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Meet Your Idols

Hooniverse December 20, 2012 All Things Hoon, Car Shows

 Lamborghini Countach front close
[Ed.'s Note: Welcome Bryce Womeldurf into the Hooniverse. Mr. Womeldurf is a young man from Florida who wants to share his love of all things automotive with you. Say hello...]

For many years, I’ve wanted to see a Lamborghini Countach up close. This car is part of the reason why I’m obsessed with cars today. A trendsetter in style, form, and (dis)function, it was a common sight on my wall and on the wall of most every other car-crazed child of the 80’s. None of the design language or door opening gimmicks mattered to me back then. I didn’t know who Gandini was or how impractical his creation was to drive.

All I knew… was that it looked awesome.

Lamborghini Countach front three quarter

Seeing this legend in the metal, however, has been a real trick. Despite a production run of nearly two decades, Lamborghini allegedly only produced 2,042 of these. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to see a Countach this close, and even less sure I’d see one outdoors, within touching distance. The juxtaposition of it and the kids around it wearing retro-style ‘80s shades was too fitting.

Lamborghini Countach front tall

This particular car is a 25th Anniversary model, which celebrated 25 years of Lamborghini’s production run of cars. Originally, it was to be the Diablo that would celebrate this, but none of its prototypes were ready at the time. This version is known among purists as being the worst looking version of the Countach, due to the 80’s-gasm of non-functional strakes and vents. In silver or red, this version is pretty hideous, but in black it hides the ostentatiousness, while not loosing the ferocity that defines the Countach’s style. Believe it or not, this version was designed by Horacio Pagani of hypercar Zonda fame. I guess they can’t all be Zondas. Even still, it’s got to be nice to be able to say that you’ve had a hand in a special edition of a supercar that is an icon of the ‘80s and frequently ranks within the top ten of the world’s greatest cars.

Lamborghini Countach rear close

In May, I attended a Festival of Speed event near Orlando, Florida with the intention of shooting the whole show, and I did. Alog the way, however, I kept finding myself coming back to the Countach and I decided it needed some extra attention. It’s one of those special cars that I could photograph over and over and never tire of looking for new angles from which to capture it.

Lamborghini Countach rear three quarter

It’s much shorter than you would imagine, only rising to about waist high. I was unable to sit in it, but from standing next to it, I imagine it’s more like lying than sitting. The aesthetics of the car definitely hold up to, and even exceed how well I thought it would look. From the outrageous fender flares, to the classic multi-piece OZ phone dial wheels, and to the curvature of the body and it’s signature NACA ducts. Some people say “don’t meet your idols” but, in the automotive sense, I’d very much encourage it.

Lamborghini Countach wheel

Currently there are "103 comments" on this Article:

  1. Scandinavian Flick says:

    Welcome, Bryce! You've set the bar pretty high opening with this.

    I like the last line. I've had the opportunity to meet a few of my automotive idols in person, and I have never been disappointed. The most notable were a McLaren F1, a Jaguar XJ220, and a Jaguar XJ15.

    • TrampaOnline says:

      Thanks, Flick! It's been a pretty active year for idol-watching. I hope to make next year even more so. I'll be doing several laps in a Gallardo next year, one of those "drive 5 laps for X dollars" things. The fastest car I've ever driven is a C4 Corvette, so it should be interesting to give the big bad bull a go.

      • $kaycog says:

        Wait a minute! You're him? I know you, but I didn't know he was you.

      • Scandinavian Flick says:

        I had a feeling this might be you! Glad to see you here, and I look forward to seeing more from you.

        That sounds like a good time. Hopefully they let you properly put it through its paces.

      • Xedicon says:

        Good man, you have so much hoonage before you! Are you sure a C4 is the fastest car you've ever driven? Not to knock it, but it's old and a surprising number of modern cars are faster (at least if you don't count the ZR1, but even then…) Anyways here's to hoping you get behind the wheel of some seriously fun vehicles!

        • Yeah, despite my love of cars, that's the fastest anyone has trusted me to drive. It was supposedly supercharged, but I'm not sure if that was true or not, because the hood was never lifted and there was no boost gauge or oil temp or anything inside to suggest it was anything other than stock. It had a Greenwood spoiler, but the rest looked stock C4. It belonged to a business partner of one of my mother's friends. The business partner didn't want him seen in his beater Lincoln, so he loaned it to him. Even though I was only 19 at the time, he let me drive it unsupervised for an afternoon and I can say it was fast enough to power slide around a few corners. I'm still shocked that I wasn't pulled over. I can also say that that friend of my mother's is probably the most gullible and trusting person ever to hand the keys to a Corvette to a teenager. At least nothing went wrong, though.

