1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone
$2,200,000 - $2,400,000
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 2018 - Offered on: Friday, August 24, 2018
- Highly compelling original specification of chrome bumpers and external fuel filler
- One of only 11 single-sump Miura SVs delivered with Borletti air conditioning
- Previously owned by Claudio Zampolli, former Lamborghini engineer and founder of Cizeta
- Fitted with its original engine
The advent of Lamborghini’s Miura SV brought about a number of significant changes as a result of lessons learned from the P400 and P400 SV. Handling was much improved on the SV, thanks to revised suspension which helped to get rid of the characteristic front-end lightness that plagued the earlier cars. Rear bodywork helped to house the revised suspensions and give the Miura SV a more aggressive stance. Along with the engine, larger carburetors were fitted, and different cam-timing was utilized, helping to make the SV much more tractable at lower rpms. The engine produced 385 bhp, allowing for a 0–60 mph sprint in 5.8 seconds leading to a top speed quoted at 180 mph.
To understand the importance and rarity of this particular Miura requires looking deeper into the car’s production figures. Only 150 Miura SVs were built, a paltry 20% of the entire production run. With 1971 being the model’s first production year, about 70 cars were built that year. Importantly, this car was fitted with one of the most desirable and expensive options for the Miura, Borletti air conditioning. Priced at $555, it is believed that just 30 cars were fitted with that option, and only 11 single-sump Miura SVs.
Chassis no. 4920 was finished in the Miura SV’s most popular color, Rosso Corsa (one of 46 cars finished as such), trimmed in black vinyl upholstery, and fitted with engine 30655, which it is still fitted with today. In addition to being one of only 11 single-sump Miura SVs delivered with Borletti air conditioning, the car retained a handful of even more unique features. At the factory, chassis no. 4920 was fitted with chrome bumpers, an external fuel filler cap, as well as custom slats in the front clamshell. According to Miura guru Joe Sackey, only two Miura SVs left the factory with chrome bumpers, the other car being chassis no. 5110.
One of only 49 Miura SVs to remain in its home country, in August of 1971, chassis no. 4920 was invoiced to an unnamed first owner. Six or seven years after being sold new, it was acquired by Claudio Zampolli. No stranger to the brand, Zampolli worked at Lamborghini from 1966 to 1975 alongside Bob Wallace in testing and developing the S and SV models of the Miura. Specifically, Zampolli worked with the Miura’s chassis designer, Gian Paolo Dallara, on revising the rear suspension for the SV and was also responsible for overseeing production and road testing of the Miura SV prior to delivery. Zampolli decided to keep the Miura SV at his home in Southern California, registering it with California vanity plates “SV BULL.” Starting out on his own in the 1980s, Zampolli established Cizeta Automobili, a company based in Modena that sought to produce a boutique supercar. At some point, Zampolli sent his Miura back to Italy where it was restored in the Cizeta factory, before being returned to its adopted home of California. There it remained and in 1995, it was purchased by Louis Puccio of Anaheim.
In Puccio’s ownership, the Miura was exhibited at a number of concours events, including The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, in 2006. At subsequent concours awards include 1st in class at both the 2006 Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance and the 2009 Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, as well as a 3rd in class at the Palos Verdes Concours in 2009. The car was sold by him in 2005 to Dr. Alex Albarian of Glendale, California. At this point, Dr. Albarian commissioned his own restoration of the Miura, removing the car’s external fuel filler and special slats, replacing them with standard and factory-correct components. However, these features were kept and are offered with the car should its new owner decide to refit them to the Miura. With Albarian, the car was Best in Class once more, at Palos Verdes.
Purchased by its current owners shortly after the completion of the restoration, the car has remained well kept and preserved in their collection of sports and racing cars, accumulating only a handful of miles in their ownership. With a unique story and interesting place in the hierarchy of the Miura itself, chassis no. 4920 presents a myriad of interesting opportunities for its next owner as either a show-ready example or a perfectly presented weekend driver. As the ultimate iteration of the car that unquestionably put Lamborghini on the map, ownership of a Miura SV should be a requisite for any true aficionado of Italian supercars, and this example is not to be missed.