So fierce were the 1970s lamborghinis wildest sports car turns 50!

So fierce were the 1970s lamborghinis wildest sports car turns 50!

Beautiful is different. Sorry, this sports car has nothing to do with Italianita and grace. If this car were a dog, it would be a particularly wild promenade mix. It's a flying saucer with parts from the junkyard. Terrible, spectacular, unique and a great moment in automotive engineering – that is the Lamborghini Countach. Ugly as night for most, but unquestionably one of the most breathtaking cars ever made. No Lambo is more Lambo than the Countach.

But you'd be bending reality if you fell into jubilant arias at the thought of the almost unpronounceable Countach alone. When the successor to the famed Miura first saw the light of day, the sports car world trembled to its core. Ferrari shook the unspectacular 512 BB out of its sleeve, Porsche shone with the first 911 Turbo. At Aston Martin and Maserati, on the other hand, there was disbelief and shock. To say that the Countach's angular rocket design was polarizing would be an understatement.

Unbeatable – in a quartet

Even in a game of quartets in the schoolyard, no one could stand up to it. Anyone who outdid his opponents in a Countach didn't need to ask for homework for the next two days. More cylinders, more displacement were hard to find back then. The 4.14-meter-long super sports car was one of the fastest anyway.

In the circle of the buddies one could reap recognition with the card game, but one was not loved with the Italian thunder bird. It was hardly different in reality. Limbo experience was an advantage when getting into the Countach with its 1.07 meters height. Whoever drove it was different. Quick, certain. But also more extravagant than allowed. A Countach was driven by anyone who found an Aston, a Monteverdi, a Porsche or a Ferrari too boring.

Through the city with roar

It still works as an excitement today, when the roaring V12 disappears past the Bavarian State Chancellery in the direction of the museum district. Downshifts via a hooky stick; top left in gear number two. Even in the dry, the 345 rear tires hardly bring the power to the asphalt. Employees of the municipal transport services look up. Applaud the black UFO only in secret. But if they knew how uncomfortable you are sitting in the wild Italobolide at 1.90 meters and over 100 kilograms – they would clap. Bravo!

No comparison to today, where Lamborghini, with Audi's grace, is committed to sensible all-wheel drive. Valentino Balboni, the brand's chief test driver for decades, still shakes his head about this today. "I have driven nothing better than the Miura. That was a car – no one can match it. Not even the current models," he recalls. Because all-wheel drive, automated racing transmissions and electronic assistants make emotional racers like the Aventador or Huracan as fast as they are predictable. Wild was yesterday – and the Countach was probably the last of its kind.

The wildest on the road

On the highway to Garmisch, the Lambo shows what it can do. The clutch requires a strong left thigh. The missing power steering makes the ride a workout. The bogeyman of every eco-movement plows southward through the cheap speedometer scale from the Fiat shelf. There were easier racers in tight corners or at the limits. The wild rear, the small steering wheel and mighty steam on the rear axle. Taming a Lambo? Almost impossible – then as now. Professional footballers loved it, stars and starlets loved to park it in their driveways just as much as the red-light milieu, which loved to chauffeur the Countach in a colorful way.

It is often forgotten what an excellent sports car the mega Lamborghini actually was. This is most evident in the 1988 to early 1990 vintages. The special edition for the 25. Birthday sold a staggering 658 units. Has long been more sought after than ever. Modified front and side spoilers as well as modified air intakes distinguish the special model externally from the Countach Quattrovalvole introduced in 1985, in which four-valve technology was used for the first time.

All hell breaks loose not only on the highway

The most famous Countach, however, is not one of the 658 models in the 25-series edition, but rather an earlier model from 1979. The Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S with chassis number 1121112 was one of the main automotive characters in the 1981 action comedy "All hell breaks loose on the highway". 40 years after the release of the legendary film, the National Historic Vehicle Register of the U.S. Library of Congress added the black Bolide to the list of just 30 vehicles that are considered to be of national significance to the United States of America.

The last Countach was finally produced on 4. Produced July 1990 and rolled right into the attached museum while the first of its successor, the Diablo, rolled off the assembly line. Even non-25 editions of the Countach from the late 1980s quickly cost a quarter of a million francs. Even the visually and technically often denigrated versions of the late seventies and early eighties are no longer available for five-figure sums.

Keeping your senses in check

Anyone who has the opportunity to drive one of the last examples can count themselves lucky. It's cramped, getting in is hell, and parking in reverse is best done with the door open and sitting on the left side of the door sill – limbo, after all. The limits of driving dynamics are set by the driver alone, who should be more of a pilot than a license holder. 0 to 100 km/h in under five seconds is feasible – if you have your senses and motor skills in check. In the back, the 5.2-liter twelve-cylinder roars at you, probably to spur you on to finally step on the gas more.

More, always more, until it goes no more – the 455 hp make everything possible. The maximum torque of over 500 Newton meters is reached at 5.200 tours somehow whizzed by. Might be the deafening noise. The increasing monkey heat in the cockpit lie. One is disgusted. Completely taken. Only at 290 km/h on the highway the end of the spectacle would be reached. The hands are damp, no wet, and it is just crazy. More, more. And want to have.

Parking? A horror.

The demon is parked at the Siegestor in Munich. Parking is even forward the horror. The steering heavy like a medicine ball, in addition one sees exactly nothing. Fortunately, others are paying attention – the Munich crowd is flocking around the Countach as if it came straight from space. Turning the ignition key and off. The door swings upwards, and only now you feel that through the three-piece windows there was only a tired breeze in the interior. This car takes your breath away – one way or another.

Congratulations on the 50. Birthday, dear Countach. You can tell – fortunately. And we're curious to see if your eponymous successor will take our breath away as well.

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