It’s 50 years since these amazing Italian supercars shocked the world

Lamborghini Countach LP 500
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Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Lamborghini Countach LP 500
Maserati Bora
Maserati Bora
Maserati Bora
Maserati Bora
Maserati Bora

Fifty years is quite a significant amount of time yet it can also feel like yesterday for many. For two of Italy’s most revered automobile manufacturers, two of their celebrated cars are having their 50th birthdays.

The Lamborghini Countach LP 500 signalled a new era for the supercar maker. Just as the Miura SV took the limelight at the Lamborghini stand in 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show, the company’s future stood proud over on the Carrozzeria Bertone stand: a Lamborghini Countach LP 500 in yellow. The LP112 prototype was at odds with the curvaceous and seductive Miura, Marcello Gandini eschewing curves for aggressive straight lines. This was a new era complete with scissors doors which would become synonymous with Lamborghini’s thereafter.

How did the name Countach come to fruition? Here’s how Lamborghini tells it:

“The origin of the name of this car lies in the dialect of the Piedmont region. In its final stages of assembly, the car was hidden in a shed for agricultural machinery on a farm near Grugliasco (province of Turin) to avoid possible work stoppages related to labor unrest, and was “discovered” by a farmer who exclaimed in amazement and enthusiasm, “Countach!” (a word in Piedmontese dialect expressing wonderment). When Piedmont-born Marcello Gandini became aware of the fact, he thought that this word had a particularly strong communicative force and also convinced Nuccio Bertone, Ferruccio Lamborghini and his colleague Paolo Stanzani of this.”

New Zealander Bob Wallace was in charge of testing duties which must’ve been an amazing thing to experience. Few cars turn heads quite as quickly as a Lamborghini Countach.

Happy 50th Countach!


And you can save some cake for the Maserati Bora which also turns 50. It was the first mid-mounted rear engine road car in Maserati’s history. While Lamborghini wowed those at the Geneva Show with their new supercar, Maserati had one of their own in the Bora. 

Italian designers had a stronghold on car design at the time and Maserati gave Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign the task of designing a sports car with enhanced performance, design, comfort and safety.

At the heart was a 4,700 cc V8 producing 310 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, a projecting differential on the rear axle, independent suspension on all wheels, disc brakes, dry-mounted single disc clutch, 5-speed gearbox and telescopic suspension dampers.

The Giorgetto Giugiaro styling and aerodynamics typified design of the era with pop-up headlights in a wedge shape that also seemed to blend curves.

Happy 50th Bora!

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