1968 Lamborghini Miura Roadster

There is only one original Lamborghini Miura Roadster. This is it.

Lamborghini’s Miura had burst upon the automotive scene in early 1966, at the Geneva Show, where its combination of innovative transverse mid-engined V12 layout, fully independent suspension and compact packaging were presented to full advantage in the streamlined body designed by Bertone’s young new prodigy, Marcello Gandini.

Only four years after taking the decision to manufacture automobiles Ferruccio Lamborghini’s company had single-handedly created the concept of the ’supercar‘ with the Miura. It would take several years for the competition to offer anything remotely comparable with it.

Low, taut and sleek, the Marcello Gandini-designed Miura was perfect for a roadster derivative which Gandini and Bertone created as a show concept for the Brussels Motor Show of January 1968. It was dramatically and thoughtfully different from production Miuras. The Miura Roadster had larger air intakes at the sides of the rollover hoop to capture more cool air for the V12 engine. The rollover hoop itself was lower than the Miura’s roof for smoother air flow.

The rear bodywork was reshaped, with different tail lights and a larger rear deck spoiler. The Miura’s characteristic slats were eliminated, exposing the 350hp Lamborghini V12 engine. Bertone strengthened the Miura Roadster’s box-section side members and roll hoop to make up for the open top structure and a drive in it demonstrates they did their job well: it is tight, rigid and rattle-free.

There was absolutely no provision for a top or even side windows, so although it was described by Lamborghini and Bertone as a roadster it is could accurately be characterized as a speedster, a stripped, elemental, open car designed for high speed driving in fair weather.

At Brussels and later at Geneva in March it was a sensation, the featured concept in nearly every press report and chosen by most observers as the sharpest, cleanest, most attractive production-based concept of the season. Its only rival that year was another dramatic Bertone design, the Carabo which appeared late in ’68 at the Paris Show.

Only one Miura Roadster, this car, was ever built in period. In more recent years aspiring owners have on rare occasions converted normal Miuras to targa roof configuration, including one such effort by a Swiss dealer which was shown at the 1981 Geneva Salon, but none of these are to be confused with the real Miura Roadster, and none come anywhere close to the deep and detailed alterations made by Gandini and Bertone for the original.

The 1968 Lamborghini Miura Roadster with Bertone coachwork designed by Gandini is considered by some to be the most important Lamborghini in existence. It certainly is the most important Miura.


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