“If you drive hard, the Anniversary is definitely quicker out of a corner. You don’t have to wait so long before going on the power. And through the corner there is more grip and a much nicer balance. In Italy, we have a word for it: ‘sincera’” – Sandro Munari, World Champion rally driver and former Lamborghini test driver
A quartet of ever-more-sophisticated models followed the original Countach LP400, Marcello Gandini’s space-age design first seen in 1971.
Each one was searingly quick – very often the fastest in the world. They were mad and bad, with many owners definitely ‘dangerous to know’.
It became the poster car for a generation.
The final version was announced by the then Chrysler-backed company at the 1988 Italian Grand Prix. Named ‘Countach 25th Anniversary’ to recognise Lamborghini’s quarter of a century as a car-maker, the new Countach was mechanically identical to the 190+mph, 455bhp 5000 S QV. But it was more evolved, with greater comfort better to appeal to new buyers in North America, a supercar that could go head-to-head with a Ferrari Testarossa in every way.
Two versions were available: fuel-injection for North America and Switzerland, downdraught carburettors for the rest of Europe. Even today, only specific ‘Swiss’ cars can be registered in that country.
Sales of 400 25th Anniversary models were forecasted but, such was the demand, 657 were built, the last completed being ‘12095’ on 4 July 1990.
This Motor Car
Chassis ‘12038’ was first registered on 30 April 1990 in the name of Maximilian Bobnar, the proprietor of official Lamborghini and Jeep agent M.B Sports Cars SA, Hägendorf, Switzerland. The specification was classic Countach: smart and discreet Nero with a flamboyant interior in beige leather. The car was ordered with the famous rear wing – not always present.
It complied, naturally, with Swiss regulations and has the important fuel-injected engine specific to the market – without which no Countach Anniversary can be imported or registered today.
Bobnar’s story is the classic tale of rags to riches. Arriving in Switzerland from Austria aged just 18 and with only a bicycle to his name, he first worked at other garages before setting up on his own in 1968. By 1982, the business was so successful that he opened a second, M.B Sports Cars SA, an official Chrysler Jeep and Lamborghini agent that he ran for some 20 years. Along the way he started collecting cars, and by the time his collection was disposed of in 2005, he owned some 45 classics including several Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Ferraris.
It was no surprise, therefore, that Bobnar should want one of the very last Countach 25th Anniversaries, and the low mileage recorded in the service book accompanying this car today is further proof of its role as a long-term ‘keeper’.
The book has stamps at 950km (28 April 2000), 3,700km (31 March 2006), 4,560km (26 February 2009), 5,422km (11 June 2010). The all-important emissions inspection Abgaswartungsdokument shows the last inspection was made on 8 October 2014. Total mileage reads just 6,800km.
This regularly maintained Countach 25th Anniversary currently forms part of a very special collection. Well-presented and looked-after and – most significantly – an Anniversario that can be legally registered in Switzerland, for those searching for one of the very final examples of Gandini’s 1970s automotive art, here it is.