The Lamborghini Countach became a legend in its own time, but Automobili Lamborghini took this masterpiece one-step further.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Automobili Lamborghini SpA they designed and built what would become the ultimate Countach.
This 'celebration' model was intended to be sold in limited numbers only, but it turned out to be the best selling Countach ever made reaching a total of 667 units before it was replaced by the long awaited Diablo in 1990.
Actually, the Diablo was intended to commemorate this anniversary, but its prototype was in no way ready for presentation in 1988, so at Lamborghini they decided to use a completely new Countach for this event.
The Anniversario was in fact a 'new' Countach, they redesigned as much as possible, but had to avoid new homologation for this model, so the base of the Anniversario was the then current QuattroValvole chassis.
Only a few items remained from the QV, the front spoiler/bumper was redesigned, now with extra cooling vents for the front brakes, and sills were mounted with cooling streaks for the rear brakes like we already saw on the late 1988 QV models.
In addition, the scoops on the rear wings were redesigned, now much more incorporated into the shoulder, but still effective enough to keep the engine cool, which also received a new hood by the way.
Most of these new panels and the front lid were now made of composite materials as used on the Evoluzione prototype. The rear lights became the same as on the US-specifications QuattroValvole model, and the body-design had a rear bumper incorporated in it, eliminating the ugly black bumpers used on the same US-spec cars. The massive front bumpers were however retained on cars going to the United States, but these were now painted in the same color as the car.
The space frame was also retained, but the suspension had to be slightly modified because of the new Pirelli P Zero tires replacing the aging P7R's, now mounted on redesigned multi-piece OZ wheels. These modifications were executed under the guidance of champion race driver Sandro Munari, they made the Anniversario more stable and safer, completely different from the 'normal' Countach.
The interior was also redone, the seats became wider and now offered electrical adjustments of both the seat and the back, and the design of the door panels was modified. The side windows were now electrically powered and the air-conditioning was again made standard issue. An interesting option was the possibility to mount sport seats, even thinner than the original seats, gaining much needed room for both the driver and passenger, however the Countach remained a little claustrophobic inside.
All these modifications made the Countach look less violent, the Anniversario would not shock anybody like the QV would, but with this latest evolution of the Italian super car, you could actually drive it every day, even in the city.
The last Countach Anniversario was nr. 12.085, it was finished in a silver metallic exterior with a light gray interior. This final Countach was never sold but was intended to be put in the official factory museum at Sant'Agata, next to the 350 GTV, which was restored earlier.
Nobody actually knows how many Countach have been made, but this legend was in production for 17 years, and it always remained on top of the super car market.
The Countach will always be remembered as the Lamborghini that kept the company alive and the Anniversario evolution was a very good way to end its production, the production of her Majesty, the Countach.
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May 22. 2008
Text © Mark Smeyers
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