The Cannonball Run of 1981 may be a comedy film, but it is one of the most iconic car movies of all time. One of the starring cars in the film is a 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S, which up until now is still in its complete beautiful metal form. For its special role in the history of vehicles in the United States, this Countach is now included in the National Historic Vehicle Register of the U.S. Library of Congress.
A Movie Based On The Illegal Cross-Country Race
The movie takes inspiration from the actual Cannonball Run that has been going on since 1933 (with the Erwin George Baker as the spark plug). While the film prompted the crackdown of the illegal race, it introduced the race to a greater audience, which mostly includes people who have a penchant for road racing.
Setting the tone of the film was a black 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S (mustard yellow interior) with chassis #1121112. With Jill Rivers (Tara Buckman) and Marcie Thatcher (Adrienne Barbeau) as its pilots, the black Countach moved through the desert east of Las Vegas, Nevada. After Jill vandalized the 55-mph speed limit signage, the Countach found itself running away from a police car, and then overtook another a few seconds later.
Lambo Countach As The Star Of ‘The Cannonball Run’
The Countach was not the only car in The Cannonball Run film. Apparently, the movie’s screenwriters picked the most representative cars of the era – including a Ferrari 308 GTS, an Aston Martin DB5 and a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. But the Countach was obviously the star of the film, with the Lambo performing solo for more than 3 minutes of the opening scene. The Countach and its drivers eventually won the Cannonball Run.
According to Lamborghini, SEA Auto (Lamborghini’s distributor in Rome at the time) exported the Countach to the US, with the car finding a new owner in Florida. The car’s owner loaned the Countach to his friend – film director Hal Needham – for the movie. The Countach received modifications for the film, including a front spoiler, three antennas, 12 exhaust pipes, and twin spotlights.
The car found a new owner on the set, in the persona of Ron Rice. He sold the Countach to Lamborghini aficionado Jeff Ippoliti of Florida in 2004. Jeff remains the owner of this celebrity supercar.
30th Car With Historical Significance To The U.S.
Hagerty Drivers Foundation, which manages the National Historic Vehicle Register, found the Countach worthy of being the list’s 30th and newest member – around 40 years since the release of The Cannonball Run film. The register includes cars considered of national importance to the U.S.
A Countach popping up for sale on an auction always attract bidders, and this is one is no different.
About The Author