Among all the sports cars manufactured by Lamborghini, Lamborghini Countach is the most appreciated sports car introduced in production from 1974 to 1990. This car is a real pioneer of the wedge-shaped look of sports car. Moreover, the Sports Car International (a prestigious American car magazine) ranked the Lamborghini Countach third in the “Top Sport Cars of the 1970s” while the well known “Top Gear” magazine awarded it the gold medal when they built the “100 Sexiest Supercars of All Time” list.
The name of the car is related to an exclamation used by Italian men when they admire a beautiful woman. The history of Lamborghini Countach started when Nuccio Bertone took a look at the “Project 112” and decided that a prototype of the car will be publicly displayed at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show.
The car designer was the young and inexperienced Marcello Gandini who didn’t know much about the ergonomic and practical aspects of a car design, but in the end he did a great job. Lamborghini Countach had a wide and low shape, but wasn’t too long, only 163 inches wide. The angular body was manufactured from trapezoidal panels while the exterior design benefited from curves and a coke-bottle wing line.
The doors had the amazing “scissor doors” shape and the front was designed with horizontal hinges that made it possible for the doors to be lifted up and tilted forwards.
In fact, because of the style and the width, the engineers were obliged to use a tubular chassis that made it impossible for them to use conventional doors.
The prototype was progressively improved by adding more performance, tractability and handling in order to meet all the requirements. This process began with the first Lamborghini Countach manufactured. The car was equipped with vents needed to cool the engine, the well known NACA duct placed on the doors and rear fenders. Other additional features that suffered changes during the years were the spoilers, fender flares, bumpers and carburetor covers.
The first Lamborghini Countach model used a 4 liters engine as the Miura, but later on the car was equipped with a 5 liters engine while on the “Quattrovalvole” model the engineers chose to use a 5.2 liters engine with four valves for each cylinder. The engine of the first Lamborghini was in fact a V12 placed longitudinally. To improve the distribution of the weight, the engine was placed “backwards”. That made it possible for the gearbox to be placed in front of the engine.
All the Countachs manufactured by Lamborghini were equipped with six Weber carburetors until the 5000QV model was released. At that point the car started to be distributed to American customers and used the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. On the European market the carburetor model of the Countach was available until the Lamborghini Diablo was put on sale and replaced the Lamborghini Countach.
The Lamborghini Countach was manufactured in 2,042 units during its sixteen year lifetime and came in several different models, such as: prototype LP500 (only one car was built), LP400 (157 units), LP400S (237 cars), LP500S (321 units), LP5000QV (676 cars) and the 25th Anniversary model (650 units).
The Lamborghini Countach became an icon of great design because of its style and look which had a great impact on people. Even if the later Lamborghini cars impressed by their speed and performances, none of them were able to overcome the outrageousness and originality of the Countach.
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