The Lamborghini Countach. In the seventies the highlight of Lamborghini and the car that every enthusiast dreamed of. Of which every adolescent boy had a poster above his bed. It all started with a new design language that was drawn up by Marcello Gandini in Bertone’s design studio. Angular but sleek, wedge-shaped racers. As early as 1968, Gandini designed the Alfa Romeo Carabo, which closely resembles the Countach. And the same design concept, now of the Lancia Stratos (the Zero), shone at the 1970 Turin Motor Show. A year later, the Lamborghini Countach LP500 Concept was unveiled in Geneva.
Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted a new supercar to succeed the successful Miura. Although he preferred to build comfortable fast GTs, he realized that such a supercar à la Miura could bring in money again. Because the design was so radical, it took another three years before a production-ready model was developed. In 1974 the Countach appeared on the market as LP400 – with gullwing doors. Most people have the image of later models in their minds, with thick wheel arches and exorbitant wings. But the first model was special clean, as you can see in the picture.
The term ‘LP’ is the first to appear on the Lamborghini Countach
The LP in the name stands for Longitudinal Posterior, a medical term from Italian. Which – off the cuff, we’re not doctors – has to do with building your spine for vertical strength. With Lamborghini it stands for the way in which the engine is placed: longitudinally, in the back. Undoubtedly contributing to the vertical rigidity of the car’s structure.
The Countach turned out to be a hit, although it got off to a slow start. When production started in 1974, Lamborghini did so poorly that owner Ferruccio sold his last shares and withdrew. But in the end, the Countach remained in production for no less than sixteen years. The sleek body evolved over time into something that resembles a spaceship. Especially to boost the performance and safety of the car. The prices of a second-hand Countach start at around 250,000 euros. But if you really want a cool copy with few kilometers, then count on half a million or more.
What does Countach stand for?
The name doesn’t come from some mad bull. It comes from the word contacc from the northern Italian region of Piemonte, which literally means ‘plague’. But it’s also an exclamation that means something like ‘great’. Kind of like we use “fat” for something that’s pretty, and not necessarily thick or slippery. You pronounce it like koentak. It seems that one of the engineers making the prototypes cried all day. Which was taken over by the rest and later corrupted into Countach.
Specifications Lamborghini Countach
3.929 cc V12
0-100 km/u in 5,4 s
top 288 km/u
LP500 Prototype (3 pieces)
LP400 (1974-1978, 157 pieces)
LP400S (1978-1982, 3,929 cc V12, 355 hp, top 254 km/h, 237 units)
LP500S (1982-1985, 4,754 cc V12, 375 hp, top 283 km / h, 321 pieces)
LP500S QV (1985-1988, 5.167 cc V12, 420 of 455 pk, top 298 km/u, 610 stuks)
25th Anniversary (1988-1989, 5.167 cc V12, 455 pk, top 298 km/u, 650 stuks)
Evolution (1987, 5,167 cc V12, 500 pk, top 320/330 km / h, 1 stuks)
Alfieri (1984-1987, 1 piece)