People take a lot of inspiration from movies. Some start hitting the gym every time they see Rocky while others take up kung fu after watching Bruce Lee.
For Milwaukee’s Ken Imhoff, it was the 1981 film “The Cannonball Run” that was an inspiration to build a car and he spent 17 long years fulfilling that dream.
Ken was fascinated by the Lamborghini Countach the first time he saw the movie and he decided then and there that he’s going to build one himself.
Ken was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but was born in Oxford, England. His father was in the airforce and the family moved back to the US after his service was completed.
The picture from 1958 shows that Ken had always been fascinated by cars and apparently that fascination never went away.
Ken was smitten the first time he laid eyes on the Lamborghini
Where others would have just bought it. Ken got to work in his basement a decade after he first saw the car.
Ken had years of experience working with metals so he knew what he was up to.
Ken did have a garage in his home but he chose to work in the basement, saving him money which protecting the car from the harsh weather.
He started the project in September 1990 and his first step was to use a 1:16 scale model to build a wooden frame, helping him measure the body panels’ shapes.
All these panels were formed by hand with a forming tool and it took a year to make them.
Even though Ken had a ton of experience under his belt, he made a number of mistakes before perfecting his design.
Ken used five and a half inch blocks to hold the chassis together, maintain ground clearance and keep the ride height constant.
The upper body and frame was made on the chassis and Ken said that the hardest part was keeping it aligned.
The body and the chassis are both made of aluminum and looked gorgeous when completed.
Before the vehicle could be painted, five layers of bodywork were required. He started with self-etching primer and used an epoxy primer to seal it. Another layer of epoxy primer was added and was finished off with a high-build primer.
It started looking like a Lamborghini even before the wheels and panels were added.
Ken transported all the 33 pieces back and forth, one at a time to paint them at an off-site booth.
Ken gave his design from the blueprints to his friend Dale. He took 10 hours to make the part we see below.
After that, Ken was eager to take the car out for a test drive but had to solve the minor issues of leaking coolant and reinstalling spark plugs. He carried on with the tweaking.
The project was finally finished in 2008 but he needed an excavator to get the car out and where he had been patient this long, he could afford to wait a few more moments.
The car now sits in Miami where it has a new owner since September 2016. Ken found the prospect of making the car more exciting than actually keeping it longterm. He has already started his latest project which is a 1953 Studebaker Starlight Coupe.
Ken’s Lamborghini is not only stunning but is an inspiration for us all to never give up on our dreams and just keep on going no matter how long it takes.