Which Is Faster, Part 2: A 1957 Corvette Or A 1978 Lamborghini Countach LP400S?

Corvette 1957 white crop-vert

Our previous virtual drag race between the Countach and Camry had the Camry winning by a hair. Of course, some thirty years separated the two, which showed how much progress has been made. But how about we go the other direction, back some twenty years before Countach, like a 1957 Corvette, rolling on skinny little bias-ply 6.50-15 tires? Lets line up the two at the virtual staging lights and place our bets.

We’ll pick the 1978 Countach LP400S, which turned in the following stats, based on two different tests:

1978 LP400S  0-60:   5.8 sec.    1/4 mile:   14.3 sec.

LP 400S (year unstated):  0-60:   5.9 sec.   1/4 mile:   14.6 @ 101 mph

And for the ’57 Corvette, with its new fuel injected 283 (4.7 L) V8 and four speed transmission, there’s a detailed test that Road and Track did.  Admittedly, the Corvette was optioned to make best use of its new engine, which was rated at 283 gross hp, or roughly some 240-250 or so net hp. The Countach was rated at 355 PS, or 353 Bhp. The Corvette, although pretty light at 2880 lbs, was heavier than the the 2646 lbs listed weight of the LP400s. Here’s how the Corvette did:

1957 Corvette FI:  0-60:   5.7 sec.   1/4 mile:   14.3 sec.

Both cars had a similar final drive ratio, 4.11 for the Corvette; 4.09 for the Countach. That allowed both of them to make the 0-60 run in first gear.

Top speed? Well, as previously discussed, there is some considerable disagreement about the Countach’s actual top speed. It’s listed as 181 mph, but according to tests, actual top speed was in the 158-160 mph range.

The Corvette, lacking an overdrive 5th gear, topped out at 132 mph @6500 rpm. But with different rear end gearing, it had been driven to 150+ mph.

There’s little doubt that the Countach’s smaller 4 liter V12, was hampered by its lower torque (260 lb.ft) produced at higher rpm (5500) than the Chevy’s 290 lb. ft. @4400 rpm had an effect.

Given the lack of statistical significance in the results, we’ll be generous and call it a tie. But the Corvette’s status as the world’s fastest car at the time was secured.

Corvette 1982-vert

Playing with these 0-60 times at zeroto60times.com can be…amusing. Speaking of Corvettes and Camrys, how about we face of the 1982 Corvette against a 1987 Camry 2.0 four cylinder?

1982 Corvette:   0-60:  9.2 sec.

1987 Camry 2.0:  0-60:  9.1 sec.

Ok; enough already….