Drag Race: Ferrari Testarossa vs Lamborghini Countach

Today’s drag race is all about vintage supercars—specifically, cars from the 80s. Supercars in the 1980s were all about flashiness, excess, and the brash attitude that comes with being comfortable with flaunting one’s luxury toys. We think most enthusiasts who are old enough to remember would agree that the Ferrari Testarossa and the Lamborghini Countach personify those 80s attitudes perfectly.

Another characteristic of supercars from that era is that they were comedically unreliable. These cars would spontaneously combust, parts would all off, and that is when the cars were new. That being said, you can probably imagine the kind of shape some of these cars might be in today, even if they are well taken care of.

Despite the massive headache these 80s supercars like the Ferrari Testarossa and the Lamborghini Countach can be, there are still people who hold on so tightly to their childhood nostalgia that they will buy and maintain them. Richard Hammond and James May of The Grand Tour are two of those people. Yet, while they suit the profile, they did not actually drop their own money on the cars you’ll see here.

The two gearheads got together for a recent segment of the Grand Tour and decided to put someone elses’ mid-life crises purchases against each other in a drag race. James with a Ferrari Testarossa and Richard with a Lamborghini Countach.

After an “interesting” discussion, the pair finally put their Italian supercars to the test in a drag race.

Ferrari Testarossa

A red Ferrari Testarossa seen at a car show in Warsaw. The view is from the rear quarter of the car. It is similar to the Ferrari used in the drag race featured in this article.
Ferrari Testarossa | Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images

In the relatively long time that the Ferrari Testarossa was in production, it quickly earned its status as the quintessential 1980s super car. Its trademark side “strakes” demanded attention. The Testarossa was so flashy that it was chosen as the vehicle of choice for the lead characters in the 80s hit TV show, Miami Vice. The Testarossa was also featured in the video game OutRun

The Testarossa is powered by a 4.9-liter V12 engine that made just under 390 horsepower. That doesn’t sound very impressive by today’s standards, but back then, nearly 400 horsepower was a considerable figure. The Testarossa is regarded as a good sports car,, so it should do well in this drag race.

Lamborghini Countach

Red Lamborghini Countach seen from a low front angle parked at a car show in the Netherlands. This Countach is similar to the one used in the drag race featured in this article.
Lamborghini Countach | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

There is so much that can be said about the Lamborghini Countach that we couldn’t possibly fit it all into this article. The Countach was an iconic vehicle that achieved dream car status almost immediately. Talk to any gearhead between the ages of 35 and 50, and there is a very good chance that they had a Lamborghini Countach poster on their wall when they were young.

The Countach has striking looks and a very loud V12 engine. It also has a terrible reputation for being unreliable. Hopefully, that doesn’t come into play in the drag race.

Drag race: Lamborghini Countach vs Ferrari Testarossa

As James May in the Ferrari and Richard Hammond in the Lamborghini approached the line, they quickly realized that despite their desire to test the limits of these cars, they are privately owned. That meant some caution had to be taken. What results is, well, we won’t spoil it but it is pretty entertaining, to say the least. Leave it to The Grand Tour to keep things interesting.

We would say the moral of this story is that sometimes, things from our pasts aren’t quite the way we remembered them and this video is a great example of that.

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