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Driving with Bob Wallace

1 year ago

Writer:

Mel Nichols | Journalist

Date:

14 August 2021

In the picture below, Bob Wallace is driving the prototype Lamborghini Countach, chassis number 1120001. It’s loping at 135mph – the speedo is out but that’s what the revs reveal – as Bob feeds it along the autostrada beyond Genoa, heading home to Sant’Agata Bolognese from Monaco in June 1973.

Look at his face. Concentration. Eyes fixed far ahead. Arms relaxed, hands easy on the wheel; two now but sometimes just one. Wiry body comfy in the seat but he’s tall so his hair brushes the roof lining, and his knees frame the steering wheel. Racing harness undone: this sort of speed isn’t serious enough. The Ray-Bans are off because we’re in and out of tunnels, and his fine black leather gloves peep from the Countach’s tiny door pocket.

For the past couple of hours on our 275-mile dash I’ve learned that his every action is calm and measured – shifts planned early and executed slowly and smoothly; up or down, the only indication is a change in the engine note.

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