1970 Lamborghini Miura
Few cars have stunned like the Miura. Introduced in November of 1965 at the Turin Salon as just a naked chassis, the car created a sensation because of its radical mechanical layout. The sophisticated quad cam V12 was mounted amidships and transversely, creating a compact and balanced platform that went against almost all prior conventions about how to build fast cars. The press was sure Lamborghini was planning a race car, though in reality the car was a hastily conceived exercise to generate publicity. And generate publicity it did. Because of the huge response to the car, Lamborghini decided to build it, though they did not yet have a body. Bertone produced what is surely one of the most beautiful cars ever made and had a prototype ready just four months later, in time to show at Geneva in March of 1966. Orders poured in, and the plan to build perhaps fifty examples was soon scrapped. All told, over seven hundred Miuras would be built, effectively putting Lamborghini on the map, a shocking achievement considering that the firm was just three years old when the Miura was unveiled.
The car was then taken to Monte Carlo for the Monaco GP, drawing crowds five deep, despite the plethora of other exotic cars on hand and the jaded crowd at the casino. Legendary English journalist L.J.K. Setright took the car on a thousand mile tour of Europe for Car magazine, and called it a ‘supercar”, inventing the term that survives with us today to describe a very special automotive experience. The Miura was not dynamically perfect, but invented an entire genre of car and captured everything that was wonderful about motoring in the swinging sixties.
It was all about the colors, the style, the performance, and the noise. The response of the public and the press was almost universally effusive, but there were of course foibles, which in typically Italian fashion, would be ironed out as production proceeded. In November of 1968, the Miura became the Miura S, with the introduction of a number of refinements, including reshaping the combustion chambers, altering the camshafts and carburetion, for about twenty more horsepower. Build quality was improved, electric windows added, and a bit more chrome (on the headlights and window trims) was added. The rear suspension was revised, and on later cars, ventilated discs employed for the brakes.
This particular car was completed in February of 1970 and was finished in its current red with black leather interior. It is believed to have been sold new to Switzerland. It's most long term owner, Mr. Craig Davis, purchased this example in about 1980 from a fellow in Sacramento. Prior to his ownership the engine and transmission were removed by and transported to renowned Miura expert and factory development technician Bob Wallace. Mr. Wallace performed a split sump conversion to SV specifications and also installed SV cam shafts to produce even more horse power at higher RPM. Additional receipts for this period discuss internal gearbox work including the replacement of the second gear synchro ring. The mileage at this time was approximately 12,000 kms.
The car had also under gone a sympathetic restoration at approximately 7,000 miles which included an incredibly high quality repaint in the cars original color, and a interior color change to tan leather with brown carpets. When he purchased the car, Mr. Davis was told that the restoration had been done by Lamborghini expert Gary Bobileff, and during his ownership in Switzerland Hans Abe was responsible for routine maintenance.
Mr. Davis owned this example until May of 2006, was brought to the US under the continued ownership of Mr. Davis. Regular maintenance was performed by Randy Reid of Antique Auto Restorations in Monterey, California. This work included carburettor rebuilds, major brake system service (this Miura uses silicon brake fluid), trouble shooting electrical issues, and tuning and setting the distributors.
During late 2007 the car was shipped to famed Lamborghini restorer Gary Bobileff who restored the interior in a no-expense spared fashion to its original black leather. New correct fabric carpets were installed, along with the correct steering wheel, gear shift knob, among other details. The gauges were restored, and all interior chrome parts were refinished. Additional work included rebuilding the carburettors, tuning the car, and replacing the original fuel tank with a sealed aluminum unit.
The current owner purchased the car in 2010 and repainted the car it is original shade of red and has proactively serviced it during his enjoyment of the car, which has brought the total mileage from new up to just 19,350 miles.
Mechanically, this is an outstanding example. The car starts easily and revs freely with outstanding power and a V12 engine note to die for. The transmission shifts smoothly, including in and out of second gear (both warm and cold). The suspension is compliant and tight, as would be expected of a very low mileage example, and one with new shocks on all four corners.
Cosmetically, the car remains stunning, benefiting from its fresh repaint and new interior. The body is exceptionally straight with no known damage repairs. The quality of the paint preparation work was exceptional, and the car finish retains a mirror-like sheen. The interior is like new in every respect and is absolutely stunning. Both the front and rear underbody areas are un-restored and in absolutely fantastic condition considering this.
The Miura is the car that changed everything. Its historical significance is formidable because it is one of those rare specific moments that can actually be called a paradigm shift, and it was a truly mind-blowing car in its day. Today, the Miura has aged well. The styling is as gorgeous as ever, and has taken on a surprising sophistication and almost delicacy that is missing from the aggressively assertive supercars of today.
***This particular car is available FOB Australia***