Lamborghini’s Original Countach LP 500 Prototype Brought Back to Life
A debut like no other has taken place at Villa d’Este’s Concours d’Elegance where Lamborghini’s reconstructed 1971 Countach LP 500 stopped the show. The vintage ride may look like it is from yesteryear, but the year on the title will read 2021.
When a custom order for the rebuild came in 2017, Polo Storico Lamborghini and Lamborghini Centro Stile began collecting old photographs, schematics, and interview notes to rebuild the super sports car. Now, in collaboration with Pirelli, the car has been brought back to life.
The car’s revival lands just in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the emblematic vehicle. Alongside the remake of the Countach LP 500, the marque also ushered in the festive celebration with a new take on the LPI 800-4.
The original prototype of the LP 500 was destroyed in a crash test in the 1970s. Unfortunately, the poor crash test performance resulted in the company scrapping the whole idea. However, this happened after the car took the world by storm on a PR blitz.
This is where Lamborghini’s YouTube teaser trailer opens – a little boy seeing the photo in the magazine while he gets his hair cut at an authentic Italian barbershop. The story fast-forwards decades later; the boy (now a man) commissions a custom order for the ride.
Videos of the car showcase its seductive roar, full of V12 power. A 3.9-liter unit is expected although the original car was a 5.0. The Sian-based hybrid supercar carries most of the old-school motifs through the end result. Lamborghini’s take is a true to the original as possible.
The car’s first claim to fame occurred in 1971 in Geneva. There, the car became the first mid-engined supercar, featuring an angular design that captivated fans. The buzz around the vehicle surmounted, but then fell when production was halted after the 1974 crash test failures.
The process of rebuilding this car took over 25,000 hours. The only way to piece together the blueprint for the car was to reference old images, documents, notebooks, plans, and sketches. A few testimonies from those on the frontlines also helped inform the build.
The Head of Service and Polo Storico, Giuliano Cassarto, explained that “The collection of documents was crucial,” reports Maxim.
To get started, the platform chassis was constructed. Although some modern production methods were utilized, traditional sheet metal shaping techniques were used to create the car’s body.
Pirelli got in on the action, slapping a set of new tires on the car, with the original tread pattern, for the wealthy collector awaiting a turn behind the wheel.
The striking gold hue of the car’s exterior is known as “Giallo Fly Speciale.” The bold color appropriately fits the year of the original, making the LP 500’s revival all the more riveting.
A reinvention like this knows no budget. As such, a price tag has yet to have been disclosed.
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