Behold, the World’s Most Beautiful Lamborghini Countach

And to think such art never even sold.

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There’s a kind of sad, popular game that tabloids play with celebrities of a certain age. That is: Look at the unadulterated, dewy beauty of this star at 24! And now, grimace in horror at that same star 30 years on, festooned with the telltale curves and dips and polymer additions of plastic surgery. It’s the latter state—organic features bent past recognition—that sticks in the public’s mind. That’s why James Dean is such a paragon of male beauty; we never had to grapple with his hair piece.

The Lamborghini Countach, as it’s known to children of the Eighties, is a fat-tired skateboard covered in wings, scoops and strakes. But folks, that’s the “after” pic. This, here, is the Countach as it was meant to be regarded, pure of form and so young, circa-1972, that it hadn’t even made a public debut. Gaze at the platonic ideal of a wedge: Marcello Gandini’s LP500 Prototipo, absent the warts that would later litter its lines. The wild doors and extraterrestrial shape are futuristic, but those Campagnolo wheels are square in 1972. If the late Countach is pure hedonism, a whipped-cream-topped frappucino, this is the perfect espresso, short.

Do yourself a favor, and let this version invade your memory for a while. It’s the kind thing to do.