Posts Tagged ‘countach’

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There are too many icons from the 1970’s but some will remain in our minds forever. Glam-rock, flares, tank-tops and the Lamborghini Countach are freeze-framed for eternity.

Any self-respecting petrol-head with a spare bedroom wall to hang the Athena posters on would have given centre-stage to the one featuring the Countach. The car was white and it was car-porn. Yours truly remembers it well.

Even better than having the poster was to one day see a Countach in the flesh and one day it happened, in Carnaby Street (or very near that at least). The car was red and matched the owner’s jacket. It attracted a large crowd and the sound ‘Wow’ was repeated constantly which roughly translated is what ‘Countach’ meant if you came from the Piedmont region in Italy. A visitor from Mars may just have well landed in front of us.

Today, the car is still likely to get the same reaction. Not because of its outrageous design but more so that it comes from the past. From around 40-odd years ago in fact. That is what boggles the mind these days. Park one next to a Pagani Huayra and see which car attracts the most attention. Have another look at the sharp, angular detailing of the design and then take a close look at the Aventador. The genes are obvious and the Countach set the blue-print for most Lamborghinis that followed it.

In its day the Countach was no slouch but by today’s hypercar standards a 0-60 mph time of slightly less than 6 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph seems a bit laid-back and more comparable to modern-day hot hatch performance figures. However, if road presence is a major factor then a Countach has it by the spade-full and not only did the car look sensational it sounded mental too.

A few decades ago nobody really gave a damn about how noisy your car was. Cherry-bomb exhausts and sawn-off silencers were high priorities for a spotty-faced adolescent looking to impress his mates in the pub car park. The louder the better so it went back then.

A Countach’s V12 woke up with a war-zone explosive sound that could vibrate the inside of your rib-cage. It was feral and primeval and made your neck-hairs stand upright. It was glorious and it attacked all of the senses. This is what made the Countach a hero of its day.

Today, the Jimi Hendrix of the car world is more likely to be found posing at a classic car event or sitting in an auction room as eye-candy for investment opportunists. It is likely that most owners of the few that were made have ever driven them, at least if they have then not very far. And who would want to anyway? On the UK’s congested roads and tight parking spaces the Countach would be a pig to navigate. The letter-box view from the cockpit and virtually no rearward vision would make for a very stressful driving experience let alone the recurring nightmare of damaging your very expensive purchase.

So how much would you have to pay for one today? Up until only a few years ago it was possible to buy one for well under £100k. Today you would need to spend at least double that for a decent example. It is strange that such an important car as the Countach would have arrived so late to the ‘appreciating classics’ scene but now it seems the sky is the limit depending on which model is up for sale. An early 70’s car with solid-gold provenance could probably write its own cheque.

Not many do come on the market but on the 26th – 28th February Silverstone Auctions will be featuring a rare right hand drive 1981 LP400S which was originally purchased by a certain Tim Dutton Woolley of Dutton Cars fame. The car appears to have a decent recorded history with plenty of paperwork to support the work carried out on the car over the years including various colour changes. The current-day Pearl Yellow finish suits this Countach and is a good match for the Oatmeal leather interior. Just look at those dinky 15″ Campagnolo wheels too!

Yep, still in love with the Countach so it seems that The Car Spy is about to make another poster purchase.

For more details of this Countach click here take a look at the information on the Silverstone Auction site

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Lamborghini is celebrating 50 years of making some sensational cars this year and so the story goes Ferruccio Lamborghini, who made tractors, told Enzo Ferrari his clutches were rubbish. Enzo got miffed, punched Ferry on the nose and sent him back to ploughing his potatoes. Mr Lambo decided that the only way to get even with the man who was building the most charismatic cars in the world was to build the most charismatic cars in the world….and the rest is history as they say.

It is arguable of course as to whether Ferruccio ever got close to realising his ambitions since The Raging Bull had always been the pub that everybody spoke about while drinking in The Prancing Horse.

A new act arrived in town, however, in 2003 and started putting bums on seats for the tractor maker. The pole dancer’s name was Gallardo.

Nobody could say that Ferruccio had ever made an ugly car. Quite the opposite, in fact. The Miura is a regular favourite in those ‘most beautiful car in the world’ polls. The issue seemed to be though that the only way Sant Agata felt it could beat Maranello was in the ‘mad design’ category.

Take the Countach, which apparently means ‘Eureka’ or “I found it!” – as pronouned by Archimides when he discovered the theory of water displacement. Lamborghini should have sent a team on University Challenge!

If you ever wanted people to point and stare at you, you either walked around stark naked with a spinning bow-tie or you drove a Countach. These days it will be an Aventador or a Sesto Elemento.

However, the Gallardo is ’sensible’ – for Lamborghini that is. It is also beautiful and it is one of our favourite cars ever. It is screwed together very well (courtesy of Audi) and it drives like a supercar should. That is why the tractor boys have never built so many of a particular model to come out of Sant Agata. The good news is that sometime early next year the second generation Gallardo is to be launched and word is that it will blow the competition away – we really hope that we won’t be disappointed.

Will it be better than an equivalent Ferrari? Who knows? Ferruccio and Enzo are probably trading blows at the pearly gates right now!

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento