First and last examples of the Lamborghini Countach ever produced come together at Pebble Beach
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One of the world's greatest-ever supercars dominated one of the world's greatest-ever car shows last week.
The Lamborghini Countach, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, got its own dedicated class at the 70th Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, from August 15-22.
Eight Countachs came out: six were brought by international collectors, while the other two, brought by Automobili Lamborghini and not judged in the Concours, were the very first (pictured above) and the very last Countachs manufactured.
“The Countach redefined the high-performance car sector and it has become an iconic representation of the style features that, still today, guide the creation of contemporary Lamborghinis. The Pebble Beach Concours is the perfect setting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this legendary car,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. He had just unveiled the brand-new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4, a car directly inspired by the 1971 Countach LP 500.
The Pebble Beach Countachs included the oldest surviving specimen, an LP 400 (chassis #1120001). The second prototype built and the first example of the LP 400 series, this is the car that — initially wearing red over black interiors — was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1973.
After being used in model development tests and featured in various magazines of the time, it was repainted in its current shade of Verde Medio (medium green) and fitted with Verde Chiaro (light green) interiors before being shown, still in 1973, at the Paris Motor Show, the IAA in Frankfurt, and the Earls Court London Show.
Sold shortly afterwards, it was abandoned in a barn in Switzerland for several years, before being found and purchased by Automobili Lamborghini in 2004. It has since been exhibited at the Lamborghini Museum of Technologies (MUDETEC) in Sant’Agata Bolognese.
It was joined Pebble Beach by the last Countach manufactured, an example of the 25th Anniversary model, which rolled off the production line on 4th July, 1990. Also coming from the MUDETEC, this car, in metallic silver with gray leather interiors, has always been owned by Lamborghini.
Six Countachs owned by private collectors were entered in the Pebble Beach Concours: three LP 400s (two from 1976 and one from 1977), one LP 400 S (1981), and two examples of the LP 5000 Quattrovalvole series, one built in 1985 and the other in 1986.
First in Class went to the 1981 Countach LP 400 S owned by American Robert Bishop, a car representing the 82-strong third series. Originally sold in the Middle East, in the unusual colour scheme of metallic green (Verde Metallizzato) over khaki (Kaki) interiors, it remained unregistered for years until it was sold to a Swedish enthusiast. After being carefully restored in Italy, where it was also exhibited at the MUDETEC in Sant’Agata Bolognese, it now lives in the US and is regularly driven.
Second place was taken by the 1976 Countach LP 400 “Periscopio”, currently owned by Mouse Motor in the US; this car, one of the only 152 “Periscopio” units ever produced, is still in completely original condition, wearing its very first yellow paint. Sold new in Italy in August 1976, it was immediately exported to the USA, where it was purchased by a Chicago enthusiast who used it very little.
It is rumoured that the first owner kept it in his living room for 14 years, before selling it back to the dealer. The latter exhibited it, static, for a further 14 years. However, from 2003, the car’s life changed as its next two owners got it running again.
Finally, the bronze went to the 1985 Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole in Seville Red (Rosso Siviglia) with Champagne interiors and a dark brown (Marrone Testa di Moro) dashboard, currently owned by American collector Jeffrey Ajiuni. After rolling off the production line on 30th May, 1985, this car remained for many years in Italy, with a single owner. Finally, in 2019, it was imported into the US by Ajiuni. At Pebble Beach it was shown fresh from restoration.