December 1, 2021

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Unique Car

Lamborghini reconstructs Countach prototype for wealthy collector

The original 1971 car, destroyed during crash testing, exists once again in this new form

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Lamborghini early October pulled the covers off of a complete reconstruction of its first-ever Countach, a 1971 LP 500 prototype. It is the culmination of a one-off project that took over 25,000 hours to complete.

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It all started in 2017 when someone Lamborghini describes as an “important collector” – undoubtedly one backed by a hefty bank balance – approached Lamborghini and asked if the long-lost LP 500 Countach prototype could be recreated in its exact form. The task fell to Automobili Lamborghini’s Polo Storico, a unit committed to preserving the historical heritage of the House of the Raging Bull.

Thus began another chapter for the world-famous V12 flagship that debuted at the 1971 Geneva Auto Show. That year, the Countach prototype was the undisputed star of the show, and spurred on by the interest it generated, Lamborghini went to work on a production version that was eventually unveiled in 1974.

Reconstructing the LP 500 prototype was no easy task, especially since the original one was destroyed during crash tests in 1974. Lamborghini Polo Storico had to rely on photographs, archived documents and interviews with people around at the time. The external bodywork alone took over 2,000 hours to complete, and was all hand-beaten metal, just as with the original car.

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The Countach masterpiece was manufactured from parts that were either original, restored, or reproduced from scratch, mimicking the original as much as possible. Pirelli was brought on board to help with an updated version of the Cinturato CN12 tires. At the same time, archives from paint maker PPG revealed the exact composition for the Giallo Fly Yellow Speciale paint used for the original Countach.

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Curiously though, there was no mention of the engine used by Lamborghini. The original prototype had a 5.0-litre V12 that was dropped in favour of a more reliable 4.0-litre unit in the production version. Lamborghini’s video on its website confirms that this recreation is no dummy vehicle, though, and is driven by a gloriously sounding powerplant, whatever that is.

The car is currently on display at the ongoing Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, an exclusive event that celebrates vintage and classic automobile icons. It is the perfect platform to showcase such a special car, one described by Stephan Winkelmann, current Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, as “an icon that still inspires contemporary Lamborghinis today.”

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