Valentino Balboni is a name synonymous with Lamborghini. This man started as an apprentice for the company back in 1968 before he worked his way up to becoming the chief test driver for the Italian automaker. Valentino retired in 2008 after working for the bullish sports car builder for 40 years. You could say the man knows a thing or two about driving these Italian dream machines.
For the video above, Balboni was handed the keys to a 1986 Countach. It’s a 5000 Quattrovalvole, or QV for short. Those letters signify that the car was upgraded to an engine utilizing four valves per cylinder. That would make for 48 valves in total since we’re dealing with a glorious V-12 engine that produces an aural symphony and somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 horsepower.
A slick gated 5-speed manual gearbox controls the action, and it’s action that Valentino is very familiar with exploring. This specific car was originally made for a past Lamborghini CEO, and it’s finished in a gorgeous reddish purple paint work. That hue is offset perfectly by the gold phone-dial wheels.
Valentino says part of the joy of driving the car comes from the fact that is indeed a handful. It’s large engine sits out back—a bit too high, according to Balboni—so it’s prone to moments of oversteer. “It means that the car is a little bit dancing all the time,” he says in a simply adorable Italian accent.” Balboni notes that you have to work all of the inputs to keep this pretty beast in check, but that’s what makes for a tremendous driving experience.
Watch this video. You’ll learn more about the car and the man who tested Lamborghinis for 40 years. It’s a great look back at an iconic supercar and the man who knows it best.