It all began at the end of 2017, when a prominent Lamborghini customer, and classic car collector, inquired about the possibility of reconstructing the Countach LP 500. The “Lamborghini Polo Storico” that debuted in 2015, who represents the famed Italian Automakers in-house restoration shop, was tasked with bringing back the LP500. They are also responsible for safeguarding Automobili Lamborghini’s historical identity.
Their primary objective is to repair and certify all Lamborghini vehicles manufactured prior to 2001. To that end, the “Polo Storico” is also in charge of maintaining the archives and developing new sources of knowledge in order to contribute to the development and preservation of all classic Lamborghinis. The premise was set then for a reincarnation of a legend, and what better time to do it than on the Countach’s 50th birthday.
A quick History lesson
Automobili Lamborghini debuted their Show Car, the LP 500 Countach, at the Geneva Motor Show back in March 1971. Designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini, the car was unquestionably the show’s star, and its images went viral and were featured in some of the world’s most prestigious publications. It changed the automotive landscape forever.
After all, this new model was supposed to replace the highly successful Miura and potentially had to write a new chapter in history, both in terms of technology and aesthetics. However, after three years of extensive development, the “LP 500” was destroyed in crash tests in March 1974, after which the car eventually vanished.
The involvement of the Centro Stile Lamborghini, which was in charge of the bodywork repair and styling oversight, was crucial to the project’s success. They relied on photos, documents, meeting minutes, original sketches, and the recollections of some of the time’s protagonists, who all helped to define the form and purpose of every single detail as precisely as possible.
“The Countach revolutionized high-performance cars. It also became an icon in terms of styling language, which continues to inspire modern Lamborghinis decades later. Bringing the first Countach to the Concorso d’Eleganza di Villa d’Este’s Concept class on the occasion of the model’s 50th anniversary celebrations is something special because it allows us to see the renowned 1971 LP 500 live for the first time in so many years.” – Stephan Winkelmann, CEO Automobili Lamborghini
Furthermore, data was gathered directly from those who were there at the moment. All of this has aided in determining the form and function of each and every feature of the car to the maximum extent possible. Pirelli’s involvement, which dates back to 1963, was also crucial in the reconstruction of the prototype “LP 500” tires. The original designs of the “Cinturato CN12” tire, which was installed when the “LP 500” was shown in Geneva, was replicated, thanks to pictures and other saved documents.
Work on the boxed frame began with a mixed structure, The platform frame, which was radically different from the tubular frame of the later “Countach” types, was the first step. In addition to physically redesigning it, Polo Storico had to pick a suitable method to utilize in construction in a bid to adhere to the time’s manufacturing practices.
A similar method was applied when it came to the bodywork as well, which was analyzed and defined using a variety of advanced technological devices. However, when it came to beating up the sheet metal, technology gave way for good old Italian craftsmanship, including the sheet metal beater, the “Battilastra,” his craft, and tools. When the time finally came to selecting the color, the PPG archives were invaluable, allowing the team to determine the specific composition utilized in the manufacturing of the color, dubbed “Giallo Fly Speciale.”
The interiors, which contain the glowing diagnostic instrumentation shown on the 1971 prototype, went through a similar process. For all mechanical components, original Lamborghini spare parts or repaired historical components were utilized, as was the case at the time. If these parts were unavailable, they were rebuilt from the ground up.
The Lamborghini Countach certainly is one of the most definitive supercars of all time. Its radical wedge-shaped design shook the world, and it was a car that was well ahead of its time. But a missing prototype of the original car would truly boggle any gear heads mind. Until now, that is. Thanks to Polo Storico, this LP500 has been given a new lease of life, and this example will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the all-time automotive greats.
Watch a video on the LP500s restoration Lamborghini put out, below
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