1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400

1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Coupe
Coachwork: Bertone
Chassis #: JH4NA1154MT001187
The 1971 Geneva Show can be summed up in one word - 'Countach.' The word is an exclamation in the dialect of Northern Italy's Piedmont region. While everyone thought the dramatic prototype, LP500, was only a show car, its father, Giampaolo Stanzani remembers, 'We always intended to produce it.' The Countach's V12 sits longitudinally, and was decreased from the prototype's 5-liters to 3929cc in the production version, the LP400. Production began in 1974 with bodywork largely unchanged from the prototype, thus making it a show car for the street. Approximately 150 LP400s were made from 1974 to 1977.
1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Coupe
Coachwork: Bertone
Chassis #: 1120286
Engine # 1120316
Sold for $396,000 at 2008 Gooding & Company.
The origin of the name of the car is known, but not very clear. The person who shouted 'countach!' on first seeing it is not known, but the Piedmontese dialect expression, meaning roughly 'holy smokes!' was certainly appropriate.

The 157 first series LP400 cars were given the nickname, the Periscopo model, for the indentation in the roof, intended for the rear view mirror.

This 1977 Lamborghini LP400 Countach was built in the last year of production when only 40 cars were constructed prior to the introduction of the LP400S. This car has had only two owners since new and been driven just 12,000 miles. The first owner was a Los Angeles resident, and it shared the owners garage space with a 1964 Ferrari GTO and Miura SV.

The second owner of this car took procession in May of 1983. It has been featured on the cover of the December 1986 Road and Track Exotic Classics Special Issue, and featured in the book Lamborghini: he Spirit of the Bull by Paul W. Cockerham and the book Supercars (Enthusiast Color Series) by John Lamm. This car was shown at the 2007 Concorso in Monterey, California.

This car is painted in Rosso paint, has its original tool kit and jack, and the original spark plugs and wires.

In 2008, this Lamborghini Countach was brought to the Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, California where it was estimated to sell for $400,000 - $500,000. The lot was sold for $396,000, including the buyer's premium.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
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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