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Countach- reliable or not?

Discussion in 'Lamborghini Discussion (not model specific)' started by Fezzaphil, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Fezzaphil

    Fezzaphil Rookie

    Sep 14, 2004
    5
    UK
    Full Name:
    Philip
    Simply is a UK RHD Countach going to bankrupt someone with huge servicing bills and a constant stream of problems that will cause me to loose my hair any quicker? Are the equilivant Ferraris far more robust?
     
  2. wings

    wings Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2003
    315
    I cannot give you an answer as I do not own one although I would like to have an 89 Anniversary Model. However a salesman told me the other day that you need to have a sense of humor to own a Countach. Not sure exactly what he meant by that??
     
  3. Go Mifune

    Go Mifune Karting

    Dec 12, 2003
    106
    Rockville, MD
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I have owned an '85 carbed QV for five years now and I can give you a thought or two. Basically it is a very reliable car once it has been "made right". This has more to do with refreshing 20 year old systems, wires, seals, etc., than it does compensating for bad designs. There are a few of those of course too.

    There are a few small mods that can eliminate poor design features (wiring harness relays, for example), but basically if the money is spent to make the car fresh (not that this is cheap) it is a "check the oil and drive it hard" kind of car. Incidentally, the more often and the harder you drive it the less trouble it will be.

    Expect clutch, synchros, carb rebuilds, cam chain tensioning, valves, and hose freshening every 15,000 - 20,000 miles or 5-10 years once done for the first time as a baseline.

    Remember most of the cars you might buy probably haven't had the proper money spent to do all this stuff, or if they have they will reflect it in the price.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. jonesn

    jonesn Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    13
    STL-MO
    Full Name:
    Evan "Trouble" Jones
    This is a joke right? :)

    It's not a daily driver, if that's what you're asking. It's not a weekend or track driver for that matter. In fact, the only time you drive it is when you pick it up from the shop and drive it back an hour later.
     
  5. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 1, 2002
    3,575
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    Israel Beiteinu
    I just completed ownership of a QV Countach, which I had for a year. There was a minor belt problem to take care of. - Other than that the car was purrrfect. ANY older exotic is going to have some issues. The key is to find the very best car you can locate. DO NOT BUY THE ENTRY LEVEL BARGAIN. - There is no such thing. If you cannot afford the best Countach, buy something else. A Jarama, 328, or GTC/4. - They will be less. The entry level bargain will only ensure that you pay quite a bit in service bills. Guess what happens after you paid all the service bills; to have a fairly reliable car ? - The car is not worth that much more than the other entry level bargains.

    Find a car that has alot of records, few owners, and checks out mechanically. - Then look for cosmetic condition. Does the interior and the odometer seem to be talking the same story ? Does the car show 10,000 kilometers - yet the seats show alot of wear ? Look at many cars. All of the sudden you can see where the wear is for that particular car. Then you will laugh when you see a low kilometer car where it looks quite different on the inside, from another "genuine" low kilometer car. - Make sure the car has a very good clutch. It is around 10,000 dollars to replace a clutch +/- 2,000 dollars. Remember you should have some other things done when you replace a clutch. That is why it can stretch all the way to 12. There is no belt service with a Lamborghini. That is a +. I can also add that I purchased another Lamborghini after my Countach relationship. I really liked the car. I liked it so much, that I am now looking for another one. I should not have sold my car. It was a one-owner Califonia car. Buy one now. - After you look at several cars. They are likely to go up in price soon. The early cars have already taken off. The good early cars are going for over 100K. The other cars will also begin to take off. Also. Everyone has heard of horror stories with some exotic or another. Don't worry about color. I have heard that the C/T is a difficult car to repair mechanically. Parts can also be a pain in the *arse to obtain. My car needed little. She gave alot.

    Don't buy one; if you hate attention. Sometimes it is a bother. I am not being a smart fellow here. - Sometimes people act wierd when they see these cars. I do not know why ? They do wierd things. They may give you the bird for no reason. They may race you on the freeway with anything with a loud exhaust. You may get an escort of four/five cars following you (this also includes a soccer mom in a van), and yes you have the teenage guurls. I wore safety glasses with side shields. LOL We drove the car at night on the freeway for about an hour and a half (roundtrip). We had at least five different people take pics of the car. We were startled to see the little mini-nuclear flash at night. Thankfully we won the Cold War.

    P.S. The car handles very nice. It does not flex. The rear visibilty is poor. - You can get used to this. You can also buy a camera; if that is an issue. It is fun.
     
  6. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
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    Israel Beiteinu

    My car was only in the shop one time. The car now has a third owner. The car is "still" riding (today) on the original clutch. - No belt service.
     
