The Lamborghini Countach LP 500 has returned to enter the class reserved for concept cars at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. It is a passionate reconstruction carried out by Automobili Lamborghini’s Polo Storico that required over 25,000 hours of work on behalf of an important collector. The contribution of the Lamborghini Centro Stile was fundamental in the reconstruction of the bodywork and supervision of the styling.
“The Countach reinvented high-performance cars,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, “and it became an icon in terms of stylistic language that even today, after decades, still inspires contemporary Lamborghinis. Bringing the reconstruction of the first Countach to the concept class of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in the year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this model, is something extraordinary because it allows us to admire the legendary 1971 LP 500 in person for the first time in so many years.”
At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1971, Automobili Lamborghini presented its “idea car”, the LP 500 Countach. The car immediately became the star of the show, and its photographs, which went viral, were published in major magazines around the world. This new model was conceived to replace the legendary Miura and wrote a new page in the history of the automobile, both for its technology and design. After three years of development, the LP 500 was sacrificed in crash tests in March 1974 and then disappeared.
At the end of 2017, a classic car enthusiast and important Lamborghini customer asked Polo Storico if there was any possibility of creating a reconstruction of the Countach LP 500, a legendary model known only through photographs of the time. For all the mechanical components, as in 1971, original Lamborghini spare parts or restored components were used or failing that, hence all elements were completely rebuilt for this new iteration. The first months were spent acquiring all the material available and undertaking an in-depth analysis. The work began on the platform chassis, completely different from the tubular frame of the Countach models that would follow.
In addition to physically redesigning it, Polo Storico had to decide which work system to use to build it to respect the production methods of the time. The same procedure was used for the bodywork, with various modern technological instruments employed for its analysis and definition. Once in the sheet metal beating phase, technology gave way to the traditional Italian system, carried out by the “battilastra” with his creativity and tools. A similar process was followed for the interior, including the lighted diagnostic instruments, as shown on the 1971 prototype.
For the historical reconstruction part of the original design, Polo Storico turned to the Lamborghini Centro Stile, where the team led by Mitja Borkert, Head of Design, set to work on a very challenging project. “The LP 500 is of paramount importance to Lamborghini because it gave rise to the design DNA of all subsequent models.” said Mitja Borkert.
The collaboration with Pirelli – in existence since 1963 – to reconstruct the tires mounted on the LP 500 prototype proved to be invaluable. Thanks to the images and materials preserved in the archives of Fondazione Pirelli, it was possible to use the original plans of the Cinturato CN12 tire fitted on the LP 500 for its Geneva debut. Specifically, the Pirelli Cinturato CN12 tires for the Lamborghini Countach LP 500 were supplied in the sizes 245/60R14 for the front and 265/60R14 for the rear and are now fitted with the same tread pattern and aesthetics as in the 1970s, but with a modern compound and structure.
The Italian carmaker has also revived the Countach nameplate for a new series based on the Aventador’s platform, with an 800hp, 6.5-litre hybrid V12 engine and bespoke styling. Only 112 examples of the new Countach LPI 800-4 will be made, and with all of them being left-hand drive.
Image Source: Pixabay