didn't notice any issues with the lack of rear vision any more than the 308.

    Dave
     
  17. Darolls

    Darolls F1 Veteran
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    Jul 2, 2003
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    Sean-

    IMHO, the drivability (I just made up the word) of a Countach sucks; as does the Diablo.

    There is no rear vision capability, even with the optional rear-view camera.

    The only way to go in reverse safely, is to open the drivers door, sit on the door sill while craning your neck to see the aft-end of the car, and to control the steering, accel., clutch and brake pedals all at the same time.

    Lambos are cool if you're seeking attention, but for driving, IMHO they ain't no fun (unless you're driving in a straight line forward).

    If you're truly considering a Countach, you'll find that the small opening of the side windows will become a real PITA, especially at tollbooths.

    If you're looking to shell out some dough, Tod mentioned the Corsair; my favourite war bird.

    I've always lusted for one, but since I became diabetic, I'm no longer able to fly (Damn !).

    My suggestion; buy a Corsair, you'll have a lot more fun! :)
     
  18. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
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    LOL! Thats pretty funny. I agree the Countach is more difficult to drive in traffic than the common car. Yes the windows are a pain in a$$....but a Diablo? Thats purely outrageous. My wife is 5ft tall, and drives the Diablo with ease. The steering is weighted far better than our 355's, the clutch is just as light, and the gearshift is superior. The car is an absolute joy to drive, and the seating position is more comfortable than the 355 for long journeys. As for reversing and sitting on the sill, this is more true of the Countach, i have yet to try it in a Diablo.

    For pure driving fun, having owned 308/328/348/355/TR and driven countless other Ferrari's, none of them match the fun of driving any Lamborghini, whether it be straight ahead, or around the curves.
     
  19. Darolls

    Darolls F1 Veteran
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    I agree, a Diablo is completely different from a Countach.

    A Countach was designed to be looked at; not driven.

    On the other hand, a Diablo can be driven comfortably, and I prefer it over a Testerossa or 512TR; there is no comparison to be made between the cars.

    The Diablo, once you press your foot against the first detent in the accelerator pedal, the car just roars!

    All I'm saying is, if Sean wants a Lambo to drive, forget the Countach, and buy a Diablo!!
     
  20. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
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    I agree.
     
  21. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
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    Sean. Fox Valley Motors/Lamborghini Chicago has a 1992 Red Diablo,Euro spec. car. Looks nice...asking $89K. If you're interested.They also have a White Countach with Black interior.
     
  22. lotusboy

    lotusboy Formula Junior

    Nov 15, 2003
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    Kevin Geiwitz
    Sean, Bentley gold coast has a black Lambo w/6000 miles on it.I saw it on there web site.FVM has a white on one on web site
     
  23. Darolls

    Darolls F1 Veteran
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    Sean-

    I haven't taken the time to see if those are Countachs or Diablos lotusboy is talking about but, take my advice, and I think Allanlambo's too, if you want a Lambo to drive, only go with a Diablo or later model!
     
  24. screentime

    screentime Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    344
    Malibu & Chicago
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    Sean McKee
    If not the TR, I would only be interested in a red/black 1989 Anniversary Countach with European bumpers, no other years. I know the Diablo is easier to drive, but I want to look at the car as much as I want to drive it, and I personally find the Countach to be one of the most beautiful creations. I joke with my wife about putting it on a hydraulic rotating pedestal in the garage that rises from the ground, with dry ice/smoke, lights, with audio of a choir of angels going "ahh" as it shows off its aggressive angles. :eek:) Yes, I worship this car.

    These cars are also destined to appreciate in value over the long haul. I intend to keep it forever, where I would probably drive a Diablo for a few years and sell it, unless maybe it was a Roadster, but I'm not looking to spend that much now. I've driven a TR, and found that the larger size made the acceleration from a standstill (although faster than a 308) not as noticeable or fun, although handling was great, and the wife liked the bigger car, since she was in an accident years ago, and finds the 308 a bit scary (too small). She's comfortable driving the Porsche Boxster S we just got though (go figure- its smaller than the 308), but I just bought her a Lexus RX330 for Christmas (yes, like the silly commercial), so she's happy with her big, new SUV, and I can think about which supercar I want, without her complaining about how difficult a car is to drive (she hated the clutch on the Countach).
     
  25. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 3, 2002
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    I like that! Kinda like what the Sauber F1 team does for its annual presentation of the new car. You need a few dancers around the car though.

    Seriously I'm all with you on the Countach one. That or none. It is THE classic Lambo and what our generation has in our heads as supercars. That's why you compare it to the TR and not to e.g. the 550. That classic race from Miami Vice comes to mind (or was that the Daytona vs the Countach?).

    I recently read a British mag in which they made your point as well: The Countach is currently underrated or has bottomed out and will eventually become a collectible. They also see it as a classic. Of course if you really wanna go classic Lambo, it would have to be a Miura, but they already are past the bottom. Kinda like the Daytona. Too late now.

    Personally I wouldn't want anything else but a Ferrari. But if you're less narrow minded, then go with the Countach. And yes, put it on a pedestal. I know a good source for dry ice...
    :)
     
  26. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
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    A few years ago. Fox Valley had a Red/Tan Anniversary Countach,that had a plate on the dash that said."Built especially for Lee Iacoca". I believe that it was $79K,or something like that. Have seen it For Sale again,since,from somewhere up in the NorthEast states.
     
  27. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    At Glenfield (?) airfield on one of Chicago's Air & Watershow days I came across a Countach in camouflage paint. That was shortly after the first Golf war ended. Being new to this country I thought it was for real. Only years later I learned about replicars...Aha! I love this country!

    Speaking of replicars: In a car museum in Switzerland I once took a close look at one of the earlier Countachs. I thought that instrument dash looked hokey. Like a flat panel with some instruments glued on. But that was the real deal. So I guess if Countach, I would go for a later model.
     
  28. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
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    Gleniew Naval Air Station? I used to deliver U.S.Governmant supplies there back in the 1980's,and got to go right up close to Jets,Helicopters.inside Hangars,etc... Now,since it closed,I think that it's Condo's or Housing there now. Haven't been by there in a while.
     

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