  7. Fezzaphil

    Fezzaphil Rookie

    Sep 14, 2004
    5
    UK
    Full Name:
    Philip
    Thanks this all makes for interesting reading. I own a few older classics already including a Dino and 328. I appreciate that they all requier a fair amount of maintainence.......don't even talk to me about my Aston Martin DB6...fortunes spent! The rules sound similar for most of the older cars.

    Finding a good one in the UK is actually not that easy. I really need to get behind the wheel and see where we go with it. Meanwhile if anyone wants to swap an original 1966 Aston DB6 Mk1 for a decent Countach drop me aline!
     
  8. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
    3,575
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    Israel Beiteinu
    Steve:

    Do you have any interest in working something out with my SE 30, for your 1985 carb C/T ? Of course everyone would have to talk, inspect, and work out the financials before. - I own the car - clear. My car has 3,100 kilometers. It IS showroom new and reliable. Quite a few people on F.C., are aware of my car. - This is with regards to the mileage and (history) of the car.


    SE 30 - The hardcore 2wd factory lightweight Diablo.
    #007
    Red/Tan with red piping.
    100% original



    Feel free to PM me; if you have "any" interest.
     
  9. bentasm1

    bentasm1 Formula Junior

    Jun 7, 2004
    415
    $10k for a clutch? :) Diablos are about $4k-$5k, why is the countach double that?

    -Ben
     
  10. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
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    It is all in the labor. It "IS" a much more labor intensive effort to change the clutch in the C/T.


    Remember there are other things you want to repair and replace when you have the engine and transmission out of the car. I understood you could get it done for around $ 6,500, without taking care of the other little things.
     
  11. sportveloce

    sportveloce Karting

    Aug 31, 2003
    147
    The Aussie section
    Ralph! Is there something that your not telling me?? It should be a criminal offence to get rid of an SE 30. It is something one works hard all their life to own and now your getting rid of it? The only logical reason I can see (and its still not that logical because I don't like the color) is that you want a "disco" purple SE 30? Or your having CT withdrawal symptoms; if so; keep the SE 30 and go to counseling :)
     
  12. superX

    superX Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    56
    Cary, NC
    Full Name:
    Dennis Briddell
    i've had the pleasure of owning my CT for 2 1/2 years. It is almost a daily driver, with 25kms in that time of commuting, many long trips and track time. If you've never been in a CT you don't know what you're missing. One of lifes unique pleasures. Find one that is sorted and it will treat you well.
     
  13. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
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    Hey thanks. #1. The U.S. versions are watered down to some degree. Too Bad. #2. I absolutely HATE power steering. I unfortunately did not test drive the car. My fault. That was not a problem. They offered to let me test drive the 6.0. I just "assumed" the SE 30 had no p.s. I know it is strange, but I hate P.S. It makes the car feel like a video game. L Cars website wrote up a superb article about the SE 30. It really gets the blood going. It wrote how the car has no P.S. Guess what ? The car has P.S.
     
  14. sportveloce

    sportveloce Karting

    Aug 31, 2003
    147
    The Aussie section
    Interesting Ralph. I never knew the car had PS. I am getting into the same boat as you on this one, PS = Piece of S*** feel for steering. It is quite unbelievable that the most hardcore diablo has damned PS. It does not make sense. I want a formal apology from Lambo for this one. Its like releasing a Diablo with 15' wheels or hub caps. It does not seem right. I guess it was Lambos first foray into making the car yuppie friendly, but shoving a sparkler/bonfire up its rear. I guess they got a backlash and left the 6.0 alone (lucky for Ben, AJ & Warrenn).

    I am hoping the old VTs do not have PS. I will have to check that one out. Why not join the F-Chat Lambo club by getting a 6.0 rather than a CT? No PS, but you will have to put up with quality Japanese engineered 300ZX headlights (hard to swallow in a post 150k car). I wonder if anyone has ever done a reverse headlight conversion on a 6.0? Back to the wonder years of the early 2wd VT?

    Brainwave; get rid of the SE and get a 91 VT & a CT! Now theres a happy family until servicing time ;) I can feel the condemnation coming on from mentioning an early VT!
     
  15. ryalex

    ryalex Formula Junior
    Consultant

    Aug 6, 2003
    960
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    Aren't C/T wheels only 14"? ;)
     
  16. JTSE30

    JTSE30 Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2004
    259
    Austin TX
    Regarding VTs and power steering, they have power steering, I had a 94 VT (first year for VTs), in fact, all US spec Diablos have power steering. Of course you could always disable the p.s. pump and go manual -- I had this opportunity myself when my belt snapped once...it is quite heavy, of course it would be because it is a p.s. system with no pump whereas a "pure" non-p.s. car would not be so heavy.

