Submitted by Richard Owen
Type: Series Production
Production Years: 1974 – 1978
Predecessor 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
Successor 1978 Lamborghini Countach LP400S
Engine 60 V12
Position Mid, Longitudinal
Valvetrain DOHC 2 Valves / Cyl
Fuel Speed 6 Twin-throat Weber 45 DCOE Carburetors
Displacement 3929 cc / 239.8 in3
Bore 82.0 mm / 3.23 in
Stroke 62.0 mm / 2.44 in
Power 279.6 kw / 375 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Specific Output 95.44 bhp per litre
Bhp/weight 273.72 bhp per tone
Torque 360.6 nm / 266 ft lbs. @ 5,500 rpm
Body / Frame Aluminium Body over Steel Spaceframe
Driven Wheels RWD
Wheel Type Campagnolo Cast Magnesium
Front Tires 205/70-VR-14 Michelin XWX
Rear Tires 215/70-VR-14 Michelin XWX
Front Brakes Girling Ventilated Discs w/ Vacuum Assist
Rear Brakes Girling Ventilated Discs w/ Vacuum Assist
Front Wheels F 35.6 x 19.1 cm / 14.0 x 7.5 in
Rear Wheels R 35.6 x 24.1 cm / 14.0 x 9.5 in
F Suspension Independent w/Coil Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
Curb Weight 1370 kg / 3020 lbs
Wheelbase 2450 mm / 96.5 in
Front Track 1500 mm / 59.1 in
Length 4140 mm / 163.0 in
Width 1890 mm / 74.4 in
Height 1070 mm / 42.1 in
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Gear Ratios 2.256:1, 1.769:1, 1.310:1, 0.990:1, 0.775:1
Final Drive 4.09:1
The Launch of Lamborghini Countach LP400
In 1965, car enthusiasts and the automotive world were all surprised by the presentation of the Lamborghini Miura Chassis. The finished car was launched the succeeding year with a mid-mounted four-cam V-12 engine and low, sleek, dramatic styling. It set a new standard for Italian supercars.
Marcello Gandini was the designer behind the LP500. Its shape was resembled to a flying wedge on wheels.
Where Did It Get Its Name?
According to www.classicdriver.com, it is believed the origin of the name came from someone who, upon seeing it, exclaimed “countach!” Certainly, the Piedmontese dialect expression, being the verbal equivalent of a wolf-whistle, was apt.
Moreover, the idea behind the ‘Persicopo’ name was the small periscopic mirror installed in the original prototype’s roof to support the awful rear visibility. The rooftop tunnel stayed on until the mid LP400s. It is even one of the favorite design touches on the car.
Meanwhile, the LP from the ‘LP400’ of the name stands for ‘LongitudinalePosteriore.’
The legendary test driver Bob Wallace led a mechanical revamp, endless tweaks and a tireless test programme on the car. In 1974 Geneva Motor Show, a production-ready Countach LP400 surfaced and from then, the orders flooded in.
This car sat on a lightweight and extremely strong tubular space-frame chassis. The remarkable alloy bodywork consisted of several vents and unique NACA ducts so that the engine could cool, as well as the engine, the brakes, and the cabin. Those scissor doors that catch the thoughts of almost every schoolboy way back that time weren’t just aesthetic too. The car was so wide with conventional doors.
To satisfy Ferrucio Lamborghini’s desire for less cabin noise, its 4.0-litre, 375HP V12 engine was mounted longitudinally compared to the Miura’s transversely mounted unit. The gearbox was uncommonly positioned ‘twixt driver and passenger, to improve gearbox connection and vehicle balance. This Countach is capable of 200 mph.
Only 150 ‘Periscopos” were manufactured.
This Countach may be the most remarkable designed car in its time. With its exceptionally rare look, this LP400 “Periscopo’ should certainly be the pick of the bunch. No wonder it has brought a new era in space-age supercar design.
Reference and Photo Credits: