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Additionally unveiled on March 11, 1971 at Geneva was the Maserati Bora | Maserati images

Two automotive icons — the Lamborghini Countach and the Maserati Bora — share their fiftieth birthdays on March 11. Each automobiles have been unveiled on March 11, 1971 on the Geneva Motor Present in Switzerland. 

It was 10 a.m. when Lamborghini unveiled the Countach LP 500 in yellow on the Carrozzeria Bertone show stand. 

“Its unveil (in prototype kind) was so profitable that the corporate raced towards time to fulfill the shoppers’ requests and remodel the futuristic present automobile right into a manufacturing automobile, although in a small collection,” Lamborghini mentioned in its anniversary announcement. 

“The choice to unveil the Countach LP 500 in Carrozzeria Bertone’s house was motivated by the truth that Lamborghini’s stand featured the most recent arrival from the Home of the Raging Bull: the Miura SV, perfected after 5 years of manufacturing. 

“With this double presentation, Lamborghini communicated and confirmed its prowess not solely in manufacturing however particularly in innovation, to the extent that within the months following Geneva, the Countach LP 500 was featured in all of the worldwide automotive magazines.”

Happy birthdays: Countach, Bora turn 50
Happy birthdays: Countach, Bora turn 50

The Countach was developed, underneath chief engineer Paolo Stanzani, inside Lamborghini as venture code LP112 — LP for Longitudinale Posteriore, indicating the rear longitudinal place of the 12-cylinder engine.  

Design was completed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone; Gandini additionally designed the Miura. In contrast to the manufacturing automobiles that adopted in 1974, the Geneva prototype was constructed on a platform body somewhat than a tubular chassis and had a one-off 4971cc engine. The physique featured engine air intakes with a shark-gill design and the inside showcased digital instrumentation.

“The origin of the identify of this automobile lies within the dialect of the Piedmont area,” Lamborghini mentioned in its anniversary information launch. “In its closing phases of meeting, the automobile was hidden in a shed for agricultural equipment on a farm close to Grugliasco (province of Turin) to keep away from attainable work stoppages associated to labor unrest, and was ‘found’ by a farmer who exclaimed in amazement and enthusiasm ‘Countach!’ (a phrase in Piedmontese dialect expressing wonderment). 

“When Piedmont-born Marcello Gandini grew to become conscious of the very fact, he thought that this phrase had a very robust communicative drive and in addition satisfied Nuccio Bertone, Ferruccio Lamborghini and his colleague, Paolo Stanzani.”

After the Geneva debut, chief take a look at driver Bob Wallace started highway testing the prototype, although with a dependable manufacturing V12 somewhat than a one-off engine in place. 

“The profession of this extraordinary automobile ended originally of 1974,” Lamborghini mentioned, “when it was used for the crash checks required for the homologation of the manufacturing automobile, and subsequently scrapped.”

Lamborghini famous that from 1974 to 1990, it produced 1,999 Countachs in 5 collection. 

It additionally famous that the automobile was displayed on bed room partitions all over the world and was showcased in dozens of films. The automobile’s success “allowed Lamborghini to outlive essentially the most troublesome years of its historical past.”

Happy birthdays: Countach, Bora turn 50

The Bora, additionally unveiled at Geneva that day in 1971, was the primary Maserati with its engine mid-mounted behind the driving force’s compartment. 

“The wind of the Maserati Bora spans via 50 years of historical past, and reaches the daybreak of a brand new part for the Model: all new fashions share the exclusiveness, sportiness and uniqueness which have all the time characterised the Modenese constructor, and Bora has additionally handed down its engine place, first launched on the Tipo 63 (1961), initially reprised on the MC12, and now a key function of the brand new MC20,” the corporate mentioned in its fiftieth anniversary information launch.

The Bora, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign, was produced till 1978 with 564 models constructed. The Bora additionally was the idea for the Giugiaro-designed Boomerang idea automobile, which featured a wedge-shaped physique and futuristic engineering.

The Bora initially was powered by a 4.7-liter V8 that offered 310 horsepower. A 4.9-liter unit adopted in 1973. Giulio Alfieri was the automobile’s chief engineer. Among the many automobile’s options have been retractable headlamps, Maserati’s first use of 4-wheel unbiased suspension, a 5-speed transmission and disc brakes.

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Larry Edsall

A former each day newspaper sports activities editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek journal earlier than making the transition to writing for the net and changing into the creator of greater than 15 automotive books. Along with being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Occasions and The Detroit Information and was an adjunct honors professor on the Walter Cronkite Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State College.