With it's wide and flat appearance the Countach changed the looks of sports car and became the template for future sports car all over the world.
By Henrik Malmberg | Automotive | 2015-12-04
Marco Gandini created a template for every “supercar” that would follow, the Lamborghini Countach LP400. The car had a sloping snout that appeared to descend directly out of its windshield in a single, extended plane. Minimal creases and scoops were added to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The unusual shape of the body—wide and flat—necessitated a new door arrangement; they would pivot up from the front hinge, in the manner of a lever or scissors, hence known as “scissor doors.” Nowadays, scissor doors are found at basically any sports car, but in the early 1970s, they were innovative and unusual.
The remaining problem of the prototype was its name, which was easily taken care of when one of the first people to see the car commented, “Countach!”. ”Countach” is a Piedmontese, a town in the northern part of Italy, expression and doesn’t really translate to any other language simply because it is an expletive used to convey a sense of startled astonishment or wonder. Which people felt when they saw the car for the very first time.
The Countach was displayed to the public for the first time at the 1971 Geneva Salon. It entered production for Europe in 1974, and then sent Stateside the following year. For the second time in less than a decade, Lamborghini redesigned the modern supercar.
This particular model of the Lamborghini Countach, the LP400 S Series III goes through auction via RM Sotheby's Driven By Disruption the 10th of december, were made in 1981 and has been authentically restored to period-correct specifications in the Sant’Agata area in northern Italy. The work was performed by ex-factory artisans, the very same who built this car when new in 1981, and under the direction of the head of the Lamborghini factory workshop, who worked for the company for 40 years.
Nearly every important supercar built since the first Countach, anywhere in the world, has been wide, flat, wedge-shaped, mid-engined, and had those “crazy doors”—and it all began with this incredible supercar.
Photos: Juan Fernando Martinez Silva (c) 2015 courtesy RM Sotheby's.
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