1972 - Bob Wallace, prepares to take the prototype LP400 #1120001 (above) out on to the track for testing. Bob took testing the Countach quite seriously, as period overalls, full-face helmet, driving gloves and Britax belts show. Vespa scooters and period cars make for a lovely historical image.
LP400 Countach (157 Made 1974-1978)
1974-23, 1975-60, 1976-27, 1977-40
The LP400 was a complete revision of the LP500 Countach in all but general body lines. The LP500 was little more than a hasty mockup, though a roadworthy one, that would require extensive work before one could even think of even limited production.
The first item to undergo a complete redesign was the chassis itself. The LP500 chassis consisted of a framework of square section tubes that gave way to a stiffer more complex space-frame of welded round tubes to which a lighter web of secondary structure was mounted, which the final 1mm thick body could eventually be hung on. The overall chassis was much stiffer to handed the stress and twisting forces produced in a car of this type.
The smaller 4 liter (3929cc) engine had smaller bore (82mm) and stroke (62mm) than the original 5 liter on the prototype that exploded in road testing. The engine was fed by six horizontal Weber 45DCOE, two barrel carburators and spark was now supplied by two 6 point distributors driven off two of the engine's four camshafts. Resultant power was now down to a more reliable 375bhp at 8000rpm and torque measured 268 lbft at 5500rpm. Total weight for the new car was 2390 pounds.
Styling remained similar to the LP500 show car, though it became necessary to add all manner of scoops and vents to cool the passengers, brakes and engine. The periscopic mirror was done away with but the rooftop tunnel hung around for some time. This was eventually done away with too.
The futuristic interior underwent another drastic change, giving way to a comfortable, though cramped (for anyone over 6 feet tall) interior with a more familiar dash layout and a complement of Stuart & Warner guages. Visibility remained limited in the new car in with the side louvers replaced by glass.
The Perelli P7 tires, around which the LP500 was designed, never did make it into production. It became necessary to replace these with Michelin XWX tires (205/70-VR-14 front, and 215/70-VR-14 rear) though these never had the grip or performance of the P7s. It would be a few more years till these tires would finally make their appearance, changing the handling the Countach for the better.
The LP400 was the first, or second rather, in a long line of great cars. It is deffinitely my favorite Countach if only for its more classic lines.
Lamborghini LP400 Countach
|Type||60° V12, Longitudinal, Mid-Mounted, DOHC per bank|
|Valves||2 per cylinder|
|Bore/Stroke||82mm x 62mm|
|Carburation||6 Twin-throat Webers >45 DCOE 96/97|
|Max power||375bhp @ 8,000rpm|
|Torque||266 ft/lbs @ 5,500rpm|
|Gearbox||5-speed + reverse, All-Syncromesh|
|Clutch||Single dry plate, hydraulically operated|
2.256:1 - 65 mph
1.769:1 - 84 mph
1.310:1 - 113 mph
0.990:1 -150 mph
0.775:1 - 195 mph
|Chassis||Tubular Steel Space Frame|
|Suspension||Independent, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers|
|Brakes||Girling ventilated discs|
|Wheels||Campagnolo cast magnesium 7.5 JJ and 9.5 JJ x 14|
|Front Tires||205/70 VR 14 Pirelli P7|
|Rear Tires||215/70 VR 14 Pirelli P7|
|Overall Length||4140 mm / 161.5 in|
|Overall Width||1890 mm / 73.7 in|
|Overall Height||1070 mm / 41.7 in|
|Wheelbase||2450 mm / 95.5 in|
|Front Track||1500 mm / 58.5 in|
|Rear Track||1520 mm / 59.3 in|
|Weight||1300 kg / 2860 lb|
|Fuel Tank||2 x 60 L / 2 x 16 gal|
|Top speed||290 km/h / 179.8 mph|
|Standing Km||22.8 sec|
Countach LP400 Registry 1120001-1120150,