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653979 "The Cannonball Run" The Countach LP 400 S turns 45 years old

"The Cannonball Run" The Countach LP 400 S turns 45 years old

The two actors who drove the race-winning Countach LP 400 S are together again for the first time since the film was released on June 19, 1981

One of the top cult films of all time is, without a doubt, The Cannonball Run. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Countach LP 400 S that starred in the film, Automobili Lamborghini assembled the extraordinary crew of actresses Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman for the first time since the film's release on June 19, 1981.

This Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S was produced forty-five years ago, in November 1979. With a Nero (black) exterior and Senape (mustard) interior, this Countach was sent to the then SEA dealership in Rome and, from there, was probably sold directly to the US, ending up in Florida. Its owner was a friend of the film's director and signed on to start the legend that led to it taking a place in American history.

653964 "The Cannonball Run" The Countach LP 400 S turns 45 years old

As 'stage make-up', it was given a wing and two full-beam headlights on the nose, an air dam, three antennas and 12 exhaust pipes at the rear, along with two additional fake instruments in front of the passenger seat. After the filming ended, the Countach was returned to its rightful owner, but it didn't miss out on the unique transformations made especially for it. In 2009, the car found a new owner, Jeff Ippoliti, an enthusiast originally from New York but now living in Florida, who, as a child watching the opening scene of the 1981 film, never imagined that he would one day own the same car that had made him dream on screen. "I've always been crazy about cars," Ippoliti recalls, "but the opening of the film was the first time I saw and heard the Countach in motion, and I was mesmerized! I didn't see it in person for the first time until twenty-six years later, and it took another eighteen months of negotiations to get it home."

The film

"The Cannonball Run" was inspired by the real-life Cannonball race, in which cars had to cross the United States, starting in New York and finishing in Los Angeles in the shortest possible time. To say the least, the film's cast was excellent, with actors like Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jackie Chan, and actresses like Farrah Fawcett, Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman. The latter two played the only female crew in the race and drove the Countach, which won the race. Among the most memorable scenes is the initial three-minute police chase, which added the Countach's 12-cylinder carbureted engine to the soundtrack. Also, at the beginning of the film there is a scene in which the Countach comes to an abrupt stop and the passenger exits the cockpit to spray paint an "X" on a street sign. These scenes became legendary among car enthusiasts, so much so that they became part of American tradition and ensured that the Countach would become one of the few cars to be "inscribed" in the Library of Congress.

653976 "The Cannonball Run" The Countach LP 400 S turns 45 years old

The Library of Congress of the United States

Any artifact that is the fruit of human genius can be registered, so that all knowledge associated with it can be deposited to remain available, protected for future generations, in one of the most respected and traditional institutions of the United States of America, the Library of Congress. To do so, however, it must first be recognized as an object of outstanding importance to American history, society, and tradition. Once this recognition has been achieved - and to date there are just over 30 cars that have achieved it - all the knowledge associated with the car in question, from the construction plan to the photographs, from the original documents to those relating to its history, are preserved and archived in the halls of the Library of Congress. The film's Countach LP 400 S was deemed worthy of this honor and became the 30th car to receive it in 2021, the year the film's 40th anniversary was celebrated.

Memories of the stars

They hadn't met in person since they were in the 1981 film together. That's why the interview and account given by the leads Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman can be considered excellent; the very Countach they had driven back then, which served as a backdrop, made it all the more exciting. And their memories began to surface. They admit that neither had seen, much less driven, a Lamborghini before. On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that at that time Lamborghini was producing a little over fifty cars a year. "I immediately thought it was beautiful, just beautiful, and it still is," began Adrienne Barbeau, who played the role of Marcie Thatcher in the film. "We had the best car and it was definitely the most beautiful of all," added Tara Buckman, who played Jill Rivers in the film. On why exactly the Countach was chosen to win the race, Barbeau said: "I think the Countach has the look of a winner, none of the others could have won. It wasn't in its class. And then the opening scene, with that soundtrack and the sight of the Countach running and playing hide-and-seek with the police car. Only the Countach could have achieved such an effect."
Asked if they ever expected the film to reach the legendary status that surrounds it today, both said: "Never, not for a second, and not just us; no one during filming would have expected this incredible, long-running success!"

"I never realized how successful the film was until people started asking for my autograph.Even today," Barbeau added, "despite my success as an actress in horror films and my role as Cat Woman in Batman, people still ask me for autographs on model Countach cars above all else."

"It's impossible even for me to remember how many times I signed a photo or a model of a Countach car!" added Buckman.

Some of their favorite scenes: "The one where Tara gets out of the car and sprays a black spray paint X on the street sign," Barbeau said. While for Tara Bachmann it was: "The opening scene, with the police car chasing the Countach. There are a lot of movies with great opening scenes, but this is definitely one of the best ever."

When asked how they think this film has influenced American culture and society, Barbeau replied, "Everybody knows it; and everybody knows that Lamborghini."
"And not only that. Everyone also knows the two girls inside the Lamborghini. We are inextricably linked to this role," Buckman added.

653975 "The Cannonball Run" The Countach LP 400 S turns 45 years old

Lamborghini Polo Storico

Lamborghini Polo Storico is the internal department of Automobili Lamborghini responsible for the company's historical heritage, the management and study of the company's archives, as well as the restoration and certification of historic Lamborghinis. Launched in spring 2015 at the headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, the Lamborghini Polo Storico is the reference point for collectors of classic Lamborghinis from all over the world and looks after models from the first 350 GTV in 1963 to the last Diablo built in 2001.

Polo Storico's activities are focused on three main areas: the Archives, consisting of the historical heritage of Automobili Lamborghini in technical and commercial information and documents; the Certifications, which are the culmination of an in-depth process of documentary, archival and technical analysis of the car, culminating in the publication of a special book certifying the authenticity of the car under consideration; and the Restorations, carried out with full respect for the authenticity of the cars by a

Alessandro Farmeschi, After Sales Director of Automobili Lamborghini, commented: "Already during my time working for Lamborghini in the US, I had the opportunity to get to know this Countach LP 400 S and its extraordinary history. This is a car that ignited a passion for the Lamborghini brand and the Countach model in many young enthusiasts who, after growing up, came to us as customers of the brand and our cars. Although its specifications are not exactly the same as they were when it left the factory, it is undoubtedly historically important to Automobili Lamborghini and, as its entry into the Library of Congress attests, to automotive culture and beyond, to the culture of an entire nation. As Lamborghini, we can't help but be filled with pride and are delighted to celebrate its 45th anniversary by reuniting the car with the unforgettable crew of the movie 'Cannonball'."

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