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Meet Your Idols

Hooniverse December 20, 2012 All Things Hoon, Car Shows 103 Comments

 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

  • Scandinavian Flick

    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

      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

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

      • Scandinavian Flick

        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.

        • Yeah, just updated my profile so people who don't know me on old Jalopnik won't be confused. Thank you, and long time no see!

      • Xedicon

        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.

  • buzzboy7

    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

      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

        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

          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?

  • 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

      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."

  • Socialvegetable

    Well done, Bruce!

    That poor Lambo needs a professional paint correction, though.

    • It needs more miles on the odometer too. HA! Thanks, man.

  • B72

    Holy 80's plastic clad-gasm Batman!

  • Irishzombieman

    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!

    • Socialvegetable

      *Holy BULL

      …does not have the same ring to it.

    • Loud and way too fast, that's how I like them!

  • $kaycog

    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?

    • Scandinavian Flick

      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/gyfZI.jpg&quot; width="300">

    • HA! Sorry, $kay, I'm taken, but here's a GT40 I saw out in Vegas. I've somehow shot more of this and a GTX-1 than the regular GT.
      <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8170/7994231411_6e665b1a69.jpg"&gt; More here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjC9d7tA My wife and I took a trip out to Las Vegas in August, for my brother's 21st, and while we were there, we made a little side trip to the Shelby museum.

    • Vavon

      I'm a Nigerian citizen, I'm single and drive a Ford GT. Fancy hooking up?

      • $kaycog

        Nigerian citizen, my ass.

        • Vavon

          I bet it's wonderful…

          • $kaycog


            • Scandinavian Flick

              <img src="http://i.imgur.com/ihxfY.gif&quot; width="350">

              • $kaycog

                Your most famous words I'll forever remember. ;D

                • Scandinavian Flick

                  I can think of many worse things to be remembered by 😉

                  I'll always remember the storm chaser thread for many things, you being the catalyst that began with the whipping and the shaming… (Heh, out of context that's even funnier) Good times.

                  • $kaycog

                    That IS funny out of context!. Just remember that you started it with your "Hmm…….kinky" remark. After that initial 5000 SC thread, we started another from 1 and decided to go to 10K. We got to upper 8000's and then the new format "archived" everything. In the interim of that quest, when we were unable to comment on that thread for some reason or other, we did a continuance of it here. There are a few of us still doing it, and we change locations every 50 comments. If you don't want to do it on a regular basis, just join in on occasion. We usually check in with a comment once a day.

                    • Scandinavian Flick

                      What!? You started it with your comment about the truck whipping itself with its own antenna! Shame on you for trying to put that one me!

                      Ahh, Gawker network… You amuse me and disappoint me with your misuse of the term "archive". I have seen the Storm Chaser posts here now and then. I'll try to poke my head in from time to time. 🙂

                    • $kaycog

                      The shame never ends, does it? ;D Actually, my comment was a reply to Tanshanomi's comment about the antenna. He was an innocent bystander to a whole lot of storm chasing, and I don't think he ever knew about it.

                      Merry Christmas, Flick!

                    • Scandinavian Flick

                      Haha, that's right! I tried to find it yesterday, but it appears that the first portion of the thread was "archived"… I'd link what I found, but I can't bring myself to post a [Redacted] link here. It's the first result in Google for "Storm Chassers [redacted]" though.

                      Merry Christmas to you too, $kay!

                    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                      Hi Flick, Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! Here's where the latest SCing is happening if you ever need to come by: http://hooniverse.com/2010/12/21/hcoty-two-wheel-

                      Also, wanted to selfishly share this festive and hoonish image of Dale with you 😉

                      <img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6JEn-l4SyEM/UNRqBeNgD4I/AAAAAAAAFF4/RhkaPwieLjM/s650/IMG_8915.jpg"&gt;

                      Oh and Trampabamalama, welcome.

                    • Ha! Thank you… suddenly I have the Black Betty stuck in my head.

