Lamborghini has recreated its long-lost Countach LP 500 concept to mark the 50th anniversary of its headline-hitting appearance at the Geneva Motor Show.
- Countach LP 500 concept replica made with period-correct components
- Construction method also matched with era for authenticity
- Public debut made at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Lamborghini Countach LP 500 concept: what was it?
The 1971 show car gave the first clues of Lamborghini’s successor of the legendary Miura supercar – with its Gandini-penned wedge silhouette – unlike anything they had done before.
Following its appearance at Geneva, the concept played a role in the three-year development of the production-ready Countach LP 400, before it was used for crash tests and getting scrapped.
Now Lamborghini’s Polo Storico historic division in Italy has built a faithful LP 500 replica from the ground up, using period-correct components and with rigorous attention to detail of the concept’s unique construction and dimensions.
Lamborghini Countach LP 500 concept: how was it recreated?
Polo Storico even adhered to the construction methods used by Lamborghini at the time – like panel beating by hand – to ensure complete authenticity. However, they used modern scanning software to analyse photographs of the original concept, to copy its proportions exactly.
Giuliano Cassataro, the head of Polo Storico, said: “The collection of documents was crucial. There had been so much attention to detail on the car, to the overall consistency and technical specifications.”
He and his team relied on a wealth of archive material – including sketches, photographs and even meeting notes – as well as the memories of the original car’s creators to build the recreation.
It even features the LP 500’s unique tubular frame, as opposed to the more advanced set-up that would go into production in 1974 along with the same illuminated gauges in the cabin.
The original-specification period correct V12 is present and was built using a mixture of spares, restored or completely pre-fabricated parts.
Most notably, Lamborghini contracted Pirelli to create a one-off set of 1971-specification Cinturato CN12 tyres, albeit using a more modern compound and structure.
The paint colour, however, is an exact match of that worn by the LP 500 concept: Giallo Fly Speciale.
Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini’s head of design, was charged with styling the recreation. He explained the painstaking process undertaken by his team: “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,” Borkert said. “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.”
Now complete after a total of 25,000 hours of work, the LP 500 has made its public debut at the Italian Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
2021 Lamborghini Countach
The Italian carmaker has also revived the Countach nameplate for a new series based on the Aventador’s platform, though with an 800hp, 6.5-litre hybrid V12 engine and bespoke styling. Only 112 examples of the new Countach LPI 800-4 will be made, and with all of them being left-hand drive, none will make it to our shores.