It Started Here
If you've read my stuff before, you might know I've got something of a Lamborghini fetish. It began with this car, the Lamborghini Countach. It's the car that got me interested in cars.
As brutally potent as it is, the Murciélago SV is the just latest example of a progressive design evolution that began back in 1971 with Lamborghini's LP500 prototype introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. The resulting production vehicle, the LP400 in 1974, introduced so many signature elements that continue to define the current flagship: a disgustingly powerful longitudinally mid-rear-mounted V12, a gearbox mounted in front of the engine for better weight distribution, futuristic body lines, and the iconic scissor doors. The Countach can't really be credited as the first design to employ the doors. That distinction goes to the Alfa Romeo Carabo concept, which was, incidentally, drawn by the same studio that designed the Countach: Bertone. But Countach did make them an icon of automotive design, one of the most recognizable.
While the names of most Lamborghini production cars are associated with bulls and bullfighting, Countach is said to be an exclamation in the local Piedmontese dialect, usually made by a man when he sees an exceptionally beautiful woman. It was supposedly first uttered when Nuccio Bertone saw the prototype sitting in his studio.
I've not yet had the pleasure of actually driving one, but I did get a ride. Owned by Lamborghini scholar and enthusiast Mr. Joseph Sackey, author of the definitive enthusiast piece The Miura Bible, it remains perhaps the most pristine example you'll ever see. Better even than when it left the Sant'Agata factory. Back in the day, I assisted Editor Bidrawn in taking pictures of it, and afterward Joe was kind enough to take me for a spin in his baby. I like to think that sequence is the one playing through my mind years hence when I'm lying on my deathbed.