How the Lamborghini Countach Got That Name
Nearly all Lamborghinis have names that relate to bulls and bullfighting, but not the Countach, and this is the story behind the famous name.
https://www.caranddriver.com/features/l ... ame-origin
I was hoping there was more alcohol involved, but I guess it is what it is.It makes perfect sense that one of the world’s wildest and most extreme automobiles should be graced with a name that, loosely translated, means, "Wow!"
The Lamborghini Countach (pronounced Coon-tosh) proved not only that everything sounds better in Italian, it also drove home the point that Lamborghini was determined to remain on the cutting edge of design and engineering. Where the Miura had sumptuous lines and curves, the 1974–1990 Countach had razor-sharp edges and brutal-looking air intakes, and in later years, it would adopt even wilder wings and spoilers. When we recently interviewed brand ambassador and retired chief test driver Valentino Balboni, we couldn't neglect to ask about the origin of that name. When we did, he took on a sudden and intoxicating air of mystery.
"You want to know the real story, the real real story?" he asked. Our eager response was met with an equally rapid acquiescence. "Okay, so I tell you!" he said, with a laugh.
For a little background, Balboni first reminded us that the Countach was designed by Marcello Gandini for the Italian firm Bertone, located in Turin, as a concept car for the 1971 Geneva auto show. And his car-naming story goes back to that very first concept.
"When the wood model, the scale 1:1 [model], was ready in Turin, Nuccio Bertone called engineer [Paolo] Stanzani and Bob Wallace, who was the general director in those days, and [Lamborghini's] test driver. They went from Bologna to Turin to see the car," he recalled. "On the motorway there was an accident, and they lost two hours standing in traffic."
By the time they arrived, it was around 10 p.m. and Nuccio Bertone had gone home for the day. "This is the real story. Listen," Balboni reminded us. He told us he was telling the tale exactly as he heard it from Stanzani. Gandini himself relates a slightly different version, which is posted on Lamborghini's website, and Balboni acknowledged that one as equally credible.
In the Balboni-via-Stanzani version, when the team from Bologna arrived in Turin, the security guard on duty called Nuccio Bertone directly. He was told to take Stanzani and Wallace to the factory room and turn on the lights where the as yet unnamed Lamborghini model was located.
"This guy at security takes Bob [Wallace] and Stanzani to that room. He puts that light on and, when he sees the Countach, the 1:1 scale model, [the security guard] said, 'Countach!' And then he went away."
Wallace and Stanzani took to examining the car's lines and poring over the model's finer points. Upon leaving, however, Stanzani stopped to ask the guard what he'd said when revealing the scale model.
"What did you say when you came in and put that light on? You said something I didn't understand," Balboni recalls Stanzani's question, as the story was told directly to him. The guard said it was "Countach," which might have explained the word itself but not the meaning. The guard said that it was a word from the local Piedmontese dialect expressing wonderment, or "Wow!" There is no direct, literal translation to English, but the exclamation is supposedly a mild vulgarity, which is properly spelled contacc in Piedmontese.
"This is the origin of the name Countach," said Balboni. "An expression of a guard, of a security man that, when he turned the light on and he saw, for the first time, the prototype, the mold in wood, he said 'Countach!'
"I was lucky to be in the right place, at the right moment with the right people," Balboni told us. "This is what those guys—unfortunately most of them are no longer with us—told me. This is what they told me always, when I was testing the car, or talking to the engineers. It's the kind of memories you will never forget."
#Lamborghini #Lambo #Countach #Contacc