1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone
$2,300,000 - $2,600,000
- An original U.S.-delivery, factory split-sump/AC example
- Original engine and drivetrain; original colors
- Best Lamborghini at Concorso Italiano’s Miura 50th Anniversary celebration
- Beautiful cosmetic restoration by marque specialist Gary Bobileff
- Complete with books, tools, and fitted luggage
- An exceptional SV deserving of the finest collection
385 bhp, 3,929 cc DOHC transverse mid-mounted alloy V-12 engine with Weber twin-choke carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension with A-arms, coil springs with tubular shocks, and anti-roll bars; and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98.42 in.
THE ORIGINAL SUPERCAR
The first “supercar” from Lamborghini, and perhaps the first supercar the world had ever seen, was the P400 Miura. When it was first unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Salon, its impact was nothing short of extraordinary. Simply stated, the Miura looked like no other on the road, and it marked a paradigm shift in the design of high-performance cars. Its sensuous lines were undoubtedly indebted to the placement of its engine, which was mounted transversely, just behind the passenger compartment.
The Miura’s performance also matched its looks, and the car would go on to be the poster child for a petrol-fueled generation. As such, Miuras could often be found in the garages of many of the most fashionable celebrities of the day, including Miles Davis, Rod Stewart, and Frank Sinatra. Marcello Gandini penned the gorgeous design at the age of 27, and it encapsulated the youthful spirit of the age. The car was beautifully styled throughout and had intricate details that always brought a smile to the driver’s face when interacting with the car, such as the shape of the doors, which were supposedly modeled off of the horns of a raging bull. To many, it boasted the perfect automotive silhouette, as it was just as sensual as it was muscular.
The final iteration of the Miura, the SV, featured numerous improvements over the already spectacular P400 S that came before it. The SV featured better handling, thanks to revised suspension, which helped to remove the “front-end lightness” that was so characteristic of the earlier cars; in turn, the rear bodywork was made slightly wider. Perhaps the most notable changes were to the engine, which featured larger carburetors and different cam-timing, as they made the SV much more user-friendly at lower rpms. With its engine producing 385 brake horsepower, the SV boasted incredible performance. A sprint to 60 mph from a standstill took just 5.8 seconds, and its top speed was quoted at 180 mph.
A MIURA THAT TICKS ALL THE BOXES
The superb P400 SV offered here is of the most desirable late-production specification, with both the “split-sump” lubrication system (which, unlike earlier Miuras, does not force the engine and gearbox to share the same oil) and factory air conditioning. Like many Miuras of this configuration, it was originally delivered to the United States market, via Modena Racing Company of New York City.
Subsequent owners of the car included Peter Veegers and Paul V.J. Koot, former president of the Borrani wire wheel company and Carrozzeria Touring, and a well-known restorer and collector. It then became part of a private museum collection in Portugal, from which it was acquired by the current owner, himself an astute connoisseur, under the guidance of Lamborghini guru Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company in Sacramento, California.
In a recent conversation with RM Sotheby’s, Mr. Bobileff recounted that the car, as-acquired in Portugal, was a very nice automobile that drove extremely well and was very solid and intact. Accordingly, it required mainly cosmetic restoration and mechanical sorting, including a refinish in the original Rosso Corsa, and an interior reupholstered in the correct Blue material, reproduced by Spinneybeck of New York from a swatch of original leather. The brakes were rebuilt, the hydraulic systems fully serviced (including the clutch master cylinder), all instruments rebuilt, the fuel lines and gas tank replaced (using a new aluminum tank), the front suspension rebuilt, and the radiator cleaned. Mr. Bobileff noted that the original engine and gearbox were checked and the V-12 tuned, but neither was rebuilt, as they were in fine condition and did not require it.
The car’s stunning appearance was completed with correct books and their appropriate pouches, as well as a complete and correct tool set, and a reproduction set of fitted luggage.
Following completion of its rejuvenation, the prized SV was brought to the prestigious Concorso Italiano at Monterey just last year. It was awarded Best Lamborghini, an utterly remarkable achievement in that the Concorso was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Miura, and the field was filled with the “best of best” of the original supercar. That the car was able to achieve such an honor without a full restoration is itself testament to its honesty, as well as to the sympathetic workmanship performed by Bobileff Motorcar Company. Furthermore, the owner notes that the car has been driven and enjoyed by Valentino Balboni, the iconic Lamborghini test driver, who remembered the car very fondly and loved its restoration.
Well-maintained and stunning, this is one of the finest Miura SVs on the market today, with excellent quality and craftsmanship evident in its every nut and bolt. It will be a landmark in any sports car collection, as the ultimate iteration of an automobile that set the motoring world on-end half a century ago.