The mission of the National Historic Vehicle Register is to “preserve America’s auto heritage for future generations.” The list’s latest addition is the 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400S used in the comedy film The Cannonball Run.
The angular speedster made an impression in the opening few minutes of the movie, with its additional front spoiler and twin spotlights, and kept on inspiring car people throughout the ’80s.
The Countach has been restored to look the way it did in the film, including swapping out the burgundy red interior that a recent owner put in for the original Senape Tan. It will be on display in Washington, D.C., next month.
As most of the automotive world looks forward with anticipation to the just-revealed Lamborghini Countach update, some contrarians are looking back. This week, a famous Countach—the 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S used in the 1981 film The Cannonball Run—was added to the National Historic Vehicle Register, an exclusive list that only boasts a grand total of 30 vehicles.
“The Countach is a car that has excited and intrigued car enthusiasts since its radical style shocked the world on its debut in the early ’70s,” Jonathan Klinger, executive director of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to document and share the history behind what is probably the most famous example of the storied model.”
The mid-engine Countach was introduced to the world in 1971 and the one used in the comedy film based on the real-world speed coast-to-coast record attempts—officially called the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash—featured an extra front spoiler and twin spotlights. We now understand why cross-country speed drives are dumb, but that doesn’t stop us from appreciating an important car when we see one.
Despite moving between different owners’ garages over the years and getting a burgundy interior at some point, the car has been restored to look like it did in the film, including a Senape tan interior. The powertrain is a 353-hp 4.0-liter 12-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission. A grand total of 16,067 miles are on the odometer.
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The Cannonball Run film was directed by Hal Needham and starred the Countach, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, a Aston Martin DB5, and many more wonderful vehicles, along with stars Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, and Farrah Fawcett.
The National Historic Vehicle Register is managed by the Hagerty Drivers Foundation and the U.S. Department of the Interior. The NHVR was established in 2013 and most recently added the 1981 DeLorean “hero car” from the movie Back to the Future to its list.
If you want to see the Countach and other vehicles that were added to the list in 2020 and 2021, head on down to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in September during the
EDMOND — The inaugural Cycle 66, an urban and rural bicycling tour and festival along historic Route 66, will be Nov. 7, 2021, with diverse cycling routes showcasing the Mother Road’s uniqueness via starting and finishing lines in downtown Edmond.
“Oklahoma’s love of cycling, Route 66 and family fun all comes together with Cycle 66,” said Cycle 66 founder Mike Osburn, an Edmond businessman and civic booster. “Whether you’re a competitive cyclist, started biking as a pandemic distraction, or just like fun and food, Cycle 66 is for you. We are thrilled Edmond is getting in on the action of Route 66, a national attraction we are privileged to have as a part of our community.”
Organizers unveiled Cycle 66 on the 94th anniversary of Route 66’s establishment in 1926. Cycle 66’s title sponsor is OU Health.
“Cycle 66 offers cyclists three distances to enjoy and the rest of us a chance to cheer them on at a family friendly festival showcasing all downtown Edmond has to offer,” said Jennifer Seaton, director of Visit Edmond.
“Oklahoma is leading the nation in Route 66 tourism as the Mother Road approaches its 100th anniversary, and dynamic events like Cycle 66 are one reason why,” said Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, the state’s secretary of tourism and branding.
“Cycle 66 is a dream for people like me who love cycling, cherish Route 66 and believe in Oklahoma’s potential as a recreation and tourism destination,” said Pinnell, an avid cyclist.
Cycle 66 will offer routes for all riders, from amateur to competitive cyclists. All three routes will include support and gear, relief wagons, signage, rest stops, first aid stations and traffic control.
ATLANTA, April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Historic lows are expected in April as the full effects of COVID-19 are felt across the U.S. auto market for the entire month. According to a forecast released by Cox Automotive, new light-vehicle sales volume is expected to finish near 620,000 units, down 53% compared to last April and down 37% compared to last month. After incorporating seasonal adjustments, the annual vehicle sales pace in April is expected to finish near 7.5 million, down significantly from last month’s 11.4 million and far below last April’s 16.5 million level.
The auto industry has consistent, reliable data reaching back to 1976. In that timeframe, the single lowest sales month was marked in January 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession. Total sales fell to 655,000, and the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) fell to 9.6 million. The lowest sales pace in the past 40-plus years was 8.8 million, which occurred in December 1981 during the “Double Dip” recession period. Given the massive impact of this pandemic, it seems very likely that the resulting market response in April 2020 will be history making.
Though this forecast is disheartening, there is a silver lining. According to Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, “April is likely to be the sales bottom for the vehicle market during this crisis. Recent sales data suggests demand is starting to recover modestly after the initial shock in March and early April. Year-over-year daily declines, while still high, are consistently showing improvement over recent weeks. Some people want to buy a vehicle or need to buy a vehicle, even in a pandemic.”
Dealership closures, which began in mid-March in many parts of the country, are now being lifted, and sales are slowly improving. Sales should continue to show modest improvement in May as the country gradually reopens, and dealerships implement new strategies to sell and deliver vehicles in ways that are consistent with social-distancing guidelines. For example, more than 10,000 dealers in the U.S. have signed up for Dealer Home Services from Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, both Cox Automotive companies. And more dealers are choosing to use advanced digital retailing tools, similar to those offered by Cox Automotive, to help customers buy vehicles without visiting a dealership.
Sales Levels Vary Widely Based on Geography
Although the national U.S. auto market is expected to fall 53%, geography is a consideration this month because sales vary greatly across the country. Some places face much more severe infection rates, and consumers are very reluctant to go outdoors. Policy responses from state and local officials also vary, with many states on lock-down for weeks, and dealerships closed in large portions of the country. Sales are down everywhere, but some markets are more negatively impacted than others.
As a result of the diverse geographic impact this month, it is likely luxury and vehicles from the Japanese brands are taking a bigger hit, as those products are stronger in the Northeast and West,