- The mission of the National Automobile Historical Register is to “preserve America’s automobile heritage for generations to come.” The latest addition to the list is the 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400S used in the comic cannon operation.
- The fast, angular car made an impression in the first few minutes of the movie, with its extra front spoiler and dual flashlights, and continued to inspire people in cars throughout the ’80s.
- The Countach has been restored to look just as it did in the movie, including swapping out the newly owner’s burgundy red interior for the original Synaptan. It will be shown in Washington, DC next month.
With much of the auto world looking forward to the just-revealed updated Lamborghini Countach, some opponents are looking back. This week I used the famous Countach — the 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S in the 1981 movie cannon operation—Added to the National Historic Automobile Registry, an exclusive list of only 30 vehicles.
“The Countach is the car that has intrigued motoring enthusiasts since its radical style shocked the world when it debuted in the early 1970s,” Jonathan Klinger, CEO of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, said in a statement. “We are pleased to document and share the history behind what is perhaps the most famous example of this style.”
Introduced to the world in 1971, the mid-engine Countach used in the comedy based on true coast-to-coast speed records—officially called the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Dash—features an extra front spoiler and spotlights Dual. We now understand why fast cross-country driving is stupid, but that doesn’t stop us from appreciating an important car when we see one.
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Despite navigating the garage of different owners over the years and getting a burgundy cabin at one point, the car has been restored to look just like it did in the movie, including the Senape tan interior. The powertrain is a 4.0-liter 12-cylinder engine with 353 horsepower combined with a five-speed manual transmission. A grand total of 16,067 miles on the odometer.
The cannon operation The movie was written by car and driverBrock Yates, based on the actual event they created. It was Directed by Hal Needham and starring The Countach, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Aston Martin DB5, and many other great cars, along with stars Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Frah Fawcett.
The National Historic Vehicle Registry is managed by the Haggerty Drivers Foundation and the U.S. Department of the Interior. NHVR was founded in 2013 and recently added “the hero car” DeLorean 1981 from the movie Back to the future to her list.
If you want to see the Countach and other vehicles added to the list in 2020 and 2021, head to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in September during the annual Capitol Auto Show. One car from the registry will be shown each week.
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