This is a top ten list that I had a lot of fun compiling. The Lamborghini Countach is a car that, like many other children in the 80s, I absolutely fell in love with. Even though it was first made in the 1970s it is so indicative of the 1980s and I think that’s when it really became a style icon. It was more than a car. It was a work of art. Even the name, Countach, is actually Italian for “Phwoar”. The only close competitor was the Ferrari Testarossa really, but the Countach still led the way.
You normally think of the colour red when you think of a Countach but other popular colours were white, black, the occasional yellow and the very occasional dark blue. The car was so pervasive throughout the 80s in popular culture and here is my personal Top Ten.
All Transformers photos are from the very cool G1 Journey site.10. Sunstreaker Sunstreaker was the twin of Sideswipe but his toy was actually very different. The transformation was different in many ways, in particular how his bonnet split into two which I never really liked. But also the whole style of the car seemed different. It seemed to be more straight edged or something, as if it was an earlier model of the Countach, I’m not sure. But despite all this it is a yellow Lamborghini Countach, which as a concept in itself is pretty damn awesome.
9. Miami Vice Miami Vice was all about beautiful people, beautiful clothes and beautiful cars. The main stars were obviously a Ferrari Daytona and then a Ferrari Testarossa, but there was always going to have to be an appearance of a Lamborghini and that awesome car chase happened in this episode below.
8. Red Alert I love how there are three Lamborghinis in the early Transformers. That alone shows how popular the car was in the 80s. And this one is a fire service car? I mean, I don’t think they even have Lamborghinis as fire truck cars in Dubai for goodness sake. But hey, who’s to argue if it means more Lambos in our faces. And on Red Alert I really love the paint job. It almost makes it look like a Shelby. I love the colours and I love the sheer gall of the creators in making a fire chief car out of a Countach.
7. Chase HQ One of the classic driving games of the 80s, Chase HQ saw you chasing down several criminals who were trying to outrun you on the open highway. Level 2 saw you chasing down Carlos, the New York armed robber, and this dude just happened to be driving a bright yellow Lamborghini. Not exactly a subtle choice of getaway car, Carlos. I don’t think you’re really going to blend into the crowd and evade the cops that way.
But for me it was the yellow Countach bursting out of the game poster that I find just so iconic of 80s arcade gaming. The front nose of the car is so recogniseable, and having a bright yellow version of it jumping out at you underneath the picture of a person who looked like Chuck Norris was just too much awesomeness for any young man to take.
In the video below, skip to 5:33.
5. Rain Man This is a pretty damn awesome way to start a movie. Having a red Countach fly across the scene, sit in front of the camera in close up and then reveal three other Lambos of different colours all lined up in a row. Add some cool music and a young Tom Cruise and you’ve immediately got yourself a hit movie. I’m sure Dustin Hoffman helped a tiny bit too.
4. Sideswipe When I think of Transformers toys I tend to think of Sideswipe first. He was always my go-to character and he was the first Transformers toy that I owned. So many 80s elements are tied up in Sideswipe…toys, cartoons, robots, Transformers, red Lamborghinis. He’s an icon of pop culture and he’s one of the first things I think of when I think of Lamborghini Countachs.
3. Automan Personally I loved the Automan TV show. I still enjoy watching it to this day and I will be reviewing it soon for the site. One of the coolest things about the show was the whole Tron-inspired effects of Automan and Cursor. And what could be the coolest car to turn into a Tron-style Automan-mobile? Well it had to be a Lamborghini Countach of course. Possibly the coolest ever Countach to grace our screens, I’d have to say, and it corners like a…protactor. Proper 90 degree turns! Check out the Automan intro below. I just don’t think it got enough air time and sometimes it just looked like an angular special effect car and it was almost difficult to make out it was a gracefully curved Countach.
2. The Cannonball Run The Cannonball Run movies were possibly the biggest showcase of the Lamborghinis. These films just ooze ’80s. And the opening 4 minutes of the Cannonball Run is just sublime. A black as night Lamborghini Countach, sporting a very cool front spoiler, roaring down a desert highway. The noise from the engine is fantastic and matches the theme tune perfectly. You wonder what cool dude, or rich playboy is driving this beast and then out pops Farah Fawcett in a neon jumpsuit to spray paint a speed sign. Total awesome. It’s basically like a Lamborghini commercial. It is the car completely in its element. Driving fast on the open road without a care in the world. Extra marks for the very cool black colour of the car too.
1. The Cannonball Run II It was an extremely close call between this and the no.2 spot. They are almost identical. The first movie’s intro I have to say is better filmed. It looks and sounds better. You can hear the engine better. The second one also has too much cheesy banter over the police CB radios. BUT whereas the first one had a cool black Countach, the second one sports not one but two colours! You get to see a white and a red one tearing down the highway. And you also get Daisy Duke in a jumpsuit to boot too. Now, what more can a man ask for? As a showcase of what a Lamborghini is all about, and the fact that it showcases two different colours, this one had to take the no.1 spot as the most awesome appearance of a Lamborghini Countach.
What are your favourite Lamborghini Countach memories, and can you think of any appearances that I missed from my list?