PCH, Benefits Of Positive Thinking Edition: Cooked Countach or Rusty Rolls?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Benefits Of Positive Thinking Edition: Cooked Countach or Rusty Rolls?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Yesterday, we saw a 6.9 Benz face defeat for the first time in Project Car Hell history, a feat that generally requires unholy intervention by the Prince Of Darkness himself, or at least the presence of Citroën badges. We've had a run of affordable Hell Projects lately, and that's fine… but sometimes we need to mainline some optimism and look at spending a few more bucks at the gateway to Gearhead Gehenna.

We've had some PCH Lambos before, including a Diablo, another Diablo, an Urraco, an Espada, and another Espada. But we've never had the most Lamborghini-ish Lamborghini of them all, the ridiculously awesome Countach. Sure sure, the Countach would get eaten up by a lot of not-quite-supercar factory hot rods these days, but you still need one! The problem is finding one that's an affordable project, which isn't easy… but we've managed to find this 1985 Lamborghini Countach for you, and it has a Buy It Now of only $22,500! Heck, that's what you'd pay for a nice Fieroborghini, but it's the real deal! Now, there's a reason for the cheap price tag, and it becomes apparent once you look at photos showing anything other than the car's nose. Turns out there was a bit of an overheating problem, so severe that the entire rear of the car was pretty much obliterated. The engine and transmission are gone, but you can get yourself a replacement V12 right here, and it's only $6,800. Lamborghini purists will hate you, but they already hate you and yours on general principle anyway. As for the missing body panels, you just need to get yourself some readily-available Fieroborghini parts. See, you'll be driving a hideous parody of a genuine Countach in 25 years no time!
What are you, some kind of crass nouveaux riche show-off, looking to come on like David Lee Roth in a silly cocaine-injected 80s Italian supercar? Of course you aren't, and that's why someone of your stature needs a vintage Rolls-Royce leaking forlornly standing proudly in your driveway. The best Rolls to get is one from the immediate postwar era, during which Britain's bombed-to-hell economy was in utter shambles, food rationing was the rule, the Empire was slipping away… and the downtrodden masses were eating mud kicked up by exquisitely crafted luxury machines such as this 1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, driven by a handful of war profiteers who grew fat on the suffering of millions. Now that's a luxury car! Thing is, the decades have taken their toll on this Roller, and you'll have incredible quantities a few parts to replace, and that will might cost a fortune a few bucks. There's not much description, but "The car needs complete restoration" is all you need. Hey, it's only $12,950!

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Rob Emslie

Lambo. I'm not even gonna' look at the ad for the Roller because we actually have a Bentley of that ilk in the family, and I know they're pretty solid rides, especially should you really, really like grey poupon.

But there was that guy that built one of these Countaches from scratch in his basement using nothing but a Sam's Club 155-piece homeowners tool kit and a pair of tweezers he found wedged in the back of the guest bathroom drawer. How could he do that and you not be able to put a real car back together after a slight fire issue? I mean, how hard could it be?

Okay, it's going to be real hard. Wincingly, eye-wateringly difficult. And expensive. 22 gees for the car looking like the thanksgiving turkey after your no-good brother-in-law has had his way with it is only the beginning.

Parts for this bull are going to cost a wing and a leg, pilgrim.

You could go to Pick A Part every day for 60 years, and never come across a Countach. Sure, lots of Hyundais, an occasional 914, maybe an odd Merkur, but never a child of Sant'Agata Bolognese.

Until today.

There it sits, in between an X1/9 and an old Peugeot 405. The nose is demolished, but slithering around to the back, you see that it is perfect, even down to the four up-turned chrome pipes dominating the center.

Setting down your tool kit, you bow your head in prayer, thankful for the bounty you are about to dismantle.

As you whisper a quick amen, your attention is drawn to a noise in front of you, a creeech, creech, creech. Opening your eyes, you see the source of the sound; a small hispanic man has mounted the Lambo and is proceeding to remove the engine cover with a socket wrench.

"No!" you shout, leaping at the man and knocking him off the car causing him to land on the 405 denting the roof and releasing a family of mimes from the trunk, where they had been living. "Sacre bleu!" one exclaims hiking up his tight black pants and leaping over a discarded civic hood.

This gives you and idea, and while shooing away other intended dismantlers like the last man on earth protecting his fortification from the zombie hordes, you begin to build a barricade around the Countach. Grabbing the civic hood you slam it into the ground behind the lambo, and then locate another, and another. By sunset, you have completely encircled the Countach, and have pushed the fiat and pug off their stands, preventing an easy perch for someone to jump onto your prize.

You order pizza, tipping the delivery guy extra for bringing it into the yard, and then hunker down for the night while disassembling the half-shafts and rear suspension mounts.

The first wave hits when the moon moves behind the clouds. You can hear them shuffling out there and banging weakly against your fortifications. Lamborains. . . lamborains they moan as they attempt to find a point of entry.

You think you have them at bay, and are considering pulling the scissors doors closed and bedding down for the night when a pale hairy arm juts through the opening in the Z28 hood immediately next to your head. Shrinking back and letting out a little girl squeal, you push the arm away and cover the hole with a faux wire wheel cover from a '77 Granada you have handy.

The emergency averted, you close the door and nod off to sleep.

The next morning you are awakened by a blast of light suddenly shining into the car. To your horror, your fortress has been breached! The hoods in the front have been pulled apart and torn asunder by what you can't even imagine.

A loud sound now fills the air, and a dark shape looms into view. A forklift, tossing the hoods every which way and that, rolls to a stop in front of your lair. The driver emerges, orange vest and helmet, and pulls his ear protectors off. "Hey buddy, what'cha doin' in there? You can't stay in there, you can't live in that old Saab!" Old saab?! What was he talking about? This is a Lamborghini Countach, a limited production automobile and the rarest find in the lot and . . . why is there an eagle on the steering wheel? What the? You look around, it's not a Countach, it's a Saab 9000. And a pretty ratty one to boot. The pee small hits you like a wave and you gag and fall out of the car onto the oily dirt below. "But I thought it was a . . . I was sure it was a . . . " "There, there buddy," the forklift driver puts an arm around your shoulder. "Happens all the time, folks come here, thinking they'll find the answer to that project They've been slaving over all those years, and then they kinda' snap." You're the first one to actually try and live inside one while he took it apart though, that's a new one." You thank him for his kindness and eat a last piece of the previous-nights pizza while sitting on the bumper of your imaginary Lamborghini, and think that this day sucks. Then you head for the exit, opening your tool box to the guy that checks such things and you head home.

"Maybe", you think to yourself, "Maybe tomorrow. Yeah, that's it, tomorrow!" and suddenly you're thinking the day isn't so bad after all.