The Miura P400S
“Back in 1966, the supercar didn’t really exist- until the Miura. Before it there were more simply high performance Gran Turismo and sports cars … Then came the Miura. Not only was the ‘upstart’ Lamborghini company offering a new car so soon after its baptism … but it was offering something so radical, so outrageous and doing it so seriously. Low, swoopy, cunning with a mid-mounted, transversely slung V12 under the rear window. Nothing like it had been seen before. It was the first supercar; a car on a different plane from those that had preceded it. The Miura might be described as the most significant production GT of that decade. From then on all had to follow.” Lamborghini Miura by Pete Coltrin and Jean-François Marchet, 1982.
From its debut as a bare chassis in 1965 until the production version drove dramatically into Casino Square before the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, in its early days the Miura attracted more than its fair share of comment and column inches among enthusiasts and in the motoring press. Its status as the world’s first ‘supercar’ (the term hadn’t yet been coined) was assured when the late French journalist José Rosinski achieved 288km/h (178mph) at the Miura’s wheel during a magazine road test, although whether the front wheels were actually touching the ground at this speed has been a source of discussion ever since.
It’s probably fair to say that whilst the Miura is the car that gave Lamborghini its name, the early cars were rushed into production to satisfy unexpected demand from the great and the good around the world: Ferruccio Lamborghini had anticipated making 10-15 Miuras a year so compromises had to be made, and chassis flex, high speed aerodynamic lift and occasionally disappointing build quality were inconveniences which wealthy owners had to put up with if they wanted to sample levels of performance on the road which had hereto been reserved exclusively for racing drivers in the higher formulae.
Addressing the Miura’s shortcomings, the ‘S’ (for Spinto, or tuned) model appeared late in 1968 at the Turin Show and boasted new, low profile Pirelli tyres, more horsepower (a claimed 370bhp compared to the original’s 350bhp), electric windows, optional leather upholstery (primitive air conditioning was also available on the late cars) plus redesigned interior switchgear, passenger grab handle and glove box lid. Externally the ‘S’ was recognizable by its chrome window and windscreen surrounds and rear badging. The last examples of the Miura ‘S’ also featured vented disc brakes in place of previously solid items.
The swansong SV replaced the S in 1971 (although the factory had initially announced that the two would be available concurrently), and remained in production until the last Miura was built in 1973, coinciding with Ferruccio Lamborghini relinquishing control of his company and the arrival of a radical new generation of Lamborghini, the Countach. The preceding seven years, though, remain those which established the company as an automotive icon.
Chassis ‘4440’ is a late production, European market Miura S, the 583rd of 762 Miuras built. Internal factory records show that the bodyshell, painted in Oro Metallizzato (metallic gold), arrived from Bertone on 3rd December 1969 and was completed on the Sant’Agata assembly line on 20th January 1970. It was delivered to dealer Carpanelli in the north east of Italy on 18th February 1970, and his end client is noted as ‘Cudone, Padova’. We believe this to have been the late Aldo Cudone, a wealthy collector with an impressive stable of impeccably maintained Ferraris and Lamborghinis which we helped disperse at auction after he passed away in the 1990s. Further detail is provided by Bertone’s handwritten records which we are fortunate to hold: the exact paint code was 2-443-239 (Oro Acrilico Metallizzato) with full black leather upholstery. This is a rare and handsome period colour which just 21 Miuras received originally.
Little is known of Signor Cudone’s Lamborghini Miura S until the 2000s when it surfaced in Arizona, now painted a more common orange but still largely unrestored and showing 57,132km on the odometer. It was sold in August of that year through Californian dealer Symbolic to the current owner, a private collector in Switzerland with a stable of classic supercars ranging from Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing to McLaren F1. As is so often the case with Miuras, chassis ‘4440’ appeared perfectly presentable but underneath was showing its age. After importation to Switzerland the owner therefore sent the car to the Lamborghini factory where Valentino Balboni was entrusted with supervising its complete restoration.
This work took two years, 2010-2012, and specialist work was subcontracted to the most experienced artisans in the field. The mechanical rebuild, which included the engine, gearbox, suspension, steering, brakes and all running gear, was carried out by Orazio and his son Luca Salvioli of Top Motors. Both are ex-factory employees, Orazio running the service department during the Miura and Countach era. The coachwork was stripped to the bare shell, water blasted and repaired with new metal in the floors and other typical problem areas before repainting in the original colour, this work done by Carrozzeria GM, another factory supplier. The electrical system was completely restored and rewired by William Gatti whilst the interior was retrimmed as per delivery specification by longstanding factory expert Bruno Paratelli, who did the originals. Salvioli, Gatti and Paratelli restored Miura SV #5110 which won the Lamborghini Class at Pebble Beach in 2013.
This work was invoiced by the factory and supervised by Valentino Balboni who signed off the finished car. Since then it has covered just 125km.
When recently inspected by Kidston SA the following was noted: paintwork good with minor blemishes to edge of front and rear clamshells; windscreen new; under chassis excellent with late spec air ducting ‘vee’ behind fans to improve cooling; vented discs fitted; interior excellent; engine bay excellent and engine number correct; door handles, rear slats and front chassis numbering all correct; wheels and tyres as new. A conversation with Valentino Balboni confirmed that ‘everything’ was restored without regard to expense: his only surprise was that the owner would now sell the car.
The sole reason for parting with the Miura and two other road cars which are seldom driven is the owner’s decision to make space and focus on refining his McLaren collection.
Accompanying this handsome Miura S are factory restoration invoices, Swiss import receipts and Permis de Circulation registration document, copy factory handbook and extensive restoration photographs.
There are enthusiasts who rate the S above the SV, arguing that its purer lines and lesser weight offset the slight difference in power; whichever you prefer, there is no doubt that a factory restored Lamborghini Miura S in a rare original colour scheme would be a highlight of any car collection or gathering of motoring enthusiasts. Chassis ‘4440’ will be freshly serviced and detailed in Italy before delivery to its next owner so it is ready to show or go. We believe it is the best available.
Accompanying this handsome Miura S are factory restoration invoices, Swiss import receipts and Permis de Circulation registration document, copy factory handbook and extensive restoration photographs. The car may be imported to the EU via Great Britain at just 5% as a collectors item of historic interest.