Marcello Gandini Says No to the New Lamborghini Countach

·4 min read
Photo credit: Lamborghini
Photo credit: Lamborghini
  • The original Lamborghini Countach, produced from 1974 to 1990, was penned by the great designer Marcello Gandini, who was also responsible for other classic Lambos like the Miura and Diablo.

  • A new limited-series Lamborghini was revealed at The Quail this past August, dubbed the Countach LPI 800-4, resurrecting the classic nameplate in 769-hp hybrid supercar form, with power from both a V12 engine and supercapacitors.

  • Representatives of the legendary designer want to clarify Gandini played no part in the design, nor did he approve of a production Countach.

There is no greater designer of wild Italian supercars than Marcello Gandini. The maestro penned everything from the Lancia Stratos and Bugatti EB110 to the Renault R5 Turbo and two versions of the Maserati Quattroporte. It was his work for Lamborghini, however, that was the most outrageous—and most enduring. Gandini penned the Lamborghinis Espada, Jarama, Miura, and Diablo, to name just four. The pinnacle of all that, perhaps his most revolutionary and beloved design ever, was the original Lamborghini Countach, the epitome of angular coolness and V12 power that adorned the bedroom walls of teenagers in poster form for generations.

So how does the great Gandini feel about the new Countach unveiled at The Quail last summer?

Photo credit: Lamborghini
Photo credit: Lamborghini

“Marcello Gandini clarifies that he has not participated in and does not approve the project, that he didn’t give his placet,” read an official statement from the man himself, issued through his daughter, Marzia Gandini Provera, through her firm THINK PR.

“Placet,” by the way, is the Latin root word for “approval.” This is as close as we’re going to get to The Real Housewives of Turin, Lido Shore, or maybe an opera.

Apparently, last spring Lamborghini requested a video interview of the senior Gandini with Mitja Bokert, head of Lamborghini’s design department Centro Stile, about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Countach. Gandini agreed. During the meeting, Bokert presented a scale model which was described as Bokert’s “personal tribute to Maestro Gandini,” made for him and as a basis for a celebratory model that would be presented that summer at The Quail.

Gandini says that “neither earlier, nor during the interview was it stated that the car was scheduled for limited series production.” Gandini merely, “did smile and acknowledge as would be customary to do so.”

But that didn’t mean he approved! So let’s all get that straight.

“The press reports that followed made clear that the interview was not an end in itself as a celebration of the Countach’s 50th anniversary but marked the beginnings of series production and sale of its remake, and seeing the use made of the abovementioned interview, it is important to rectify facts,” read Gandini’s statement. “This rectification is also made necessary in response to the countless requests for clarification received by Marcello Gandini from members of the press and professionals of car design industry in recent weeks.”

Okay, got it. But wait, there’s more, as the release continues to berate the point like a volpino gnawing on a pant leg of a passing il postino.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

“Thus, Marcello Gandini would like to reaffirm that he had no role in this operation, and as the author and creator of the original design from 1971, would like to clarify that the makeover does not reflect his spirit and his vision. A spirit of innovation and breaking the mould which is in his opinion totally absent in this new design: ‘I have built my identity as a designer, especially when working on supercars for Lamborghini, on a unique concept: each new model I would work on would be an innovation, a breaker, something completely different from the previous one. Courage, the ability to create a break without sticking to the success of the previous car, the confidence in not wanting to give in to habit were the very essence of my work,’ explained Gandini. ‘It is clear that markets and marketing itself has changed a lot since then, but as far as I am concerned, to repeat a model of the past, represents in my opinion the negation of the founding principles of my DNA.’”

It’s stuff like this that makes all those operas so great. But okay, I think we got it. Gandini gives no placet to the new Countach. Any questions? Good. Then let’s all get back to work.

Share your thoughts on the new Lamborghini Countach and whether or not you think it is worthy of the name in the comments below.

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