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Hagerty Employee

Cannonball Run Countach roars back into the spotlight, just as it did in the movie

There's no disputing the jaw-dropping effect that the Lamborghini Countach had on the automotive world. And just as Brock Yates will forever be linked to the iconic Cannonball road race and the hit movie that it spawned, no car exemplifies that 1981 comedy film better than the 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S.

   I was an avid reader of Car & Driver in those days - Brock Yates, David E. Davis, Patrick Bedard, P.J. O'Rourke, et all were for the most part terrific writers, with Yates coming across as the most knowledgeable in so many automotive fields.  I think I picked up a copy in a dentist's waiting room and out dropped a card inviting the reader to subscribe.  And so I did.  I read the magazine to learn about European cars and autosports that I wasn't very exposed to living in Idaho.  And by doing so, I also learned a ton about American cars and auto events that I didn't know about.  C&D didn't concentrate on the types of car stuff I was into, and it also didn't just concentrate on cars, period.  There were ramblings about the meaning of life, different philosophies, elegant existences, and just plain humor.  These guys traveled the world (or at least claimed to) and wrote about all kinds of things that they saw out of their vehicles' windscreens, and I was lapping it up.

   And of course, I was hooked on the idea of the Cannon Ball race.  I was just fresh out of the military and starting a family, so I couldn't see any way that I was going to get in on the actual events, but I sure looked forward to losing myself in Yates' stories about them.  When they were stopped, I was heartbroken.  Then - the movie!  Yay!  Yes, like 99% of other viewers, I was smacked by the Countach.  It definitely kept one's eyes glued to the screen whenever it appeared.  The comedy approach and sequels were complete wastes of film - Dom Deluise?  Really?  But the cars and the driving were mostly great.  Of course, the brilliant idea of Mr. Yates was the best part - thumbing our collective noses at "the Man" and the oil crisis and all.  It was a heady time.  😎


@Sajeev - here's the other posting of the story that I first responded to - but the missing post isn't here, either.  Mine's the only one.  Possible that it was published three times instead of just two?  I sometimes see stories published twice, but never caught one done thrice.  Suppose it's possible, though!