At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Lamborghini showcased the rebuilt Countach LP 500. This reconstruction was done by Polo Storico, the division of Lamborghini responsible for preserving the historic identity of the brand, and required over 25,000 hours of work. The Lamborghini Centro Stile was involved in reconstruction of the bodywork and supervision of the styling.
Conceived to replace the legendary Miura, the LP 500 Countach was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1971. After three years of development, the car was sacrificed in crash tests and then disappeared. At the end of 2017, a classic car aficionado 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 through photographs of the time.
Few months were spent on purchasing all the material available and undertaking an in-depth analysis. Photographs, documents, meeting reports, original drawings contributed to establishing the form and function of every single detail as accurately as possible. Fondazione Pirelli provided historical archive material to recreate the tires mounted on the original LP500 model. The Pirelli Cinturato CN12 tires were supplied in the sizes 245/60R14 for the front and 265/60R14 for the rear, and are now fitted with the same tread pattern and aesthetics as in the 1970s, but with a modern compound and structure.
Polo Storico had to decide which work system to use for building the car 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 sheet metal beating phase was reached, technology gave way to the traditional Italian system, carried out by the “battilastra” with his creativity and tools. A similar process was followed for the interior, which included the lighted diagnostic instruments, as shown on the 1971 prototype. Original Lamborghini spare parts or restored components of the time were used or completely rebuilt.
For the historical reconstruction part of the original design, Polo Storico joined forces with the Lamborghini Centro Stile team led by Mitja Borkert, Head of Design, set to work on a very challenging project.
The LP 500 is of paramount importance to Lamborghini because it gave rise to the design DNA of all subsequent models. 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. This is the same approach with which we decided to tackle the project. Starting from publications of the time, from images on homologation sheets and other material recovered from Polo Storico, we were able to reconstruct the mathematics necessary for creating the first 1:1 scale model. 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 altogether to arrive at the final model, with lines that satisfied us. The exact same procedure was followed for the interior. – Mitja Borkert.
The PPG archives made it possible to identify the exact composition for producing the yellow color used on the original car. It was identified as “Giallo Fly Speciale”.