  2. buzzboy7 says:

    I randomly saw one of these the other day on the road. I was really confused at first because I couldn't figure out what it was.

    • TrampaOnline says:

      That's something special! I almost thought I saw one on the street in Clearwater Beach back in the '90s, but it ended up being a kit car.

      • mnm4ever says:

        Clearwater Beach in the 90s was my stomping grounds! I think I remember seeing that same kit car too! There is at least one real one around the area locally, it has made some appearances at local car shows and cars and coffees. Are you from this area? Still in this area? Palm Harbor here…

        • My in-laws live in Palm Harbor and I'm in Tampa. I've lived here most of my life, since about the mid-'80s. Yeah, it was a white kit car. Very fooling too. They did a great job.

        • mnm4ever says:

          Maybe we know each other, I have been here since the mid 80s myself, hung out all over Clearwater, especially the beach back in the day, always into cars. Mostly hung out with the F-body crowd back then…

          • I used to drive there a lot in the summer and just wander around for the day, but as far as car crowds, I typically rolled with the Evolution and Subaru crowds. I had a non-Evo Lancer up until a couple years ago, with a lot of bolt ons, so I liked to hang with the Evo guys. The Subaru crowd over here seemed more willing to let their cars get dirty, which I respect more. I mostly just attend shows and races with my wife now. Ever go to the duPont Registry cars & coffee in St Pete or Honda Grand Prix?

  3. P161911 says:

    I might be wrong, but I think those are later wheels. Where they 15" wheels? that was one of the oddest things the first time I saw a Countach, 15" wheels, with tiny little steamroller tires. These are the Lambo phone dials I think of:
    <img src="http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-1980-1989/1985-Lamborghini-Countach-White-Front-Angle-Open-Doors-st.jpg"width=500&gt;

    • TrampaOnline says:

      You are correct, they are later wheels, but I refer to all of the old OZ wheels that have the 5 large holes as "phone dials."

  4. Socialvegetable says:

    Well done, Bruce!

    That poor Lambo needs a professional paint correction, though.

  5. B72 says:

    Holy 80's plastic clad-gasm Batman!

  6. Irishzombieman says:

    I saw a Countach once. For less than two seconds. I was driving on a twisty mountain road, looked in my mirror, had time to think, "Holy COW!" before it passed me in a self-contained thunderstorm going at least 80 mph faster than me and disappeared around the next bend.

    I think it was purple. I know it was loud.

    Welcome, Bryce!

  7. $kaycog says:

    Welcome and nice article, Bryce. I agree that a person should meet their automotive idol. I met mine in 2005, and it was a Ford GT. Do you like the Ford GT? If so, are you married?

  8. gamecat235 says:

    Great shots. I've lusted after the Countach for most of my life as well, Still haven't managed to drive one yet… Some day…

  9. luisthebeast says:

    Y U WATERMARK BRUCE

  10. mnm4ever says:

    Have you guys seen this:
    http://www.kiengineering.com

  11. dculberson says:

    "This version is known among purists as being the worst looking version of the Countach, due to the 80’s-gasm of non-functional strakes and vents."

    Ahh, but here's the thing: purists suck. Yes, to my 2012, 30-something (where "something" is well over 0, less than 10) eyes, the earlier models with the simpler lines are "better" looking, but in 1988 to a pre-teen boy, that car was the shiznit. There was nothing that compared to the wings, scoops, vents, and general sci-fi future looking car that is a 25th anniversary Countach. Purists can eff themselves, because that car is perfect just the way it sits.

    Oh, and welcome!!

    • Thank you, and I agree. Purists can ruin the party sometimes. My personal favorite is the Quattrovalvoleoleoleoleoleole Olé! 5000 but I also think that the original was a little too stoic for my taste. It was a nice shape, but I love the fender flares and the big wing on the later editions.

      • jeepjeff says:

        I have to agree on the wing. They don't really look right to me without it. Also, they are best in yellow and ornch. Definitely a go big or go home car. The 80sgasm on this bad boy may be overdoing it, but if any car could pull that off…

        Also, welcome! Good to see you around here!

        • I like white or red for the QV and black for 25th. The original LP400 looks good in blue too. I could see orange looking good. Thanks for the welcome! Good to see you too.

    • Xedicon says:

      +1 for use of the word "shiznit"!

  12. $kaycog says:

    It's nice to see you, whatever your name is. ;D

  13. don fehlio says:

    Congrats on being… here! Dude!

