1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S

The price may have looked high for the U.K., but it equates to about 400k
euros. It would be hard to find a nicer LHD car in Europe for the same money

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“But step back for a minute and work out what makes the Miura so special. In 1966 there was nothing like it. Only racing cars and the obscure little French Bonnet/Matra Djet had mid-mounted engines. Ferrari’s road-going mainstay was the traditional front-engined 275 GTB. So when tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini stole the attention of the Geneva Salon crowd with the Miura, people were shocked as much by its audacious mechanical layout as they were by its era-defining and stunningly gorgeous styling.” -Classic Cars, July 2004.

Ferruccio Lamborghini’s bold challenge to Ferrari had begun in 1964 with the 350 GT, but it was the arrival of the Miura-arguably the founder of the supercar class-that established Lamborghini as a major manufacturer of luxury sporting cars. Prior to the model’s official debut at the 1966 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini cars were respected for their impressive mechanical specifications, but they somehow lacked a distinctive persona. All this changed with the arrival of the Miura, named after Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of fighting bulls.

The Miura project first surfaced as a rolling chassis displayed at the 1965 Turin Motor Show, but was not expected to become a production reality. Nevertheless, by the time of the Geneva Salon the following year, the first completed car was ready for unveiling to an awestruck press and public.

The Lamborghini Miura’s technical specification was breathtaking in its sophistication and complexity. Designed by Gianpaolo Dallara, the Miura chassis carried its transversely mounted engine amidships in a box-section platform chassis, the latter clothed in stunning coupe coachwork styled by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini. Like the contemporary 400 GT, the Miura used the 4-liter version of Lamborghini’s Giotto Bizzarrini-designed 4-cam V12. With 350 hp available, the Miura was capable of shattering performance, a top speed of 180 mph being claimed. Production examples were independently tested at more than 170 mph, confirming that the Lamborghini Miura was the world’s fastest production car.

Initial Miura development concentrated on chassis strengthening, these and other improvements being consolidated in the “S” version introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1968. Produced from January 1969, the Miura P400 S featured a more powerful (370 hp) engine and was outwardly distinguishable from the preceding model by its wider tires. Other improvements included a quieter transmission, electric windows, better quality interior fittings, leather trim and a rerouted exhaust system that left room for a larger luggage compartment. Later, Series II examples benefited from ventilated brake discs that markedly reduced fade. Around 140 were built before the introduction of the SV version in 1971.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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