The last SVs finally received separate lubrication for engine and gearbox,
so the engine didn't have to swallow metal shavings from missed shifts


Factory records indicate that chassis 4882 was finished on November 29, 1971, as production number 627. The original paint color was Fly Yellow with a black leather interior. The car was originally delivered to Lamborghini dealer Carpanelli in Rome, who reportedly sold it new to a gentleman in Switzerland.

The second owner received the Lamborghini Miura SV in California in 1978 and later sold it to well-known restorer Miles Espensen in completely original condition. In 1990, Espensen stripped 4882 to bare metal and painted it black. The black leather was still very good, so it was left untouched. Shortly after being painted, 4882 was sold to Paul Forbes. Forbes liked the beautiful black paint but wanted the silver wheels and black rocker panels finished with the Miura SV gold accent color.

In 1992, the Miura SV was sold to a collector in Japan with only 36,000 km on the odometer. It remained in Japan until 2007, when it was purchased by the vendor, a well-known California collector and friend of Paul Forbes. Today, 4882 is amazingly well preserved, with an indicated 38,533 km (believed to be original), an original interior, and original numbered drivetrain. The car has a clear history, is in excellent condition, and as an SV is a most refined and powerful production Miura variant.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1971 Lamborghini Miura SV
Number Produced:150
Original List Price:Lire 11,000,000 (about $18,000)
Tune Up Cost:$250
Distributor Caps:$500 (two required)
Chassis Number Location:Front crossmember, behind radiator
Engine Number Location:In middle of vee on engine top
Club Info:Lamborghini Club America, PO Box 649, Orinda, CA 94563
Investment Grade:A

This 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV sold for $869,000 at the Gooding auction on August 18, 2007, during the Pebble Beach weekend.

“The first car in a series is good. But the last car is best.” I’m actually quoting from RM’s Maranello catalog entry for the Le Mans-winning Ferrari 330 Testa Rossa, but the same could be said for the Lamborghini Miura SV that former RM star David Gooding sold at his record $61 million Monterey auction.

The Lamborghini Miura is often referred to as the world’s first supercar. Some might argue this title belongs to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of the previous decade, or if you want to narrow it down to mid-engined sports cars, perhaps the ill-fated ATS, or even the roadgoing Ford GT40. But none of these fulfilled the essential supercar criteria: extravagance for its own sake, rather than for crossing continents at speed (the Gullwing) or winning races (the GT40). As for the ATS project, it didn’t last long enough to have a character.

Miura production can be split into three phases. First, there’s the underdeveloped 1967 original-the plain P400-complete with flexing chassis, quality control left to the buyer, and not much in the way of brakes. But it looked and sounded great and sold faster than Lamborghini could throw them together.

Then, late in ’68, came the S, distinguished by its chrome window surrounds and S badge (the cheapest way of upgrading a P400), with slightly better interior (you could now pay extra for leather. in your $20,000 car), lower profile tires, a few more horses and, on the late examples, vented discs to give marginally more retardation.

Last Miuras almost went unnoticed

Last of the line was the SV (Spinto Veloce-tuned and fast, very Italian), which almost went unnoticed by the crowds flocking to see the prototype Countach at the ’71 Geneva Show. Here the changes were much more obvious: Bulging rear arches covered wider wheels and tires, while at the front, the eyelashes over the (hopelessly ineffective) headlights disappeared. The rear suspension was revised to improve roadholding, the chassis strengthened, and the engine tweaked to give 385 hp (compared to 350 hp for the P400), although it has been suggested that the factory actually increased the Miura’s power simply by reprinting the sales brochure.

The last 96 or so Miura SVs finally received separate lubrication for engine and gearbox, meaning that each could use better-suited oil, and the engine didn’t have to swallow all those metal shavings from missed gearshifts. Lamborghini generously gave SV buyers leather interiors as standard equipment, although a/c remained an option for those who wanted to cool the windshield above the air vents while they cooked inside.

Knowing that I have always harbored a soft spot for Lamborghini Miuras (and often wondering why), many collectors I meet express their amazement at the way Miura prices have rocketed in recent years. In the late 1980s boom, Miuras-even SVs-trailed Daytona coupe prices, and enthusiasts of the older generation didn’t rate them at all. Come the recession, many Miura restorations were left unfinished, and once again the cars were neglected.

Attention was refocused in March 1997, when Brooks-where I was head of the European motorcar division at the time-sold the ex-Shah of Iran Miura SVJ at the inaugural Brooks Europe sale to a well-known SCMer in the entertainment business. It was the first of four or five originals (opinions vary as to how many of these SV-based “cafe racers” were built), and made almost $500,000, three times the estimate. Still, for much of the 1990s, you could buy a decent SV for not much more than $100,000.

I remember selling one of the SV prototypes at the Brooks Quail Lodge auction back in 2000 for just $84,000 (SCM# 10383), but at the same sale a shinier, late SV set a new auction record at $233,500; we could hardly believe it. The Gooding sale is one of several Miura benchmark prices, including one at Russo and Steele in Monterey.

Early this year, the unique (and sole authentic) Miura Roadster, punted around the trade for the past decade and looking sorrier by the year, finally sold into a good private U.S. home for in excess of a million dollars and will now be restored to its original configuration. This summer, another of the original SVJs left a notoriously reluctant owner for a secretive European buyer at almost double that.

From shadowing Daytona coupe prices in the last boom, good Miura SVs are now chasing real Daytona Spyders. If you remember that Lamborghini built just 150 SVs, and Ferrari 124 Daytona spyders, it doesn’t seem that crazy. Both are icons, both tend to appeal to the same type of buyer, and both are increasingly eligible for historic events. The Lamborghini can take part in many road tours, including the Tour Auto and Tour d’Espagne in Europe, while the Ferrari is welcome at concours and the more relaxed driving events.

Both have largely shed their 1970s “medallion man” connotations and are now, as they approach 40, considered proper, bona fide collector cars. My friends and I often debate whether these prices are justified, and if you leave aside the euphoria of the current market, I don’t see why the definitive Miura SV should be worth less than a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 or Daytona Spyder.

It scores at least as highly on driving excitement, rarity, and visual appeal, and historically, the Miura put one of the most famous marques on the map. The maintenance bills will give you gray hair, but that will be offset by the weight you lose due to the cockpit heat-if you can stand the seating position. Despite all that, one drive in a well-sorted Miura on a fast, twisting road with that glorious V12 just behind your shoulders and you’ll forgive this Italian stallion all its weaknesses.

The Miura at Gooding was a “base model” SV, with the earlier, shared lubrication system and without air conditioning, but it’s a “no questions” SV, not one of the many S cars “probably converted by the factory to SV, but I’ve never gotten around to asking them for written proof.” And rightly or wrongly, the SV is the Miura everybody wants. The color was not original (although flattering), and there was no special story or documentation to distinguish this Miura SV from others.

That being said, it showed well, much better than when offered by a Swiss dealer in March 2001 for $175,000. Its appearance here followed a recent freshening after its acquisition from Japan by a well-known SCMer.

The last Miura SV sale I can verify (having overseen it) was three months ago and within 10% of this level, so I’d quantify the amount paid at Gooding as slightly over market but a price worth paying to take a driveable SV home in a market where-for now at least-buyers outnumber sellers.

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