  14. Socialvegetable says:

    OPPOSITELOCK REUNION THREAD

  15. I understand the confusion. I've been TrampaOnline well… online, for such a long time, I'm still figuring out the whole virtual space/meat space balance thing. Thank you, I really really really want to go back to Vegas again. That place is loaded with cars and fun. Too much to shoot on one or two trips.

  16. calgoat says:

    Great post. Totally agree with you on this. I was obsessed with airplanes as a kid until I saw the dramatic lines of the Countach. It got me started on an unhealthy fixation with cars early on (still love airplanes too). I've had the pleasure of seeing 2 in person. Both 500 S's and both with the horrific US mandated bumpers removed and reverted back to the Euro spec.

    To me, the quintessential version of the car is the 5000QV WITHOUT the horrible, horrible, spoiler/wing/park bench.

    And yes, still waiting for my opportunity to drive one too.

    • When you think about it, It sort of makes sense that the Countach would bring you into cars with how much it's aesthetics look like they could have been inspired by a plane, in an '80s form of a retro-future. I liked the park bench wing, but I agree that those bumpers were terrible.

    • Scandinavian Flick says:

      Hey, I know you! Small internet…

  17. calgoat says:

    Oh and Balboni agrees that the QV was the best:

    "Valentino loves the QV and has no reservations about declaring it the best of all. ‘It’s still clean and pure Countach. I think it’s the best compromise. In terms of power and driveability, for me it’s the best. This is the one which has the most charisma, I would say. Pure Countach: the right engine in the right car.’"
    http://www.classicandperformancecar.com/features/

  18. Thank you all for the kind words and welcomes. If any of you want a look at the full photo set, it can be found here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDd69Lt I've uploaded three of them at 1920 wallpaper size.

  19. Vavon says:

    Hi Bryce, welcome on this awesome site!
    As a kid I had Countach and Testarossa wallpaper in my room.
    Here is a picture of it, in my recollection It didn't look like this at all!
    <img src="http://static.autoblog.nl/images/lamborghini_countach_schilderij.jpg"&gt;

    • Oooh, that's big. /thatswhatshesaid I had one of a red Countach but it probably about 11×17.

    • Dean Bigglesworth says:

      The last time i visited Wolfsburg there was an actual yellow Diablo on the wall, and they played some V12 noises at ear-shattering volume thru some speakers. IIRC it was mounted on a rotating platform so it could be hidden on the the other side of the wall. This was 2001 or so, some googling revealed that there is now a Murcielago on the wall.

  20. Van_Sarockin says:

    Yeah, the Countach was a strikingly pure design, and very eye catching. It was also shorthand for all that was wrong in 80's cocaine crusted discoland. Bought by the wrong folks for the wrong reasons, and generally used to shuttle between condo to restaurant to club at about 5mph.

  21. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

    As incredible looking as these cars are on the outside, to this day…oh, and HI BRYCE!!!…the interiors are very low-rent kit car.

    When I lived in Vegas, the bona-fide professional poker player who lived next door, none of that lame ass TV crap, either, drove a 512 and a 360. At least the 512 didn't jar me awake at 3A when he'd go to work.

    Anyway, he had friends over one day, and there is a white Countach S in the driveway. I go poke around, peer inside, and I'm taken aback when I see what looks like something from a high-school shop class…one full of kids with no talent for being remotely creative.

  22. engineerd says:

    There goes the neighborhood! I mean, welcome Bryce!

  23. BobWellington says:

    I got to see one when I was in San Diego at some car museum. It was some special edition as well, something like 5 or 50 or 500 or something with a 5 in it.. Such a wild and awesome design. I absolutely love the Diablo, too, and I feel the Murcielago was a bit of a let down.

    EDIT: Found it. http://www.letsgoseeit.com/index/county/sd/san_di

    • That 500S is one of the better looking ones. I would probably say that I was a little let down by the regular Murcielago, but I like the SV a lot. I think it has just more visual punch. I really really really want to drive the new Aventador.

  24. vroomsocko says:

    Sweet, this was my automotive object of lust as a wee lad. I got to sit in a Countach when I was a kid on vacation at the Riply's Believe it or Not museum in Gatlinburg, TN. Sitting in my dream car, the same car on my wall and Trapper Keeper, was the cat's meow. Young as I was, I immediately realized that it was an impossibly impractical and ridiculously over the top vehicle, and that I had to have one!

  25. craymor says:

    Wow, we had a local here in colorado (estes park) were we (the childern of the 80's) could pay for a ride in one of three QV5000's, I did it once and it was great, I think it cost about $50 for a 25min ride, that was the best b-day present ever for a ~10 year old!

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