Desire… Sant’Agata Bolognese edition.

My last entry on Desire could have been titled Desire…Stuttgart edition after the city where Porsches are crafted.

This entry is the Desire, Sant’Agata Bolognese edition after the city where Lamborghini automobiles are built. The image above is the headlight assembly from that most outrageous of cars every teenaged aficionado of unabashed gearheaded gnarlyness lusted after in the 1970s through the 80s. I had two posters of this automobile on my bedroom walls as did at least a million of my compatriots around the world. In my early 20s I even had the opportunity to drive one and learn how to properly back a Lamborghini Countach. Driving it was a Herculean task to shift as the clutch pedal required stout legs and cranking the steering wheel connected to huge front tires was incredibly fatiguing for any maneuver more than a lane change. This was a car intended for the open road and most definitely not for taking turns around town. The side view mirrors were useless at speed as they vibrated so bad at speed that seeing anything other than a blur of color behind you was impossible and the view out the “rear window” was like looking through a mail slot. In fact, backing the car up was a most awkward affair and I stalled it out a couple of times figuring out how to finesse this seemingly simple exercise. The proper way (for a left hand drive Countach) was to open the scissor drivers door which tilts up from the front, and step into the footwell with your right leg, easing your backside into the low slug seat. Once seated on the wide sill and seat, swing your left leg into the footwell. Engaging the clutch with your left foot and shifting the gorgeous chrome gated gearshift into neutral, you start the engine. If the engine was cold, you had better hope you had well developed upper arms to shift the transmission into reverse. At this point with left foot on the clutch and the tippy toe of your right foot tickling the accelerator, you hoist yourself out of the seat and onto the wide side sill with the door still open. This allowed you to see over the great big haunches hiding the air intakes for the V-12 engine and reaching into the car to the steering wheel, maneuver the car the one place it never seemed to want to go… backwards. By the way, if you thought that turning the steering wheel from inside the cabin, steering it from your perch on the door sill was even more difficult.

The Countach eventually ceded its crown at Lamborghini to the Diablo when then turned with Audi’s help, to the Murciélago whose wheel is shown in the picture above. I’ve driven a Muira, but have never driven any Lamborghini newer than that Countach… Perhaps I’ll get a chance one of these days.

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