During his time at Bertone, “maestro” Marcello Gandini was considered the designer of such masterpieces as Alfa Romeo Montreal, Lancia Stratos and Maserati Shamal (as well as Citroën BX and R5 Turbo!). It has been Lamborghinis, including the Miura and Countach, recently refurbished by Taurus in a special model. A “revival” that the design master obviously didn’t appreciate…
Gandini don’t go hand in hand…
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Marcello Gandini threw a stone into the lake, interrupting a rather caustic press release denouncing this Countach reinterpretation that pays homage to the original model. But the true cause of this epidermal reaction, and at least unusual, may be due, first of all, to a misunderstanding with Lamborghini after a video announcing this Countach LPI 800-4. Gandini emphasized that he was in no way involved in the design and production of the tribute model Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4.
In this video interview that Gandini shot in June, the designer spoke to the designer of the LPI 800-4, and Lamborghini presented him with a scale model of the car, which he said was a tribute to show off at Pebble Beach. However, he was not informed that this car will be put into limited production and will be sold to the public as a “continuation”, especially since the video was used to promote the new car. Marcello Gandini therefore sent a letter denouncing both the exploit of this clip and also the new Countach project itself.
He went further in the letter, adding that this car “does not reflect his spirit and vision”. “I formed my identity as a designer by working on a unique concept for supercars specifically for Lamborghini: Every new model I would work on would be a novelty, a puzzle, something completely different from the previous one. Courage, the ability to take a break without depending on the success of the previous car, the confidence that I did not want to give in to the habit was the essence of my work. It’s clear that markets and marketing itself have changed a lot since then, but for me, repeating a pattern from the past represents a denial of the founding principles of my DNA. »
The Countach’s cynical opportunity to navigate nostalgia for profit is a bit like pushing an open door, even more so when it comes to preserving memory and heritage can be said to be something very important to a car brand. for such an iconic coat of arms. As in other artistic fields, like the copious remakes that Hollywood “offers” us, perhaps a sign of a crisis of modernity and creativity, nostalgia is in full swing, as the success of the VHC has proven by collector’s market speculation. or the almost guaranteed commercial success of all the tribute series that made history, from the Giulia GTA to the Aston Martin DBS 59 via Ferrari’s Icona models or the Ford GT 64′ prototype edition.
The bull answers
Stung responded in a statement published by Lamborghini Italian magazine quaternary :
Referring to the press release issued by Marcello Gandini on October 22, 2021, Lamborghini aims to emphasize that the new Countach LPI 800-4 project stems from the company’s desire to pay homage to one of the most emblematic cars in Lamborghini history. It stems from his work and represents a modern reinterpretation of one of his iconic cars, consistent with the design DNA that characterizes Lamborghini both old and new.” He reports the position of the Emilian company, which wants to break the record soon after criticism of Gandini has circulated all over the world in recent days.
“The company never attributed a role to Marcello Gandini in the making of the Countach LPI 800-4. Instead, Automobili Lamborghini invited Mr. Gandini to attend an interview that took place in June 2021. It was a conversation with the designer and director of Centro Stile Lamborghini ‘about the comparison between the old model and the new (…). As can be seen from the video interview, the Company briefed Marcello Gandini about the presentation of the new Countach LPI 800-4 at Pebble Beach 2021. He was shown a model and sketches of the new car given to him. »
This is an unusual dispute that disrupts the normally well-oiled and flawless communication of manufacturers. Shame. Countach’s 50th anniversary celebrations are marred by a bitterly controversial episode.