Lamborghini has rcr the prototype of the Countach LP 500


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The Countach LP 500 is a complete reconstruction, carried out by the Polo Storico of Automobili Lamborghini which required more than 25,000 hours of work on behalf of a major collector. This unique model will be presented in the class reserved for concept cars at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Countach with such a beautiful achievement is a magnificent gift allowing the legendary LP 500 to be admired like never before since 1971. The car, which immediately became the star of the Geneva Motor Show, was published in magazines around the world . This new model, designed to replace the legendary Miura, wrote a spectacular new page in automotive history, both for its technology and its design. After three years of development, the LP 500 was sacrificed during crash tests in March 1974 and then disappeared.

At the end of 2017, a vintage car enthusiast and important Lamborghini customer asked Polo Storico if there was any possibility of creating a reconstruction of the Countach LP 500, a legendary model known only from photographs of the time.

The first few months were spent acquiring all available equipment and doing a thorough analysis. The collection of documents was crucial, underlined Giuliano Cassataro, head of department and Polo Storico. « There had been so much attention paid to all the details of the car, their overall consistency and to the technical specifications. » Photographs, documents, meeting reports, original drawings and memorabilia of some of the protagonists of the time: all of this helped to establish the form and function of each detail as precisely as possible. The support of the Fondazione Pirelli was also fundamental in providing a historical record allowing the recreation of the tires fitted to the original LP500 model.

Work begins on the platform chassis, which is completely different from the tubular chassis of the Countach models that will follow. In addition to rethinking it physically, Polo Storico had to decide which work system to use to build it in order to respect the production methods of the time. The same procedure was used for the bodywork, with various modern technological instruments used for its analysis and definition. Once the threshing phase of the sheet has been reached, technology has given way to the traditional Italian system, produced by the battilastra with its creativity and tools. A similar process was followed for the interior, which included the clear diagnostic instruments, as shown on the 1971 prototype.

For all mechanical components, as in 1971, original Lamborghini spare parts or period restored components were used, or by default, parts were completely redone.

For the historic reconstruction part of the original design, Polo Storico turned to the Lamborghini Centro Stile where the team led by Design Manager Mitja Borkert got to work on a very ambitious project. « The LP 500 is of paramount importance to Lamborghini because it gave birth to the design DNA of all subsequent models. » says Mitja Borkert. To arrive at the car that debuted in Geneva in 1971, a 1: 1 scale style model was developed, which along with the car itself has been lost over time, but there is still a lot of photographic evidence left. . This is the same approach with which we decided to approach the project. From period publications, images on registration cards, and other material recovered from Polo Storico, we were able to reconstruct the mathematics required to create the first 1: 1 scale model. The biggest challenge was to create the exact volume of the car, and for that we took the opportunity to do a 3D scan of our LP 400 (chassis 001), which was a standard source of information. It took us 2000 hours of work in all to arrive at the final model, with lines that satisfied us. The same procedure was followed for the interior.

The collaboration with Pirelli existing since 1963 to rebuild the tires fitted to the LP 500 prototype has proved invaluable. Thanks to the images and materials preserved in the archives of the Fondazione Pirelli, it was possible to use the original plans of the Cinturato CN12 tire fitted on the LP 500 for its Geneva debuts. From these documents, the technicians of the Milanese company set out to create the Cinturato CN12 of the Pirelli Collezione range, today’s range of tires dedicated to the most emblematic cars built between 1930 and 2000, which preserve the originality of rubber by combining a vintage image with modern technology. Specifically, the Pirelli Cinturato CN12 tires for the Lamborghini Countach LP 500 were supplied in sizes 245 / 60R14 for the front and 265 / 60R14 for the rear, and are now fitted with the same tread pattern and same aesthetic as in the 1970s, but with a modern composition and structure.

For the choice of color, the PPG records proved to be crucial, allowing to identify, after careful analysis, the exact composition to produce the yellow color used, identified as Giallo Fly Speciale.

Read our report on the Lamborghini Countach


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