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Kyosho’s Lamborghini Countach Page 2

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Interior. As you look into the Lambo’s cocoon-like cockpit, you’re greeted with numerous examples of Kyosho’s craftsmanship: simulated carpeting, textured dashboard, chrome accents and fully detailed gauges. The prototype sports slung-back buckets with parallel rows of tall, rectangular cushions and no side bolsters whatsoever—very ’70s! The Countach was never known for sumptuous accommodations, but the production seats added bolsters, and they look more comfortable and less dated. There are only two differences on the S-cars’ interiors. The first is the addition of woven, “Sabelt” brand 5-point racing harnesses with chrome buckles and bulkhead anchors. The second is the engraved (by laser no doubt) plaque on the driver’s side door sill that unequivocally identifies these cars (to the eagle-eyed at least) not as the LP500 Ss that Kyosho claims, but as the two famous Dallara-modified LP400s that spawned the S series. It reads: “BUILT SPECIFICALLY FOR MR. WALTER WOLF
AUTOMOBILI FERRUCCIO LAMBORGHINI SPA”
That this plaque measures just 2.5x6mm speaks to Kyosho’s craftsmanship, but it’s too bad that the company fails to take full advantage of the historic nature of these cars or to correctly identify them on the boxes and in the literature.

Under the hood. The engine compartment is where many observers will focus their attention, and under an engine cover with perforated screen vents sits the Countach’s “longitudinale posteriore” DOHC V12. Bundled, bright red plug wires and dual-choke Weber carburetors painted in three colors and molded into twin fuel rails dominate the top of the engine on all cars. Various other items—oil reservoirs, accessory belts, etc.—are tucked here and there in the compartment, making for an authentic—and authentically cramped—engine bay (No wonder Countachs were often plagued by overheating problems!). The only knocks are a couple of visible glue joints and a throttle linkage that interferes slightly with the engine cover’s opening fully on one of the cars.

It should be noted that the engines on all five models look essentially identical. It is well documented that the Wolf S cars had a modified 5.0L V12 (in fact, the very same V12 was reportedly transferred from the no. 148 car to the 202 car—see sidebar) rather than the stock 4.0L, but since the modifications were mainly internal (bore and stroke increases, new cams, porting, etc.), there was little external difference—a fact confirmed by photos of the Wolf cars taken at the time. Consequently, Kyosho’s use of the same molds for its engine pieces seems justified.

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The front deck flips up to reveal the spare tire compartment, which is decently appointed, though the spares on all of the cars are the oversize ones from the base LP400 (more on that in a moment). At the tail, under the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer rear wing on the S cars, is a second cargo compartment. It is lined with the same simulated carpeting as adorns the floorboards.

Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:24 AM

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