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Cannonball Run stars reunited with Lamborghini Countach for the first time in over 40 years

Words: Eliott Hughes | Photos: Lamborghini

Lamborghini has marked the 45th anniversary of the 1979 Countach LP 400 S that starred in the cult classic The Cannonball Run, by reuniting lead actresses Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman for the first time since the film’s release on June 19, 1981.

Adrienne and Tara’s first reunion in over 40 years took place with the Countach serving as an evocative backdrop. Both admitted they had never even seen a Lamborghini prior to their involvement with the film, before explaining what makes the car so special to them: 

“I immediately thought it was beautiful, simply beautiful – and it still is,” said Adrienne, who played Marcie Thatcher in the film. “We had the best car, and it was definitely the most beautiful of all,” concurred Tara, who was cast as Jill Rivers.

We had the best car, and it was definitely the most beautiful of all

We had the best car, and it was definitely the most beautiful of all

Both Tara and Adrienne admitted that neither of them expected The Cannonball Run to achieve the prolific success that it ultimately did. “I had never realised how successful the movie was, until people started asking me for my autograph,” Barbeau explained. “In spite of my success as an actress in horror movies, and playing Cat Woman in the Batman movie, people ask me above all to sign Countach model cars – everyone knows this Lamborghini.”

“Not only that, everyone knows the two girls in the Lamborghini,” Tara interjected. “We are inextricably tied to that role.”

When asked about their favourite scene, Adrienne said: “The one where Tara gets out of the car and sprays an ‘X’ on the road sign.”

The opening scene, with the police car chasing the Countach, was Tara’s favourite. “There are lots of movies with great opening scenes, but this is definitely the best one ever,” she added.

The Cannonball Run Countach is one of only 105 Series 2 cars built from 1979-81, which can be identified by their smooth, concave wheels and ‘low-body’ ride height. It was originally delivered to an SEA dealership in Rome, before being shipped to its first owner in Florida.

Upon arriving in the US, the Nero over Senape Countach underwent several modifications for its starring role on the silver screen. A front spoiler and dual-beam headlights adorned the nose, while a large rear wing and 12 exhaust tips were added to the rear. Fake auxiliary gauges were installed in front of the passenger seat.

Once filming was complete, the Lamborghini was bought directly off the film set by Ron Rice of Hawaiian Tropic fame. It was acquired by current owner Jeff Ippoliti in 2009. “I had always been crazy about cars, but the opening scene of the movie was the first time I got to see and hear the Countach in motion,” Jeff recalled. “I didn’t see the Countach in person for the first time until 26 years later, and it took me another 18 months of negotiations before I managed to take it home.”

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