The Lamborghini Countach is an icon that needs no introduction to gear heads. Designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, when the LP500 prototype at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971, it was an absolute showstopper. When the production version, the Countach LP400 arrived in 1974, it was every bit as wild and as aggressive as the prototype. Powered by a 4-liter V12 mill mated to a 5-speed synchromesh manual transmission the LP400 could hit 62 mph in 5.4 seconds and max out at 179 mph.

From 1974 until it was discontinued in 1990, the Lamborghini was continuously reinventing the model in design, specs, and performance. Even with the shortcomings of the Countach, it remained a well-loved and highly sought-after dream machine throughout its production run. Enough about what we've always known about the legendary supercar - read on for 10 things we just learned about the Lamborghini Countach.

10 It Saved Lamborghini In The '70s

Countach-LP400
Lamborghini

While enjoying rapid growth in its first decade of operation, Lamborghini was hit by the global financial crisis of the early '70s. Sold by the founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, bankrupt, and placed in receivership, the future was not very bright for the young company.

1498902502_ac77e7a3c9_c
Allen Watkin via Flickr

Throughout this period of uncertainty, the only model that was still lighting a fire in the hearts of the motoring public was the Countach. If the flagship Lamborghini Miura was not succeeded by a machine as advanced and as exciting as the Countach, efforts at rescuing the company could have failed.

9 A Nightmare To Reverse-Park

White-Lamborghini-Countach-5000-Backing-Up
Kontraband

When talking about high-performance vehicles like the Lamborghini Countach, people will always talk of engine output and handling. Despite its importance, the least on the list of things to talk about is how to park the Countach safely after one is done with the driving aspect.

Lamborghini Countach Parked
FotoSleuth via Flickr

Plagued with a tiny rear window, and with rearward visibility reduced to a minimum, reverse-parking the Countach requires special skills to execute. With the door opened, drivers need to sit halfway out on the door sill and work the pedals while twisting to look over the rear of the car.

RELATED: Even Lambo Fans Don't Know This: The US Countach Differs From Rest-Of-World Examples

8 Spoilers Were Installed In A Parking Lot

Red Lamborghini Countach
Brian Snelson

One of the features that made the already outstanding Countach even more eye-catching was the optional rear spoiler that cost over $5,000. It was first seen on the "Walter Wolf Special" designed for the owner of the Wolf F1 Racing team who needed something special.

Yellow Lamborghini Countach
Gunter Hentschel

Although the spoiler was purely cosmetic and didn't contribute to the Countach's performance, customers loved it, so the engineers added it. Since it was not an official option, they used a handheld drill to tack it on in the parking lot while the cars were waiting to be moved to dealerships.

7 Built After The Boss Lost A Bet

Lamborghini-LP400
Lamborghini

Ferruccio Lamborghini had agreed with the designers that the Miura's successor needed to be even more extreme. He was however reluctant to bring the LP500 prototype to production because of the impending oil crisis and the dwindling cash flow from his struggling tractor operations.

Black Lamborghini Countach S
Lamborghini

With pressure from the engineers, he agreed to okay production only if the LP500 could make it to the Targa Florio in Sicily and back without breaking down. In the short version of the story, the old man lost the wager as the car was still running when Bob Wallace the test driver got back in May 1972.

RELATED: You Can Buy This Lamborghini Countach LP5000 S Replica

6 A Unique Name

Countach Quattrovalvole
Lamborghini

Most Lamborghini models before and after the Countach bear Spanish names that were inspired by famous fighting bulls and bullfighting. One of the few models that broke with that tradition is the Countach which comes from Piedmontese, a romance language spoken in Northwest Italy.

White Lambo Countach
Allen Watkin via Flickr

It originates from the word "contacc", an exclamation of surprise mostly used by men when they see a beautiful woman. Rumor has it that the head of Bertone design studio uttered that very word when he first laid eyes on the finished design.

5 Most Of The Bold Design Features Are Functional

Countach Rear View
Lamborghini

While we can't deny that the bold shapes on the Countach make the supercar more aggressive, the truth is that they do more than just that. Most of them are not mere cosmetic add ons but rather, they serve as aids in the proper working of the various car functions.

Lambo Countach With Pop-Up Headlights
Lamborghini

The fender flares that came with the introduction of the LP400 S helped make room for the extra-wide tires while the scissor doors helped ingress and egress. Furthermore, the air vents located on the doors and the rear fenders were there to keep the engine from melting.

RELATED: Lamborghini Releases Epic Countach Tribute

4 The First Production Car With Scissor Doors

Lamborghini Countach Scissor Doors
Lamborghini

When we admire the superstars in their high-powered Lamborghini Aventadors with scissor doors, we should not forget where it all started. Although the honor for the first car with scissor doors goes to the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo concept car, the Countach was the first production car to use it.

Lambo Countach Rear
Lamborghini

Although the doors which open upwards look cool, they were exactly what the wide chassis Countach needed in terms of practicality. Rolling up in a Lamborghini Countach is something on its own, but opening those doors and stepping out takes the drama up a notch or two.

3 Sported An Extremely Rare Window Glass

Gray Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini

The Countach's exterior design was created by Marcello Gandini with styling cues from two Bertone concepts from the '60s, the Lamborghini Marzal and Alfa Romeo Carabo. One of the features they all shared was the then newly developed special lightweight anti-glare resistant glass sourced from Glaverbel of Belgium.

Black Lamborgini Countach
Mike Maguire via Flickr

While Porsche used it in its Group 4 911 racers, Lamborghini used it throughout in the production Countach LP400. These days, the original window sets are extremely scarce, and you can be sure that sourcing a replica will not come cheap.

RELATED: New Lambo Countach Haters Will Love This Artist's Redesign

2 Rode On The Widest Tires On A Production Car

Lamborghini Countach And Pirelli P7
Longstone Tyres

When the Countach LP400 arrived in 1974, it rolled on a set of Michelin tires - 205/70 in front and 215/70 on the rear. However, when the LP400 S was introduced, it sported a pair of Pirelli 205/50 in front and a pair of 345/35 behind.

Lamborgini Countach Tyre Change
Longstone Tryes

To make room for the huge Pirelli P7 tires, the Countach had to be given wheel arch extenders in addition to a redesigned suspension. With this new set of rubber, the Countach finally looked like what it was, a road-devouring beast.

1 It Was Never Tested In A Wind Tunnel

Lamborghini Countach Taking A Bend
Lamborghini

Despite its slippery shape that looks like it could cut through the air like greased lightning, the Countach had very poor aerodynamics. Due to budget constraints, the luxury of proper wind tunnel testing was simply not possible during the development of the Countach.

Driving Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini

Everything was done the old school way with the engineers attaching fabric feelers to the car and using motor-driven cameras to photograph it while driving at high speeds. With this crude method of calculating aerodynamics, it is not surprising that the Countach has an unremarkable drag coefficient of 0.42.

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