During the early 1980s US based auto enthusiasts suffered a horrible dilemma. The Enviromental Protection Agency and the Division of Transportation (EPA/DOT) made it impossible to import and own some of the greatest European exotic cars produced at the time.
Cars such as the Ferrari BB512, Porsche 930 Turbo and Mercedes 500 had to be converted by a myriad of repair facilities. The cars became known as “grey” market cars and petrol heads revealed in horror stories of cars being seized.
I was 8 years old at the time and I knew about the EPA/DOT. The EPA/DOT was to car lovers as the the black plague was to the medieval age.
The 1980s was known for cocaine and the Lamborghini Countach. Maybe the most iconic car of our time. Definitely the most iconic car of the 1980s. Yet, the Italians in Sant Agata could not create a Countach that would pass exhaust emissions or bumper safety. Meaning… Americans could not own one. Come our savior…Jas Rarewala and Trefor Thomas. Rarewala and Thomas owned a small compliant conversion shop in California that was creating and modifying non compliant vehicles and making them eligible to be imported in the USA. Jas designed and successfully built components for the Countach.
The current importer Joe Nastasi of Lamborghini North America contacted J/T and immediately started converting european spec cars. Buyers flocked to buy these cars and Lamborghini took notice.
It was soon that Ras and Trefor would design a system for Automobili Lamborghini that would be produced by the factory as a FACTORY specification USA Lamborghini Countach.
Most Lamborghini owners know that Lamborghini started making the 1986 Lamborghini Countach 500S Quatrovalve / QV with large rubber bumpers and massive fuel injection plentums. What most owners do now know, and even some experts is that Lamborghini actually produced a handful of factory 1984/1985 Countach 5000S 2 valve cars.
These cars were the FIRST and extremely rare. There is an argument as to how many? Some say 12, others as many as 37.