The bull to the power of four: Lamborghini Countach
Virtually everyone has mastered the common multiplication table. But the Italian four times twelve? That's a whole different ball game. That's what we learn on this sunny summer day in Piedmont, where we drive no fewer than four Lamborgini Countach through the vineyards. More precisely: a Countach LP400, a 25° Anniversario, an LP 400 S and an LP 5000 QV. A wedge-bodied posse of 48 cylinders, so to speak. As for the song of the birds in the hills through which we are weaving. Well, we didn't hear it, there's not much to hear to be honest, other than the passenger chirping when the acceleration hits, bringing the decades-old machines and passengers straight into the here and now. You could also say: this is how you live in the moment.
Practically everyone knows the common multiplication table. But the Italian four times twelve? That's a whole different ball game.
We have a Swiss to thank for this moment - Albert Spiess. He is considered one of the best known and most tasteful collectors in the cosmos of classic cars, but usually avoids the limelight. Noble Swiss restraint, that is. Neck-straining spurts and extreme lateral accelerations are therefore not the order of the day today - Spiess prefers stylish and restrained demonstrations.
Like in this extremely tight hairpin bend that leads us uphill. The V12 in the back doesn't even reach 1,000 strokes per minute, but rather continues unimpressed in second gear. Spiess steers, the Countach obeys. And the engine runs while we're almost standing still. No jerking, no twitching. Spiess grins and takes a bit of a swing: »When these engines are properly tuned, it's not a problem at all. « Neither with the four-liter unit working in our Countach, nor with the five-liter equivalent in the LP500.
No jerking, no twitching. Spiess grins and elaborates a little: "If these engines are set up properly, that's no problem at all."
And yes, you read that right: the Countach LP500, the archetype, the sports car that turned the automotive world on its head in 1971. Spiess recently had it restored, in collaboration with Lamborghini. Which brings us to the Italian five times twelve. And an exclusive interview given by the likeable Swiss for ramp #56.