Arizona | Lot 220
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone
$1,391,000 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
17 January 2020
- Offered from a private collection
- Three owners from new; current ownership for nearly four decades
- One of few Miuras upgraded with rare dry sump system
- Correct factory replacement SV block
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 car 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 from 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 its 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 rpm. 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.
This Lamborghini Miura was completed on 10 December 1971 and was originally finished in Miura Green over a black leather interior. It was sold to a Mr. Stel of Udine, Italy. Mr. Stel sold the car to the Lamborghini dealer in Padova, Italy. Shortly thereafter Claudio Zampolli, the legendary Lamborghini engineer who was then the official representative for the factory in the United States, helped a client in Southern California named Dennis Christianssen purchase the car. At that time the car had been repainted red, most likely done at the factory; it still retained the black interior. The Miura came to the United States and remained under Mr. Christianssen’s ownership until 1977, when he sold the car to Zampolli. Around 1978 Zampolli pulled the motor with the intent of upgrading the Miura to a dry sump system. While away on an extended trip to Italy, the engine was stolen from Zampolli’s shop along with many of his personal parts and tools.
Fortunately, with Zampolli’s factory connections, he was able to secure a spare SV block from Lamborghini, as well as the parts necessary to complete the rare factory dry sump system originally installed on the Jota. While none of the production Miura SVs originally came with a dry sump system, this is an important upgrade to ensure that the engine is properly lubricated, especially under heavy g-forces. In addition to the dry sump upgrade, Zampolli also installed a set of 10-inch-wide sand-cast magnesium wheels at the rear, a post-production upgrade for those in the know. Around 1979 Zampolli sold the car to its current private collection, where it has resided since.
Today this Miura P400 SV still wears the repaint and retrim from many years ago. Finished in an eye-catching combination of red over beige, the Miura’s iconic Bertone design gives the appearance of speed even at a standstill. The car rides on Michelin Sport XGT tires mounted on knock-off wheels. The V-12 retains the dry sump system installed by Zampolli and is paired to a five-speed manual transmission. The inviting interior is trimmed in beige leather with brown carpet and features a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, Jaeger instrumentation, power windows, and Autovox stereo with cassette. Under the front hood is the dry sump oil reservoir and space-saver spare.
With only three owners from new, this Miura SV remains very much how it left Claudio Zampolli’s shop in the late 1970s.