By Antonio Malara
Montecatini Terme is a city in Tuscany and this place is very much linked to my childhood. Since I was little, my father has taken my family and me there on vacation, practically every summer. It was the place where he did the spas and at the same time the starting point to explore all the prestigious Tuscan destinations nearby. I have many memories of Montecatini Terme, a city that I have always liked because as a child I considered it very modern. Perhaps most of all I have always been struck by the marble clock tower of the train station. It was the visiting card of the city, a work with a subtle design in an area where the urban planning of the city became linear.
On one of those streets, there was a luxury sports car dealership and there was always a red Ferrari in the window. Obviously at the time I had no idea what the Ferrari models were and about that type of car in particular, this is because they were practically non-existent in southern Italy where I lived. Every time we passed that street I always looked at the window to see the Ferrari, it was like meeting a famous person seen only on TV. One day I asked my father if he could take me to visit the dealership inside and surprisingly one morning he satisfied me. Initially I was embarrassed because after seeing the Ferrari I didn't know what to do, nor has my father ever helped in such situations. However, suddenly, my attention was caught by another car, very low and yellow in color, which was at the back of the dealership. For me it was like finding inspiration, the real reason to be there that day and in a second my shyness disappeared. There was a young sales guy who looked a lot like the actor who played Ralph in the American show "The Greatest American Hero", a little encouraged for that too, I approached the boy and asked which car was the yellow one. The boy with a lot of enthusiasm, as if he were talking to a potential buyer, answered me; it's a Lamborghini Countach! Then he began to describe the characteristics of the car, more than anything else summed up in the term "bad", it was a wild and difficult car to drive. To me it looked like an alien car; the disproportionately large rear wheels, the engine positioned behind, the exaggerated exhausts like the wheels. Above all, however, it struck the fact that the car was very short. At that time I was still short in stature, so the car seemed like something I could drive too. As if he had understood me, the boy asked me to get on it and I did it immediately. Inside it was very spartan, I remember the steering wheel with the logo and then a lot of exposed sheet metal. It was a wonderful experience, not only for the discovery of the Countach but also because I had found an interlocutor who listened to me as if I were an adult. That boy probably noticed my initial embarrassment and took over for my father. I remember that he told me that that car, which was used anyway, costed about 89 million of Italian lire. Today it would be about 45,000 € but as purchasing power about double, today the car would have cost about € 100,000. I remember before I left I told the boy that we would meet again when I had the money to buy it. That day, inexplicably, my father had an analog camera with him and he took pictures of me and the Countach that now have both historical and symbolic value.
This is the story of how I knew the Lamborghini Countach and at the same time how I discovered that there was not only Ferrari. Moreover, that day was also one of the first times in which someone treated me as an adult, however, fulfilling the desire of a little boy. The Countach therefore also has a symbolic value for me, which is why I have a special relationship with this car. Years ago I really appreciated it in the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" in which Leonardo Di Caprio drive this car under the influence of drugs in a scene that is epic and funny at the same time. When I saw the lego model of the Countach I decided to buy it even if in fact it was for kids. However, perhaps it was a sign of a destiny that worked the other way around; I got on a real Countach as a teenager and now I could buy it in a model that was for kids. In addition to this I was still curious to see this lego model because it was full of details even if very small.
Assembly Process and Gallery
I was convinced that this type of lego was something very simple, something that had short assembly times. When I opened the box I saw how in fact even a small object followed the logic of the larger Legos. Looking at the instructions, the Countach provided for an assembly in two stages, each of which had about 45 steps. This in theory meant that as a single step, it took the same amount of time to assemble the Lamborghini as it did to assemble a much bigger car. The only difference was that the Countach only had two days rather than 6-7. I also wanted to assemble this lego following the logic of the numbering of the envelopes; so two envelopes, two days. As with larger cars, each large envelope had a smaller one inside, only I immediately noticed that the pieces were much simpler than those of a large car. Consequently, assembling the Countach was definitely a simple process, I only had to do a precision job when I had to glue the stickers which is the only step that makes me anxious. The first day it took me about 40 minutes and what I assembled was the rear part of the car. Even on the second day I only had to be careful in mounting the stickers and the process that led me to finish mounting the car lasted the same time as the first day. This means that the car can be easily assembled in just one day and having already purchased another similar model, I will use it to verify my theory. In the end, my first belief in the simplicity of this type of lego was correct.
Once assembled, the Lamborghini Countach is much smaller than the Aston Martin DB5 which is the smallest Lego car I own. I took pictures with the cars side by side to show the proportions, however it still has the charm of model making. In fact, each size has its own beauty. In the case of the Countach it’s nice to see how details have been recreated in such a small model, details that are art. This category of lego sees many models and their price (about 20 €) makes it a very accessible product. As I said before I have already bought a model of the same category but I will probably make a large collection of them in a short time, even if these models are for kids.
Pictures: Antonio Malara