Valentino Balboni is a name quite famous among Lamborghini aficionados, mostly because he worked for the company more than four decades, including a very long period acting as the official test driver.
He first started working as the company’s official test driver – oh, what a dream job – back in September 1973. He is so well recognized by the company and others the automaker even honored him with the special series Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni with approved upgrades. And he is still driving some of the finest examples of work produced by his beloved workplace. For example, he recently took a spin in a 1986 Countach QV that has quite the special story behind it.
The particular example once belonged to Patrick Mimran, Lamborghini’s CEO at the time, and had some bespoke enhancements. The exterior appearance – an eggplant shade nicknamed Bordeaux Speciale was a one-off – the interior appearance – custom leather headliner. And ofcourse the mechanical tweaks – sport cams and an extra oil cooler for 470 horsepower, a little over the 5.2-liter V12’s six downdraft Weber carburetors worth of 455 hp. Balboni still thinks driving a Countach makes him feel “very lucky” – and part of the vehicle’s fun is the engine was placed a bit too high, so the rear is “dancing all the time,” so the driver needs to constantly pay attention and that forges a bond between man and machine.