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By Ben Selby
The original prototype Lamborghini Countach is back from the dead.
After decades of being out of the limelight, and 25,000 hours of work undertaken by Lamborghini’s Polo Storico restoration department, an exact recreation of the LP500 Countach concept which blew everyone away at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show is alive and kicking.
After its ground breaking debut in Geneva, the LP500 Countach became an overnight sensation.
However, during the development period of what would eventually become the production Countach LP400, the LP500 concept was destroyed during crash testing. It soon after vanished mysteriously.
The project to resurrect the LP500 was given the go in 2017 after an avid classic car collector asked Lamborghini if they would be willing to recreate the LP500 concept.
The car has been entered in the concept and prototypes class at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este which co-incides with the 50th anniversary of the Countach, and the reveal of its modern counterpart.
“The Countach reinvented high-performance cars,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “Bringing the reconstruction of the first Countach to the concept class of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in the year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this model, is something extraordinary because it allows us to admire the legendary 1971 LP 500 in person for the first time in so many years.”
The team at Polo Storico had their work cut out for them as the project began. “The collection of documents was crucial,” says Giuliano Cassataro, Head of Service and Polo Storico. “There had been so much attention paid to all the details of the car, to their overall consistency and to the technical specifications.”
After gathering as many photos, documents, original design drawings and head knowledge of people involved at the time as possible, the work began.
The platform chassis, body and interior were constructed while in keeping with the hands-on production techniques of the time. Lamborghini even had Pirelli recreate the same Cinturato CN12 tires found on the LP500 when it made its debut.
Many original Lamborghini spares were used or rebuilt from scratch to ensure the finished product was as accurate as possible. PPG even replicated the original “Giallo Fly Speciale” yellow paint used on the original.
It is epic to see and hear the car which spawned the supercar as we know it today. However, don’t expect this icon to be parked outside your local on a Saturday night anytime soon.