Lamborghini Countach (Bertone) (1971)
Critics agree that this is Gandini’s most famous work. Introduced in 1971, the car shocked the freshly outlived 60th generation. But this beauty, unlike her concept sisters, went into the series.
Avantgarde mechanics demanded no less daring “shell”-body. Based on the prevailing prerequisites, the Bertone designer Marcello Gandini decided to create a more uncompromising and revolutionary car than the Miura. The starting point was the prototype Alfa Romeo Carabo (Scarab) in 1968, which owes its name to the unusual shape of the doors that opened up. Outwardly, it resembled the movement of the wings of a scarab beetle. A further development of the idea was the Stratos Zero prototype that appeared in 1970, anticipating the design of many subsequent supercars of the eighties. Based on these two projects, Gandini created a body with a height of only 102 cm, stunning in its simplicity and originality.
When factory workers in Turin made a full-sized prototype, someone loudly exclaimed: “Countach!”, Which in the local (Piedmontese) dialect means both extreme condemnation and praise. Indeed, the design of this car shocked everyone around. After the graceful Miura, a “child” appeared, which contrasted so sharply with everything done before that people who saw it were immediately divided into two camps. Some were completely delighted, others he caused a storm of discontent. Such a bright name stuck to the car and subsequently received the status of its official name. Countach became the first car of the company (except, of course, for the 350 and 400GT models), the name of which had nothing to do with bulls or bullfighting.
The LP500 prototype was completed on the first day of the Geneva show. And he was immediately transported by truck through the Alps. And already on the second day of the car dealership, a lemon-yellow car appeared at the stand of the Bertone bodywork company. The demonstrator prototype was called the Bertone Countach LP500, where the alphanumeric abbreviation stood for Longitudinale Posteriore 5 litri (longitudinal rear 5 litres). To all of the above, it is worth adding that Lamborghini representatives were in no hurry to publicize their rights to the new car. The reaction of the public was absolutely contradictory, but there was not a single person whom Countach would have left indifferent. This played a decisive role in confirming for Lamborghini the correct choice of the heir to the Miura.