Rock-and-roll star Rod Stewart was no stranger to the Lamborghini Miura, the world's first mid-engined supercar-he has owned both a Miura S and SV. When he ordered the right-hand drive SV shown here, he specified a bright yellow finish with dark blue leather upholstery. He also ordered air conditioning, which was relatively novel on a GT car, and a Philips radio/cassette with a recording function.

Only 142 SVs were made, nine of which were right-hand-drive. Stewart kept his until 1985. During that time it appears to have played a significant part in his lifestyle-when he sold it, there were marks from stiletto heels in the headliner. If this car could talk it might bring a blush to the cheeks of many a glamorous model and actress.

When the second owner bought the car in 1985 it had 18,000 miles on the clock and he undertook a sympathetic restoration. The chassis and body were stripped and the coachwork repainted in the correct shade of yellow, with the cabin retrimmed in blue Connolly to match the original. Del Hopkins fitted new carburetors and the suspension was rebuilt. The engine was found to be in excellent condition so was serviced rather than opened. Being a late-production SV, it of course has the desirable split-sump lubrication.

Since completion of this work, Rod Stewart's Miura SV has covered another 11,000 miles. It was featured in Classic Cars magazine in January 1995, where it was summed up as "an intrinsically special car to jump into and drive whenever you need to feel good about the world."

S/N 4818 still has Rod Stewart's name in the logbook, plus the SV Owner's Handbook and a file of invoices. A copy of the Coltrin/Marchet Miura book is also included, signed by Ferruccio Lamborghini, for the vendor.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1972 Lamborghini Miura SV
Years Produced:1971-73
Number Produced:142 (5 additional SVs modified to SVJs)
Original List Price:$23,000
SCM Valuation:$175,000 - $275,000
Tune Up Cost:$1,000
Distributor Caps:$250
Chassis Number Location:Front compartment chassis fore of passenger side
Engine Number Location:Between cylinder heads
Alternatives:Ferrari Daytona, Saleen S7, Callaway C12 Corvette
Investment Grade:A

This car sold for $122,460, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams Goodwood auction, September 6, 2002.

Lamborghini’s Chief Development Engineer, Bob Wallace, built the legendary one-off Miura Jota in 1969 as an experimental project sanctioned by Chief Engineer Paolo Stanzini. Some of the technical knowledge gained in the project was employed for the Miura’s ultimate version, the Miura P400SV. The SV, introduced at the Geneva Salon of 1971, came to symbolize the very best version of Lamborghini’s famous Miura.

The SV (standing for Spinto Veloce, which literally translates to “tuned fast”) featured a wider rear track, revised suspension geometry, a reinforced chassis, a split sump separating gearbox and engine oil (employed in the last 96 SVs built), hotter cam timing, bigger inlet valves and upgraded Weber carburetors making power and torque increases to 385 bhp and 289 pounds-feet, respectively.

Cosmetically, the SV received wider 9-inch Campagnolo rear wheels, wider rear fenders, deletion of the grilled “eyelashes” around the headlights, new larger three-section Altissimo taillights and a revised front bumper with parking lamps. The SV’s improvements over previous Miuras led Bob Wallace to describe it as a “different car” by comparison in terms of handling and performance.

This car’s refurbishment by Del Hopkins is a huge plus, as he is one of a handful of Lamborghini specialists who really know these cars. 4818 is a split-sump car with factory-installed air conditioning-the ultimate specification for a Miura SV, and another point in the car’s favor.

4818’s only visible exterior fault is the application of the rear SV badges a tad askew (to the left), courtesy perhaps of the time when the car was repainted. Correction involves welding up the holes drilled into the wrong place in the rear aluminum panel, and paintwork before the badges can be correctly repositioned.

Of greater concern is the status of this car’s engine. Wallace himself reminds us that these engines were good for about 30,000 miles, which is exactly how far this example has traveled. If 4818’s engine has not been opened yet, as the catalog infers, the new owner should expect a very expensive rebuild in the not-too-distant future.

Miura SV values are substantially softer in Europe than in the US, perhaps due to the fact that they seem to come to the marketplace more often (three SVs have been sold by auction in Europe this year with another three advertised for sale). Also, the majority of cars offered there are original, unrestored cars that are simply worth less. By way of example, 4818 brought close to $150,000 less than 5064, a fully restored SV sold by Christie’s during Pebble Beach weekend this past August for $270,000, and its $122,460 all-in price should be considered a fantastic bargain for the attentive English car dealer who purchased it. No doubt this car will be on offer in the near future for significantly more than its sale price.

With perhaps 100 examples of roadworthy SVs and just a mere handful of truly well-restored cars in existence, SV values can only go upwards over time. In America a good SV was a $150,000 car five years ago, with a Ferrari Daytona in similar condition being the same price. Today very nice examples of an SV are more like $250,000, with Daytonas bringing only half that number in many cases.-Joe Sackey

(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of Bonhams.)

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