I know many of you have seen the YouTube videos and read the magazine reviews that call the Lamborghini Countach slow, uncomfortable, hard to drive, and something that should just be looked at. I can understand why you think I might be crazy because I read those same articles and watched the same videos before I bought my Countach. I think it is very important to consider that I own a Countach because you cannot appreciate this car by spending a few hours with it or even a few days with it. The Countach is an acquired taste and while the style shouts look at me and how amazing I am, it takes time to truly appreciate everything it has to offer. The Countach is the most amazing car ever built and in my opinion the best car of all time.
I grew up in the 80s and 90s so I am biased because this was the car every kid had on their wall and someday dreamed of having. As a kid, I did not realize how crazy the car was in real life but knew it looked crazy on a poster on my wall. It disappointed many of us to grow up and learn that the Countach may not be all we had creamed it would be. I am happy to report that after growing up and owning one of these amazing beasts I think it was everything I thought it should be and more.
Why do YouTube videos and articles say Lamborghini Countach is Awful?
When I watch videos on the Countach from people who have never owned a Countach, they all say similar things. The car is outrageous to look at but it is hard to drive, uncomfortable, and not that fast. Many videos go on to say it isn’t even fun to drive. Articles about the car will also say similar things. One famous car YouTuber said the Countach was awful and he owned one!
When I watch videos or read articles or even social media posts from people who have owned a Countach, I hear a much different story. Jay Leno daily drove a Countach for many years. Harry’s garage drove a Countach across Europe and Hoovies Garage bought a dirt cheap Lamborghini Countach thinking he would sell it (he called it awful), but after owning it for a few weeks fell in love with it and kept the car.
The problem with videos or articles from people who only spend a few hours or even a few days with the car is they don’t get to learn how the car works. This is not a Corvette that is very straightforward and easy to understand and drive. The Lamborghini Countach was meant to be the most outrageous car ever, and not just in how it looked, but how it drove as well. The car has a V12 engine that made more than 400 horsepower and held 4.5 gallons of oil in the 1980s when Mustangs and Corvettes were struggling to produce 200 horsepower. Most people who drive these cars for the first time are used to a modern car with just as much or more power, more room, more visibility, and a lot less pressure.
The first time I drove my Countach in 2022 after I bought it and had it shipped to me, I was scared to death. I had driven my Lamborghini Diablo for years but the Countach is so different and we hear all the stories about how hard it is to drive. Plus I am 6 foot 1 with a size 14 shoe and I knew it was going to be a tight fit. It was impossible for me to fully enjoy the car on that first drive. In fact, I think I ran over a dead raccoon on the road because I was too scared to turn fast because I didn’t know the car yet (I did get that on video!). It was a really tight fit in the car as well. But I later learned the seat wasn’t all the way back and I could adjust the steering wheel even though Hoovies Garage said it wasn’t adjustable.
The video below shows the raccoon incident…
The car was fast and sounded great, but it was really snug and not the smoothest drive. I was a little disappointed in how shaky it was but even with those faults, I was not disappointed in the car at all. The looks, the nostalgia, and the feeling of owning an icon were overwhelming and amazing.
I can’t imagine how Youtubers and magazine writers feel driving these cars for the first time and feeling the same way but also trying to get a feel for the car to tell others what it is like. It is so different than any other car, it is impossible to give a fair opinion without experiencing the car for weeks or even longer. This is why so many people say it is not great to drive but amazing to look at. They never get the chance to really drive the car or experience it as it was meant to be and there is a chance they are driving a car that has some issues or has not been maintained well after 40 years as well.
What is it really like to drive a Lamborghini Countach the right way?
I knew my Countach had a few issues and one of those was the tires were 27 years old. I was very careful driving it with tires that old and could not wait to really see what it could do with a fresh set. When my mechanic, who owns 4 Countachs, was putting on the tires he discovered a badly bent wheel. A new wheel was ordered and installed with the tires (of course that took weeks and weeks to get).
When I got the car back with new tires and a new wheel, it drove so much better. It stuck to the road, there was no wobble or shaking. It was a completely different car. It makes me wonder how many 30 and 40-year-old Countachs that are test-driven now are maintained how they should be.
I had much more confidence in the car with the new tires and I was able to enjoy the sound of the car which is one of the best parts. It is not an overwhelming roar, whine, or yell from the engine but a subtle building orchestra along with a myriad of mechanical noises they may or may not all have been there when it came from the factory but together are perfect.
Something else I will never get tired of is the smell of the car. There is a mixture of leather, exhaust, and oldness but in a good way that smells better than any of my other cars. I am in my office right now writing this part of the article and I wish I were home so I could sit in the car and smell that smell right now.
