The Countach is getting a 50th birthday party at car culture’s most famous golf course
When Ferruccio Lamborghini unveiled his new radical-looking LP500 concept car in 1971, its more commonly known name mirrored most enthusiasts’ reaction to it seeing it for the first time: “Countach!” The Italian word is an exclamation of wonder in the local Piedmontese dialect.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the jaw-dropping supercar, the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will showcase some of the most important Countach prototypes and variants. The event is scheduled for August 15 on the 18th fairway of California’s Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Individual Countach coupés have competed at the Pebble Beach Concours on several occasions, but this will be the first time the Concours devotes a full class to this legendary model, which was designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone and built by Lamborghini chief engineer Paolo Stanzani and his staff.
“The Countach redefined the super sports car segment and became an icon with design language that is still applied to every modern Lamborghini today,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President & CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, who added that such a gathering “will likely never be seen again in one place.”
Three years ago, Hagerty selected the Countach as the greatest car of the 1970s. “The Countach is the very embodiment of a supercar, the ultimate consecration to the gods of automotive excess, and that’s what makes it great,” Hagerty Valuation editor Andrew Newton wrote. “In those dark days when a Z/28 Camaro made less than 200 horsepower, the Countach was pumping out nearly twice that, riding on cartoonishly wide rear tires and slicing through the air with its razor-sharp bodywork, which isn’t actually all that aerodynamic but certainly looked like it is. And it was very much unlike anything ever seen on the road before.”
Miles Morris, a member of the Concours Selection Committee, agrees. “It’s hard to believe this radical and futuristic design is now 50 years old. Its shape was seared into many young minds with innumerable bedroom posters, and its design was so successful that it was in production from 1973 right up to 1990.”
The Countach isn’t the only Lamborghini celebrating a significant anniversary in 2021. The Miura SV, the last evolution of the highly successful P400 project, was officially unveiled 50 years ago in March 1971. It will not be featured at Pebble Beach, however, as all eyes are on the Countach.
“This is our first class devoted purely to the Countach,” says Pebble Beach Concours Marketing Director Kandace Hawkinson, “so we want to stay very focused on that model.”