Most of us here know that we’ll never get to own a supercar like a Lamborghini. Well, not unless we win the lottery or rob a bank. Now, we can sulk about this fact, we can tell ourselves that a Lamb could never make us really happy (blah blah blah). Or we can try to build this thing ourselves.
This is what Ken Imhoff has done. Not the sulking part, the building part. This man is the definition of persistence and hard work. He built himself a Lamborghini Countach and it only took him 17 years.
It all started when Imhoff watched the movie Cannonball Run. In the movie, there was a Lamborghini Countach and as with every great love story, he fell hopelessly in love and he couldn’t get her (yes, it’s a her, it’s always a her) out of his mind. So, what was this guy to do but build himself a car that looks exactly like it?
There are a number of reasons why Imhoff’s story is incredible. Let’s start with the fact that this guy BUILT HIMSELF A LAMBORGHINI. That’s incredible enough. Secondly, it’s incredible because unless you’re told it was built by a regular Joe, you’d think this car actually came from a Lamborghini factory. Thirdly, what makes this story incredible is the fact that Imhoff built his car with his own two hands. He had no special machines helping him out.
An important tool Imhoff did get to use was an English Wheel. This tool is “used to bend and shape metal.” Imhoff used the English Wheel often to bend the metal for his car and “to create the iconic perfect angles.” He even used this tool “to manipulate the metal into the shape of the jig.”
Despite having the English Wheel to help him create an authentic looking Lamborghini, Imhoff still had to do all the work. Using this tool “is incredibly difficult and is all done just by eye and feel.” Each piece has to be done to perfection and once the pieces are ready, then they are welded together. That’s a lot of time and energy — no wonder it took him 17 years to complete.
Everything Imhoff did is impressive. This guy “made sure the body panels fit onto the frame.” So how did he know what to do? He started 17 years ago when YouTube videos weren’t as helpful as they are now, and neither was the internet.
Well, Imhoff does have an engineering degree which is always helpful. Nevertheless, an engineering degree is not enough to build a car from scratch. It seems that what this guy does have, besides skills and education, is the patience to learn from his own mistakes.
What also makes Imhoff’s work impressive is the fact that he built a car frame from scratch. Who the hell does that? The frame was set to hold a “beast” — “a Boss 351 8, which is mated to a ZF 5 speed manual gear box.”
When the skeletal framework was done and the internal was complete, then it was time for assembly and spraying the car. This car now needed color to bring it to life. And as with every other step, even the paintwork turned out to be impressive.
Now, for those 17 years, Ken was working in his basement. So, when it came to getting the car out of there, some walls had to be torn down. But hey, it took this guy 17 years to build himself a supercar, he wasn’t going to let a basement wall stop him from getting it out.
So Imhoff hired a contractor to tear down the wall and build him a ramp for the car to come out easily. This is the finished product. Impressive? I’d say so. This car has Imhoff’s blood, sweat and tears on it — literally.