Will the true Countach Production numbers ever be known & Archive Destruction | LamborghiniChat
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Will the true Countach Production numbers ever be known & Archive Destruction

Discussion in 'Lamborghini Supercars' started by smurfcar, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. smurfcar

    smurfcar Rookie

    Oct 24, 2020
    7
    Full Name:
    christina anne
    My reading of period authors like Rob De La Rive Box , Pasini , Dron etc all throw up different production numbers for each of the Countach variants .

    1) Does anyone have definitive figures for each model variant that they would be able to stand by .
    I don't mean guarantee , as this would mean having access to the factory records which are pretty impossible to get at , but rather figures for which there is some evidence .

    2) How much truth is there in the stories I keep hearing about factory production number records being burnt during Megatech's tenure of Sant' Agata ?
    Is there any foundation to these rumours ?

    3) If so , then may we reasonably conclude that we will never find out the true production numbers for each variant , as the records were destroyed 3 decades ago ?

    My apologies for asking these difficult and detailed questions , and thanks in advance
     
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  3. Robert W

    Robert W Formula Junior

    Mar 13, 2005
    556
    Oxford, UK
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    Robert Westall
    #2 Robert W, Nov 26, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    Hi,

    I have seen a subset of factory records of every Countach made. Several enthusiasts I know have copies of these, so they clearly exist. The records I have seen were hand written.

    From these records (and other sources to cross reference) I have a list of every Right Hand Drive Countach (about 238 in total) made from which I am finding a photo of every car - currently I have photos of 214 of them.

    My guess is that the Lamborghini factory have copies of these records.

    Bear in mind that all records seem to contradict each other, as they were all hand written, and the accuracy of the records depends on how diligent the writer was. It’s not like today where accurate records were kept on computers. There are absolutely terrible mistakes in all the Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini records I have seen.

    It’s worth drawing a sensible conclusion/estimates based on the information available from several sources, always say “as far as I know/I’m happy to be corrected” and never believe any idiot who insists they are always right, as interpreting 1970s/80s/90s info is an art not an exact science!

    Robert Westall
     
  4. smurfcar

    smurfcar Rookie

    Oct 24, 2020
    7
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    christina anne
    Thanks Robert -- that makes absolute sense

    Joe ( Sackey ) -- what are your thoughts on this issue ?
     
  5. joe sackey

    joe sackey Three Time F1 World Champ

    May 23, 2006
    32,120
    Southern California
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    Joe Sackey
    I agree with Robert entirely, as would anyone objective, one must always be open to new material and received wisdom such as documentation that definitively confirms production numbers one way or another, and the fact that numbers are not firmly established is simply a function of recording methods available in the era in which the records were created.

    In an era when precision was not as important.

    To me, this adds to the mystique and unique charm the model has.

    Most people accept that there are just under 2,000 Countachs built, and there are a number of online sources that break down the different variants.

    Yes, the factory do have records, I know this for a fact.

    No, I won't stand by my numbers for each variant, I can ballpark it though.

    Records burnt? Sounds like the 'dog ate my homework' story ;)
     
  6. smurfcar

    smurfcar Rookie

    Oct 24, 2020
    7
    Full Name:
    christina anne
    Thanks Joe -- what you and Robert say makes huge sense .

    I do wish that the factory would allow free access to these archives ... i cant understand why they won't ... surely there cant be much to hide 50/30 years later ?

    Re the canine consumed schoolwork , the following ( Hemmings Motor News ) is what I was referring to , and I have heard it from other sources too . If so , it suggests that the factory's records might have been compromised by Kimberley's shredder .

    I have also heard from other sources , what Robert has already said above : that what factory records there are , are hand-written , that there is little or no standardisation of entry , that there are gaps , and that the numbers don't quite add up .

    I have asked face-to-face at Sant' Agata meetings for access to these records , but have not been accorded the privilege ..... despite being a client for over 20 years and despite having published .

    Lamborghini are so open and helpful with their current production numbers ( re Aventador , Huracan, Urus ) and yet so reticent about their Countach records .

    This dichotomy in attitude makes me wonder why , and more specifically whether there is something to hide / lacking .


    Below is the relevant excerpt from Hemmings Motor News - Feb 2008 , and would love to hear everyone's views ( as I have already mentioned , i have heard this from other sources as well ) :

    '' We're watching it happen right now with Nissan (whose plans for a 50th anniversary celebration include nothing more than a sales event), and around 1995, it also happened with Lamborghini. International Lamborghini Registry site manager Glen Kohut writes, "Around 1995-1996, Lamborghini management, under Mike Kimberley, had ordered the destruction of the factory's archives. Most, if not all, commercial files, invoices, letters, registers and other documents wound up in the shredder, destroying precious parts of the legendary company's history, maybe to eliminate embarrassing comparisons between the illustrious past and the modern present."

    That cleansing left owners of vintage Lamborghinis with a gaping hole in the history of their vehicles. Second party sources were littered with inconsistencies, and often those errors have made their way into more accepted sources, until the error becomes fact. The International Lamborghini Registry was founded to correct some of those urban legends, and set the record straight about every Lamborghini ever produced. ''
     
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  8. Olivier NAMECHE

    Olivier NAMECHE F1 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2007
    4,613
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    Olivier

    Allow me to contribute to your thoughts :

    1) I have the factory lists for LP 400, LP 400 S, but I know few fellows who have also 5000 S and QV.

    2) The records were not burned, just threw in container, I have 2x period employees who confimed and explained me how it happened.

    3), the production records have been saved, I saw them, but it is true that the factory is not enclined to share these infos with the Public, VW has inherited the "Past" which was obscur and not really matching the nowadays VW Corporate philosophy.
     
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  9. raymondQV

    raymondQV F1 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2007
    3,522
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    Raymond S.
    #7 raymondQV, Dec 29, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
    We can even say there are quite a number of different lists, like hand written lists compiled by one department, warranty letters from other departments etc.
    The not so easy to achieve goal is to combine all these source and find out what it the most accurate compilation, then the next thing would be to compare the cars with the records - summarized a Hercules work which is being performed by a number of persons since at least two decades and it will not stop.

    I would say, the Countach is relatively easy from what I have seen, compared with the Urracos which is really a huger mess with 4 different versions and therefore a wild mix of Chassis -/ Engine-/ Body -Numbers.
     
  10. joe sackey

    joe sackey Three Time F1 World Champ

    May 23, 2006
    32,120
    Southern California
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    Joe Sackey
    I agree entirely, everything is there, including the build sheets, I have seen mine, that said sometimes it takes not insignificant effort to find what you're looking for as these records are numerous custodians.

    Meanwhile it's understandable why they don't want to officially share past documentation from a bygone era, it might reveal certain, er, shall we say production anomalies ;)
     

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