    • Devin

      I'm single. I once stood very near a Ford GT…

      • $kaycog

        You just gave me my biggest laugh of the day, you funny man! That was priceless!

  • gamecat235

    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…

    • Oh man, driving one would be amazing! The closest I've gotten is Youtube videos, but like you said, someday.

  • luisthebeast


  • mnm4ever

    Have you guys seen this:

    • Irishzombieman

      Trend Security blocks this as malicious.

      That was the dude who built one in his basement, right?

      • Manic_King


    • I remember that one. I wonder which would hold up better and which is faster, that one or the real thing.

      • mnm4ever

        My bet was on the home built one

  • dculberson

    "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

        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

      +1 for use of the word "shiznit"!

  • $kaycog

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

    • El-Guacamole

      We are all here $kay… btw, are you on G+ and if not, why????

      • $kaycog

        Hey, hi! I really don't have time for it. Sometimes, I don't have enough time to read all the articles here or anywhere.

        • It can be tough covering so many sites.

          • $kaycog

            Exactly. I usually just read the articles that I think will be interesting because of the time element.

  • don fehlio

    Congrats on being… here! Dude!

  • Socialvegetable


    • jeepjeff


      <img src="http://gifsoup.com/webroot/animatedgifs1/3852807_o.gif"&gt;

      ////Imma jackass. Downding away!

    • Reunion thread is best thread

    • Irishzombieman

      Hey, even luis chimed in above.

    • Scandinavian Flick

      So many familiar screen names!

      Celebratory burnout!

      <img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6204/6123371760_c8a0d05987_z.jpg&quot; width="500">

      • Irishzombieman

        I'd like to see brtstnd, Ash (who drops by occasionally), pauljones, a few others, but you know who I miss most from over there?

        RobertoG. Before he went nuts.

        • Scandinavian Flick

          Ash comes here!? I really miss pauljones… When I was encouraging people to defect, brtstnd said he won't be coming here… I'd also love to see some of the editors from the glory days swing by.

          You and Roberto, man… I guess he had his moments.

          Really though, we have a seriously awesome gathering of some of my favorite people I have ever "met" online here.

          I was going to post more burnouts, but I just realized I am the 9th result in a Google image search for "Volvo Burnout"
          <img src="http://img41.echo.cx/img41/781/volvoburnout3wt.jpg&quot; width="500">
          Seriously old pic right there… It's in a thread from 2005!

        • brtstnd is on Google+, I see him all the time. Occasionally RobertoG makes an appearance. Thankfully not very often, as he's just so unpredictable. Like you said, kind of nuts. Ash is still on Jalopnik pretty often from what I see. I'm not over there very often anymore, but he seems to be back to posting regularly there.

    • Vavon

      When are we going to start the weird-screen-names-thing?

      • jeepjeff

        I've been using my Intense Debate Description field for that (it's the one that pops up when you mouse-over someones avatar). I change it periodically to whatever stupid thing tickles me.

    • don fehlio


  • 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.

    • El-Guacamole

      Meat space. Jstas'd!

  • calgoat

    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

      Hey, I know you! Small internet…

  • calgoat

    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.’"

  • 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.

  • Vavon

    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

      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.

  • Van_Sarockin

    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.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    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.

    • HI COOL CADILLAC CAT!!! I kind of like the boxy dash and what not, but if I'd been of driving age back then, I probably would not. Now, it's like marveling at the novelty of it all. I could even like a Jalpa interior, but I'm just weird like that.

  • There goes the neighborhood! I mean, welcome Bryce!

  • BobWellington

    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.

  • vroomsocko

    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!

    • That must have been incredible! I've heard you don't sit in them so much as lounge back.

  • craymor

    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!

    • craymor

      and nice write up by the way!

      • Thank you! Fifty bucks seems like a great deal for that. I went on vacation in Estes Park when I was in my teens. Beautiful land, but I didn't get to see any Countaches. I'd like to go out there again some day.

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