31 October 2012

1975 Countach LP 400 - An Early Exclamation

We're not going to patronise you with the origin story of the Lamborghini Countach, fascinating though it is.There are plenty of books that have gone into detail over the evolution of this landmark supercar, the best of them probably being Jean-Marc Borel's fine tome (good luck in finding a copy; It was published in 1985 and is currently out of print). It's an outstanding narrative on every step in the building process of the Countach. Other books are available of course, kids. 
What we'd rather do is cut to the chase and show you this rather spiffing example of an early LP400. How early? Try the 28th ever production Countach to be unleashed from Ferruccio's Sant'Agata grotto. Let the excerpt below (from here) tell the story. Enjoy.

'The 28th Countach off the line, chassis 1120056 was built to custom order of wealthy Haitian Albert Silvera. A personal friend of Ferruccio Lamborghini, Silvera had previously ordered one of the Miura SV/Js and would later commission another Countach. To accommodate for all his special requests, this Countach was not finished by Lamborghini but by Bertone, who were better equipped to complete the custom work. Among the unusual features were the silver bumper, an antelope suede leather dashboard cover and the 'periscope' rear view mirror. The car also received a tweaked engine with a reported 60 or 70 additional horses and an open exhaust system.'

'Finished in a striking 'Rosso Dino', the car was completed in January of 1975. It was personally picked up by Silvera and his wife Gladys from the factory where Lamborghini himself handed over the keys. Braving the winter conditions, the proud new owner drove his latest acquisition through Europe to Paris. The custom Countach was subsequently flown to New York for the next leg of the journey, which saw the Silveras drive down the East Coast to their Miami home. Unlike his Miura SV/J, Silvera never brought the custom Countach to Haiti.'

'Little over a year later, on April 5th 1976, Silvera sold 1120056 to an American enthusiast to make room for a new Countach. In the following years, the unique Countach passed through several hands including those of American journalist and photographer Winston Goodfellow. By the time the current, Dutch owner acquired the car, some of its original features like the silver bumper were lost. Eager to uncover the complete story of the ex-Albert Silvera Countach, he dove deep into the car's history and managed to speak to most of the previous owners, including Gladys Silvera. He has since returned the car to its original configuration, while carefully retaining its highly original condition.

The result of this labour of love was first seen at the 2012 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, where the striking Countach was fittingly displayed alongside a Miura SV/J. Although forty years old now, the Countach still looks futuristic and was accordingly awarded the 'Trofeo Auto & Design' by the jury for the most exciting design. It also received a Mention of Honour in its class.'

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