Contrary to popular belief, the Countach was not a supercar.
Words: Peter Orosz | Picture: Máté Petrány
This, dear reader, is ground zero. But certainly not of cars.
You may wonder why. This is, after all—
—an Italian supercar named after a wolf whistle.
But then consider that the automobile as a form of progress reached its zenith in 1965. This was the year when a band of twentysomething tinkerers demoed a piece of tubing with an engine in Geneva, which another twentysomething later turned into the Lamborghini Miura.
The Daytona may have been the better car and the Ghibli may have been more aristocratic. However, it was the Miura which prompted L. J. K. Setright to coin the word supercar.
Casual observation may classify the Countach as merely the next outrageous act of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s team of punks, the yin to the Miura’s yang, a study in straight lines instead of curves. This, however, is not the case.
Take in the whole and you will see that the Lamborghini Countach was clearly meant for deepspace travel.
It may have been powered by a twelve-cylinder engine and it may have required leaded petrol for operation, but that was all smoke and mirrors. A Countach can only stretch its legs in the outer reaches of the atmosphere and it does not feel quite all right until you pass the rings of Saturn.
A Countach on asphalt is an albatross about the motorist’s neck. Mocked for its clumsiness, its clutch that requires a Schwarzeneggerian quadriceps, its lack of rear view.
Men have witnessed albatrosses take off from Kerguelen Island and cruise the Southern Ocean for weeks but has no one in thirty-seven years bothered to reach into the driver’s footwell and press the button marked spazio?
Maybe the Italian space industry is simply too secretive.
After all, have you ever seen a Countach with its rocket engines exposed?
∞ Published on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008