The Lamborghini Countach can be credited with having popularized, if not pioneered, the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look popular in many high performance super cars to this day. The 'cabin-forward' design concept, which pushes the passenger compartment forward in order to accommodate a larger engine, was also popularized by the Countach. The magnificent V-12 engine sits just ahead of the rear wheels, with the gearbox further forward; one actually sits alongside it. The drive is then taken back through the engine's sump to a differential mounted at the rear. Suspension is by double wishbones with coil-overs (twin at the rear). The ride is firm without undue discomfort and improves with speed.
On this main chassis, a lightweight steel superstructure supports the handmade aluminum body panels. With the door open and looking into the car you notice that the two seats are very narrow and low between the immense doorsills and broad beamed transmission tunnel. From the driver's seat you can see forward with the usual limitations of a 3ft 6inch high car. Rear vision is by interior mirror only.
This 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 is a low mileage coupe that has traveled just 7,250 miles since it left the Sant'Agata factory. It is one of just 150 LP 400's produced between 1974 through 1977. Very few were shipped to the United States.
This car is finished in its original 'amaranto' blood red paint and upholstered in tan leather. It is powered by a V-12 engine that has a sextet of factory Weber carburetors. It is clothed in an aluminum body over a tubular frame with many parts cast out of Elektron, a lightweight blend of steel and magnesium making this 937 lbs lighter than the later LP 5000 series. It is one of only 10-12 of the first cars featuring 'Periscope' rear-view mirrors built into the roof, hence the depression seen in the leading edge of the roof.
The 4-liter V-12 produces an astonishing 375 BHP at 8,000 RPM and is capable of a top speed of 180+ mph. In 2008, it was offered for sale at the 'Quail Lodge, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia' presented by Bonhams Auction. It was estimated to sell for $425,000 - 525,000, but left the auction unsold. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2008
This Lamborghini Countach LP400 'Periscopo' was originally delivered to Prince Bandar Bin Saud of the Saudi Royal Family. It is one of 157 examples produced and is finished in Tahitian Blue Metallic over Tan leather. Power is from a 5-liter engine utilizing 6 Weber carburetors and producing 375 horsepower. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2016
The Countach was the predecessor to the very successful Miura. The body was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, and given a mid-engine layout in two-door coupe configuration. It featured an attractive and curvaceous body with elegant lines and fitted with modern mechanical components and technology. The engine was mounted longitudinally and replaced the transverse layout of its predecessor. The transmission was now fitted in front of the engine offering excellent weight distribution. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a driveshaft, which ran in its own tunnel in the engine's sump. Top speed was achieved at nearly 200 mph with zero-to-sixty taking under six-seconds.
The Countach was first shown to the public at the 1971 Geneva Motorshow. It was dubbed the Countach LP500, for its five-liter powerplant. It was finished in an eye-catching bright sunflower yellow and had small air intake ducts. The production version, though similar in design, was a vast departure from the prototype version. The car customers received did not have the five-liter engine or the monocoque chassis. Instead, a four-liter derivative engine was mounted inside a tubular frame. Though the engine was smaller in displacement size, it was much more reliable and durable. The 5-liter unit had failed initial testing and was destroyed during a high speed test session. Part of the issue was the cars poor ability to keep the engine cool, which eventually resulted in larger air ducts.
The prototype car was destroyed in a European crash test demonstration. A sad end to a unique vehicle that could only be described as 'priceless' in the modern era.
The Countach had elegant lines that ran from the front to the rear in classic Bertone style. The only things disrupting those lines were the vehicles cooling vents, which were necessary to provide air to the engine. The doors opened in scissor-like fashion and added to the ambiance and exotic nature of the vehicle.
Two years after the Geneva Motorshow debut, the production version was ready for the customers. The cars were called the 'Countach LP400', again, in reference to the vehicles engine displacement size. The car remained in production for two decades; during that time five different versions and iterations of the Countach were offered. By 1982, a suitable five-liter engine had been created and could be found in the vehicles engine bay; three years later the engine evolved again, being given four-valve heads and increasing horsepower to 455 for the European versions.
The first individual to receive a Countach was an Australian who took procession in 1974. D. Milne was a member of the Australian Defense Force Transport Corps.
This car, along with most of the other cars built by Lamborghini had one purpose: To beat Ferrari. Mr. Ferruccio Lamborghini, a tractor manufacturer, had an argument with Enzo Ferrari. He had bought a Ferrari and had a complaint with the car. When he approached Enzo Ferrari with his comments, Enzo replied that the problem was with the driver and not with the car. He also remarked that Ferruccio was just a tractor maker and did not understand real engineering. The result was a super car dynasty.
The first series of Countach's were known as the LP400 followed by the LP400S in 1978. The engine was further increased in 1982 to 4.8 liters and the model designation changed to LP500s. The LP500S was Lamborghini's response to Ferrari's 'Boxer' car, the 365 GT4. It was called 'Boxer' because it used a horizontally opposed engine which resembled a boxer boxing. Ferrari's response to the LP500S was the Testarossa. Once again, Lamborghini answered by creating the Quattrovalvole that produced 455 horsepower.
Electric fans and large ducts located behind the door helped with keeping the mid-engine V-12 cool. By placing the engine in the middle, better handling was achieved through better weight distribution. The body was made entirely of alloy except for the fiberglass doors.
Trunk space was limited. Both the front and the rear had minimal compartments for storage.
A rear spoiler was optional and provided extra down force and stability. It also looked good as well.
In 1991, after twenty years of production, the Countach was laid to rest to make room for the new Diablo. There were 157 examples of the LP400 produced; 237 of the LP400S. 321 of the LP500S were created and 676 examples of the LP500S QV. The 25th Anniversary edition had some of the highest production figures of all the Countach's, second to the LP500S QV, with 650 examples being production. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
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