    Anyway, just wanted to address that. As for disliking the car (Ralph) so much because it has power steering, wow, it's never bugged me that much, you do get great feedback through it.

    One more thing for the VT guy and p.s., the VT has a lot of "comfy" features you might as well know about such as adjustable shocks that can make it (a VT) ride like a Cadillac (soft) also the leather interior in the VT is much more "plush" than the SE30. It even has cruise control (just kidding).

    The best thing about Lamborghini ownership is the engine, what a noise! I love it!

    John
     
  17. JTSE30

    JTSE30 Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2004
    259
    Austin TX
    VT = 'Viscous Traction' - which means - 4 wheel drive. The fronts take up the "slack" when the rears start to slip. First year for the VT in the US was the 1994 model year. The 91-93 Diablos were rear wheel drive only cars.

    Diablo VT powertrain
     
  18. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
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    I understood that all of the 91-93 cars did not have P.S. - Most people want P.S. P.S. is o.k., until you go real fast. The manual steering is very enjoyable when the P.S., is not. You get tremendous feedback at the time when you need it. I also thought the 6.0 has P.S. ? Anyone ? Ryalex - The Countach has 15" rims.


    As far as the SE 30. There may be other American cars without P.S. from the factory. The SE 30 Euro cars, probably do not have P.S.
     
  19. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    604
    southeast
    Full Name:
    name
    Mr Koslin, thanks for the great CT write up! reading about your experiences with these car is VERY inspiring.thanks for putting these in a REAL WORLD contex. i hope to be able to get an early carb CT......... one day :)
     
  20. sportveloce

    sportveloce Karting

    Aug 31, 2003
    147
    The Aussie section
    Thanks. That link has some good information about the VT setup. When I was talking about no PS I was refering to the older 91 Diablo (2wd version). I did not know the VTs had PS. I assumed that they would not have had PS.

    Interesting note about the Cadillac soft ride of a VT due to its adjustable shocks. I think I would want it on the rock-hard setting. But nice touch for taking the lady out to dinner. To quote that annoying English guy (Clarkson) ..Italians.. gota love em.

    As for disabling the PS, not a good idea. I have a PS car and when it stalls the steering and breaks are really stiff. It is not built to be run without the pumps running. On the other hand I have a FWD car that has no PS (built in 75) and it is heavy, but nothing like the PS car without the belts running.
     
  21. sportveloce

    sportveloce Karting

    Aug 31, 2003
    147
    The Aussie section
    Ralph, just looking through LC.com which looks to be quite an authority and have under the SE 30 specs "Unassisted mechanical rack and pinion" for the steering type. I wonder if you looked at this site? Someone should drop them a line and let them know that the steering is anything but unassisted (at least the US spec).

    Under the 6.0 it states "Power assisted mechanical rack and pinion". So I guess that ones off the list.

    Ryan, it would be hard to imagine a Diablo with 14"s or even 15"s ;)
     
  22. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
    3,575
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    Israel Beiteinu

    I am not old !!!!!!!

    We have spoken before. Remember get the best car you can find. I believe you have a mechanical background ? I am glad you like the write up. P.S. I was never honked at for about to push someone off the road, due to the poor visiblity of the C/T. You learn where to put the pupils, when it comes time to turn.
     
  23. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
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    Mar 1, 2002
    3,575
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    Israel Beiteinu

    It is quite possible that the original owner, special ordered the car w/ P.S. There is a yellow U.S. car in Austin, Tx that has the regular Diablo windows. I am in contact with the owner by e-mail. I will ask him; if the factory put the regular Diablo windows in the SE 30.
     
  24. JTSE30

    JTSE30 Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2004
    259
    Austin TX
    Ralph,

    I'm right here (yellow SE30 in Austin), the Windows are something I had the factory do. Back then, ALUSA (automobili Lamborghini USA - distributor for Lamborghini) was located in Jacksonville FL and had the car shipped there, they took the doors off and sent them to the factory where they put in SV door panels, a window channel, window glass and lift motor, wiring harness and then doors were shipped back and they put them back on at ALUSA and added the window switches to the center console, all done. It cost $10K, not bad, and that included shipping the doors both ways to Italy. This was back in 1996.

    They did this same modification for several SE30s in Japan as well. I have not seen any European SE30s with this modification.

    John
     
  25. ralfabco

    ralfabco F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 1, 2002
    3,575
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    Israel Beiteinu
    John

    I did not know that was your F.C. user name !!!!

    Nice to hear from you !!!!!



    Does your car also have power steering ? Mine does. I just read again post # 16. I suppose your car also has power steering.
     

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