So it’s not a Countach, Let’s just clear that bit up right now. Not a single component on this Frankenstein monster originated out of Italy in the eighties, the body is not even the same, the roof is flatter, the lights are not matching to era and the entire car is wrapped in fibreglass, not steel like the real deal.
The car does however, have a story to tell, it was originally built as a space frame chassis by some guy hiding from his wife in a back shed of Western Australia. The suspension linkages were donated from a Kombivan and engineered to accommodate coilovers, the steering originated in a Falcon, meaning unlike ‘real’ Lambo steering, it actually takes you broadly in the direction you point the front wheels and the pedal box was sourced from a Toyota Corolla, that works awesome, if you have a bit of small-man-syndrome going on down there. The gearbox was another donation from a Kombivan, I’m guessing the guy in his shed must have had one laying out the back, as was the LSD diff. What didn’t come from the Kombi was the X-Sprint car 500 horse power 360 Chev with MSD ignition and Edelbrock Victor intake manifold.
So it’s not a legit Countach, but when you’re in it, ears bleeding, 500HP under foot, its legit, 500 horses is always legit.
Driving this incredible replica is something that is difficult to explain, even for someone who has a grasp on hyperbolic English. The first thing you notice, is just how spatially unaware most drivers are, particularly as they go grasping for their phones to get a quick photo, but that’s not too bad, because you can’t see what is about to run in to the back of you anyway, there is no rear window. The interior is surprisingly true to form, deep bucket seats and lots of period spec gauges telling you things you can’t see while your head is being smashed in to the roof lining. The brakes, or lack thereof, with cheap Falcon drum items on the back and single piston callipers on the front are not exactly matched to the tasking of the 500 horsepower sprint car engine, meaning you REALLY need to think ahead of where you are on the road. The Chev V8, produces a noise that would scare the gods of thunder, and quite possibly keep your physio in business as it violently rips your neck off every time you even sneeze while resting your foot on the loud pedal, the old fashion carby and single cam push rod thing really is something you need to experience to believe.
Driving up through the twisty stuff it’s not hard to see how these cars gained their notoriety, even heading past random old ladies cutting their grass turned heads. A quick stop at the top of the hill to clear our lungs from an alarming smell of petrol quickly found us a crowd including two young females and a police officer who was actually friendly and didn’t threaten to defect us even a little bit!
Driving this monster is hard to summarise, it’s not the real deal, but it does seem to match all my preconceived notions of what the real thing would feel like. Additionally; it’s hard not to think if the space frame had been wrapped in some other body work, I would probably label it terrible and get back in my daily driver. But it’s not, it’s a Lambo in my mind, it was never intended to challenge G-forces, it was intended to challenge G-strings. Think about it like this; we have all seen a cover band, you know they’re not the real deal, but by the end of the night you are still going home with a stranger and it only cost you a Tenner. For all its shortfalls, this car is brilliant!