It might bear only a passing resemblance to the 1980s bedroom poster icon, but this 200mph+ dragster has just as much passion and style as the Italian idol – and a LOT more power!
There’s one single fact about the Lamborghini Countach that makes it simply the coolest supercar of the ’80s. That’s the fact that its name translates from Italian to English as something close to ‘holy f**k’. It’s an improper translation as these things often are, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the most pleasing bits of automotive trivia around. And boy does it apply to the car you see before you!
Now we’d better come clean right away and admit this Countach dragster, a car that looks for all the world like a genuine Lambo that’s been cut up and converted in a manner designed to make purists froth with rage, actually isn’t. No, what we have here is a fully space- framed race car that’s been built to resemble Lamborghini’s finest ’80s export, albeit one that stopped off at the Hot Wheels factory on the way. Owned by Aussie Alf Sciacca and now raced by his son Alf Junior, the car is almost impossible not to love. There’s not a single angle that doesn’t make it look comically over the top in the best way possible. A cartoon made real. It’s hard not to fall for its bonkers charms.
The car took shape at Thunder Race Cars almost 15 years ago, with Alf Snr first buying it a little over two years later. Originally painted in a devilish shade of black, the car was given something of a visual makeover in the run up to this year’s season of racing, emerging sporting this suitably ’80s shade of white.
“We bought the car in 2003 because it looks so badass. There’s simply nothing else that looks like it out there today, and it’s been built to a very high standard as well. So yeah, a good purchase all round,” chuckles Alf Snr, who’s father (fittingly) came to Australia from Sicily in the late ’60s. “There’s nothing Italian on the car now at all. In fact the only Italian thing in it is me.”
Being a purpose-built drag racer with a lightweight plastic body plonked on top, Alf’s car can call upon the kind of spec a real Countach owner could only dream of. The source of its sheer insanity is the Sainty-built 500CI OHC V8 sitting up front, an engine ramped up and made all the more bonkers by the addition of a Whipple supercharger – look closely and you might just be able to spot it.
“The Whipple charger is actually the largest one commercially available, and it produces 50 pounds of boost the moment you hit the throttle. Savage doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
It’s a combination that’s good for an earth-moving 2,500bhp, while being powerful enough to record some seriously impressive runs. Alf Sciacca Junior, the car’s current pilot after his father handed over the keys, set a personal best of 6.74 at 205mph – a fraction slower than his dad’s best of 6.606 at 215mph, yet set a mere six months after his first ever run…