A wild supercar child of the 1970s. The literal translation of the name is ‘that’s it’. For many, this 180mph Countach certainly was, although the purity of the original design became debased throughout the 1980s with increasingly ugly bodykits.
From 1978, the wider tyres, uprated suspension and outrageous rear wing of the S derivative became Countach trademarks. By 1985, the QV with its four-valve cylinder heads produced 455bhp and hit a claimed 200mph. Road tests proved it could do a more modest 178mph, but the 0-60mph time was an impressive 4.9sec. In terms of modern-day gremlins, the air-con often doesn’t work, interiors are expensive to retrim and brakes can seize on ones that don’t get any exercise.
How could Lamborghini top the Countach? It couldn’t, but the Diablo was devilishly naughty with a new 5.7-litre, 48-valve V12 producing 492bhp which meant that 60mph arrived in a smidge over four seconds and officially it would top 200mph. There wasn’t much in the way of standard kit, not even ABS brakes but buyers could invest in a rear wing or fitted luggage if they wanted. Clutches take a beating and may struggle to last 20,000 miles. Look out for oil leaks. New tyres could be the least of your worries at £350 each for the wider rear covers.
The first ‘affordable’ Lambo of the modern, Audi era was launched to general approval in 2004. It seems everyone wants a Gallardo at the moment and you will just have to join the queue. A cheap Gallardo is nothing more than a £10k list of complicated things to do. Clutches used to go on original cars and will cost £3000 to sort out on cars of any model year. Lumpy gearchanges on e-gear automated manual models mean you'll need a new pump actuator. Creaking means ball joints need replacing. V10 engine is bulletproof but needs a £1200-plus fettling once a year to stay sweet.
Before designing the Volkswagen Passat, Giorgetto Giugiaro designed this rather more exciting family car. It obviously went down very well with buyers, because it became the company’s best seller for many years and Sant'Agata produced more than 1200 in a decade. Updated throughout the 1970s, the V12 became ever more powerful and the interior was revised to keep everyone comfy, so there are S1 (1968-1970), S2 (1970-1972) and S3 (1972-1978) versions. However, like so many of these early Lamborghinis, it is now becoming a challenge to find.