Fifty years after it stunned the crowd at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971, the original incarnation of the Lamborghini Countach is back. While the production version of the car didn’t arrive until 1974, the public was first rocked by the wedge-shaped reinvention of the supercar with the Marcello Gandini-designed Countach LP 500 prototype three years earlier. The car was a futuristic revelation that led the angular design revolution of sports cars over the next two decades, while also charting a new path forward for Lamborghini — one that the automaker continues to follow to this day. And now, Lamborghini has recreated the original LP 500 in remarkable detail.
The Lamborghini Countach LP 500 recreation came about at the request of “a classic car aficionado and important Lamborghini customer,” who, in 2017, asked the Italian marque’s classics restoration division, Polo Storico if they could recreate the first Countach prototype, as the original was destroyed in a crash test in 1974. Polo Storico and Lamborghini’s design house, Lamborghini Centro Stile, decided to take on the challenge and now, 25,000 man-hours later, they’re presenting the completed Countach LP 500 recreation. The first several months of the process were devoted to gathering as much information on the original car as possible — photographs, documents, meeting reports, original drawings, and even the memories of surviving craftsmen who worked on it. Pirelli was also brought in to recreate the tires, which they were able to do thanks to their own archival records. The car’s platform chassis involved some painstaking care to recreate, as it was entirely different from the tubular chassis used in production Countaches (Countachi?). Similar attention to detail was used in the recreation of the body and interior, with traditional production methods used as much as possible to accurately recreate the work environment of the early 1970s. For the mechanical components, original Lamborghini spare parts or restored components from the time period were used in most cases, with unavailable parts being completely rebuilt. Finally, the original color was recreated perfectly, after archival research determined it to be a shade of yellow called “Giallo Fly Speciale.”
The Lamborghini Countach LP 500 recreation is making its in-person debut this weekend in the concept cars class of the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este 2021 in Italy. Between this stunning reproduction and the new Countach unveiled by Lamborghini earlier this year, 2021 is shaping up to be a monumental one for fans of the legendary supercar.
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