Think of the most celebrated designs in automotive history, and the Lamborghini Countach is surely one of the most famous. This month marks 50 years since the very first iteration of the Italian supercar was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, heralded as the undisputed star of that year’s event.
The Countach LP 500 was unveiled at the 1971 motor show, finished in striking yellow, to follow as a successor to the peerless Miura SV, Lamborghini’s supercar of the time that had been perfected after five years of production. The Countach represented an era of bold, futuristic designs for the House of the Raging Bull, intended to position Ferruccio Lamborghini’s company at the forefront of style and technology.
The Countach project was initially named with internal code number LP112 – LP indicating the rear longitudinal position (‘Longitudinale Posteriore’ in Italian) of the 12-cylinder engine. The beautiful, clean, futuristic lines of the Countach were styled by Marcello Gandini, Design Director of Carrozzeria Bertone. Gandini was also responsible for the decision to use the scissor doors, which since that time have characterized the production of Lamborghini’s 12-cylinder models.
The final LP 500 that was seen in Geneva was a substantially different car than the Countach that would go into production in 1974. It had a platform frame rather than a tubular one, it was equipped with a 12-cylinder 4971cc engine, the air intakes had a shark gill design, and inside it featured sophisticated electronic instrumentation.
From 1974 to 1990, 1,999 Countachs in five different series were produced, representing a model that, in addition to ending up displayed on the bedroom walls of an entire generation and being used in dozens of films, allowed Lamborghini to survive the most difficult years of its history and to enter permanently into the annals of history.
Browse our current Countach stock here.