Lamborghini Countach LP500 Recreated
Lamborghini’s Countach LP 500 prototype has been reincarnated by the factory. First seen at the March 1971 Geneva Motor Show, the LP 500 Countach concept car stole the show. Conceived as a replacement for the Miura, it formed the template for the production Countach LP 400 of 1974 but the LP 500 prototype was sacrificed in crash tests in March 1974 and subsequently disappeared.
At the end of 2017, a Lamborghini aficionado asked if the factory could construct a ‘new’ LP 500. Lamborghini’s Polo Storico division agreed and invested over 25,000 hours of work in the car. With nothing left of the original LP 500, photographs, documents, reports of meetings, original drawings and even memories of people at the time contributed to establishing every detail as accurately as possible.
Using 1970s production methods, a platform chassis was recreated, completely different to the tubular frame of the production Countach. Traditional ‘battilastra’ methods and hand tools were also used to fabricate the sheet metal bodywork. The interior includes reproductions of the original 1971 illuminated instruments. For the mechanical side, original Lamborghini spare parts and restored components were used where possible; where not, new parts were built.
Lamborghini Centro Stile, led by Mitja Borkert, assisted. She said: “To arrive at the car that debuted in Geneva in 1971, a 1:1 scale styling model was developed, which along with the car itself was lost over time, but extensive photographic evidence of it remains. The biggest challenge was to create the exact volume of the car, and for this we used the opportunity to take a 3D scan of our LP 400 (chassis 001), which was an enormous source of information. It took us 2000 hours of work to arrive at the final model.”
The original yellow colour was identified as Giallo Fly Speciale, while Pirelli reconstructed the original Cinturato CN12 tyres in 245/60 R14 (front) and 265/60 R14 (rear) sizes, with the original tread pattern but modern compounds and structures.
The ‘new’ LP 500 made its debut at the recent Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann commented: “Bringing the reconstruction of the first Countach to the concept class 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.”