After driving the car more and more, I also learned how to sit in it. It is tight for me, but once I learned the angles and leans that fit me, the car became so much more comfortable. I also figured out how to adjust the seat best for me and how to move the steering wheel up which gave me more than enough legroom.
I have to take my shoes off when I drive, which is a fun part for me as well, but the rest of me fits fine and allows me to drive without compromise. I also learned the angles of the mirrors, where my blindspots are, and how to look out the back window better thanks to that more comfortable sitting position. It is amazing how much more fun the car is to drive once you learn how to sit in it for maximum comfort.
When you are comfortable and have Countach operating as it should, it is amazing to drive. It is not the fastest car, especially for acceleration as it was built for top speed, but it is fast. It is really fast considering when it was made and the competition it was competing against. It handles well and when people say it wants to keep going faster the faster it goes, they are not lying. If you take it up to 80 MPH or just a little faster, you can tell it wants to keep going until it maxes out. That is what the car was meant to do and when it really shines. Unfortunately, there are not many places you can use the Countach like it was meant to be used.
You also may people say the steering is difficult and the shifting is tough thanks to a heavy clutch. If you are going less than 5 MPH, yes the steering is a little difficult and takes some muscle as it does not have power steering. Once you get above that speed the steering is fantastic. Shifting the car is not difficult at all and the clutch was not nearly as heavy as many make it out to be. There is a wonderful satisfaction every time you shift the Countach into gear thanks to the gated manual and sounds that let you know you hit the mark.
Once you figure out the Countach, you do not have to convince yourself it is amazing, it will convince you. Knowing you are driving an icon is a bonus.
What are some of the most annoying things about the Lamborghini Countach?
I love the car but there are some annoying things about it. One of the most notorious parts of the car is the windows that roll down about 2 inches. My arm will barely fit through them. I always hear you better not get a Big Mac because it won’t fit through the window. All I have to say is no one better ever have a Big Mac in my Countach. There better not be any food in that car that could ever alter the smell.
If you really need to pay a toll or go through a drive-through you can. You just open the door instead of the window. The door opens up and is not that tall when open because the car is so short.
Backing up is also difficult as the visibility is bad. I have a 1999 Diablo and it is really easy to see out of compared to the Countach. When I first tried to back it up I felt cramped and claustrophobic because I was not sure how to sit in it properly. Once I figured out how to sit in the car it became much easier to look out the back window. If you are backing up into a space with less than 30 feet of clearance on all sides you may want to use the door sill technique. This is where you open the door and sit on the door sill so you can pop your head out of the car to see and this technique does work and is necessary at times. It is also easy to reach the pedals and guide the car while sitting on the sill.
The car has very little storage room as the spare tire takes up the front bonnet and the engine is in the back. There is a trunk behind the engine that offers some storage, more than my Diablo.
If you hate people you will hate this car because everywhere you go there will be people waving at you, trying to talk to you, and asking if it is a kit car. When driving the windows offer a built-in excuse not to talk to anyone since they are not powered and barely open.
Why is the Lamborghini Countach the best car ever made?
I made a bold statement when I said the Lamborghini Countach is the best car ever. I admit it is not the fastest, and many people will hate driving it. However, it is not made for the masses, it is made for the ultimate car enthusiast. If the car was easy to drive, it would take away from what it is. The fact that only a small percentage of the population will enjoy what this car is, makes it more special. The car was built for those who loved cars not those who wanted to look cool.
I mentioned some of the things that make this car ridiculous and crazy. There is no way this car could be made today because of safety regulations and many modern supercar owners do not even know how to drive a manual transmission. Most car manufacturers would have scrapped the Countach project after just one of the crazy design flaws could not be solved. But, Lamborghini barreled forward with it after about ten of these flaws could not be solved. That is what makes it so amazing. Instead of saying, there is no way we can produce a car like this because of these problems. They said it is worth moving forward with the car because it is so amazing that it can still sell and be amazing to drive even with these flaws. Over time, those flaws became part of what made the car so great and iconic.
By far the thing that makes the Countach the best car ever is the design. There is no car that looks like it or compares to the outlandish lines and angles of this car. You must see one in person to appreciate its beauty. I had seen many before I bought mine in person, but I never appreciated the lines fully until I owned one and spent a lot of time just looking at it in my garage.
I think this car was also the peak of the Lamborghini – Ferrari rivalry. Lamborghini came about because Ferrari would not add improvements requested by Ferruccio Lamborghini, who owned a tractor company at the time. Ferruccio decided to start his own car company to be better than Ferrari from scratch and many think he succeeded. The Countach was a car meant for the people and a car meant to beat Ferrari. I think it succeeded.