[Italian Classics] Countach's legend.

The Lamborghini Countach is certainly one of the most legendary Lamborghini. It has been listed by Sports Car International as the #3 of the Top Sports Cars of the 70s, and as #10 of the Top Sports Cars of the 80s. During its sixteen years of life (from 1974 to 1990), only 2500 cars were produced. It also popularized some sports cars trends still used today, such as the sharply angled look and the cabin-forward design concept. It has also been done many times in all scales of diecasts.

How it started
1971 Concept.

The name Countach is an exclamation of the Piedmontese language, generally used when a man see a beautiful woman. Designed by the legend Marcello Gandini of Bertone (designer of the legendary Miura), the Countach was a wide and not very long car. It is still recognized as the most outrageous Lamborghini designed in the history. Scissors doors were giving an astonishing effect. Main problem of the cas was its reliability... a thing that mainly improved in new Lambos (especially when Audi bought the brand.) The Countach uses a tubular space frame, as in the racing cars. It gave a small weight of only 1400 kg, mainly because of the fiberglass body.
The original LP400 one.

The first prototype of the Countach was the LP500: introduced in 1971 in the Geneva Motor Show. It even had NASA air-ducts on the side! The original Countach was sunflower yellow, but we often see red or silver color. The Countach entered in production with the code-name LP400 in 1974, with a 353 hp engine. It had a narrow front end, easily distinguable from the further series. Lamborghini only produced 158 units from 1974 to 1977.

In 1978, the LP400S was introduced. The most important changes were the common-see front and rear spoilers. Wider tires were also added at the back of the car. The car was renamad as LP500S in 1982, and the engine was upgraded to 4 liters to 5 liters. It's the most "common" Countach encountered. In 1985, the car was finally introduced in America, with a basic price of 100 000$ (that was a lot of money in those years!). The engine had been upgraded to 420 bhp, with the same original weight.
How can you resist to such a beautiful car?

Last Countach produced.
The final Countach was the one introduced in 1988, named the 25th Anniversary Edition. It is recognizable by its way more futuristic style, and its usual color was the flashy silver. Car has only been produced for 2 years, before being replaced by the Diablo in 1990.

Diecast time!

Of course, the best diecasts of Countach has been done by Kyosho or AutoArt, but eh, they're really expensive, and i prefer having less expensives diecasts, but at least have them! The older diecasts of Countach i have are the Majorettes one. Introduced in the 200 line as the number 237, the Majorette has mainly been produced as a racing Countach, but there's also a rarer stock black one. I had this one when i was a kid, but it was so much in bad state that i recently decided to restore it. I added a few details such as the front and back lights. I also tried to keep the original color, even if it's an odd color for a Countach. The green interior is a bit odd too... But it's an overall nice one.

I bought the racing one last year in a big Majorette lot. I'm not a fan of this casting, as it is somekind unrealistic and with bad tampos. The rear spoiler is also horrible. That's more of a "for-kid" casting.

2 Majorettes together.

On the other hand, Matchbox made a LP500S replica in 1985, and it survived in the line until 2000. I have the red 1996 edition, and i must say it's a really well-done casting, even if some of those Tyco years Matchbox were awful. Tampos are missing and the wheels aren't a so-good fit with the car, but the overall feeling of the real one is really well reproduced. I have this one since i'm a kid, and i'll surely keep it.

The latest diecast i have is a replica of the 25th Anniversary edition offered by Hot Wheels in its Speed Wheels line last year. In my opinion, this is the definition of an awesome casting. Wheels, painting, the overall shape... it really looks like the original one. I was reluctant to buy it because i already had 2 Countach at this time, but tentation won when i saw how much it was well-done. Even tampos are high-quality.

Enjoy the pics! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment