1970 Lamborghini Mirua P400S

Astonishing to think it is over half a century since the Miura first appeared at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. Its mesmerising looks, the eyelash headlights, the sculpted curves beautifully drawn by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, gained accolades from public and press alike, and still do. Its revolutionary Chassis, presented a year earlier at Turin attracted orders even without bodywork, such was the clear potential of a mind-mounted 3.9 litre V12 with five-speed transmission that brazenly challenged the rather traditional thinking of other Italian sports builders. Yet the miura’s design had come about not from Lamborghini’s direction but because, in their own free time, three of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s top engineers, Dallara, Stanzani and Wallace, had imagined it, discussed it and worked out the details in the evenings and at weekends: a design that could be equally racing and road car. The engine, gearbox and transmission could be combined to reduce space, as in the humble Mini, sharing oil and saving space. When they presented their plans to the boss, Ferruccio gave it the go-ahead thinking that it could at least be a good marketing project…

The 1966 Geneva Motor Show car had only been finished days beforehand, without time even to see if the engine fitted, so the bay was filled with ballast and the cover kept closed, despite many requests to open it. The P400 was simply the start of the show and affirmed Gandini’s position as one of the greatest automotive designers of all time. Production had to start as soon as possible. Named after the famous fighting Spanish bull the first production of the P400 Miuras appeared in 1966, publicised as the world’s fastest production car, the top speed a dizzying 175mph; 275 were built before the P400S appeared in 1968, with numerous trim changes and an extra 20bhp under the bonnet. Some 338 of these were built and buyers included Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra. The last model, the P400SV appeared in 1971, its power raised to 385nhp.

The beautiful example presented here, chassis 4707, is a late model S with ventilated discs and a strengthened chassis, a car that has spent much pf its life in a select collection in the USA. It has recently undergone complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration, and in its original champagne and black is a true Swinging Sixties supercar.

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