1972 Lamborghini Miura SV
Chassis no. 5012
Engine no. 30708
4.0-liter, DOHC 385hp V12
5-speed manual transmission
One of only 150 Miura SVs built
One of 96 splint-sump cars
Retaining its original interior
Recent Motion Products service
One glance at the stunning Miura here and you can't help but think of Rossano Brazzi gliding through the Alpine passes in an identically liveried Lamborghini in the opening sequences of the famed British heist movie, The Italian Job, you'll probably find yourself humming Matt Monro's 'On Days Like These' too.... From the engine sound, to the voluptuous shape, from the fact that you're seated virtually horizontally in an airplane like cockpit, cocooned in leather ahead of the bullish twelve cylinders, it is an entirely sensory experience to own and to drive a Lamborghini Miura, one that few cars built then or now can compete with. This particular example, one of the definitive 'Spinto Veloce' or SV versions, presents the concept at its zenith.
Lamborghini's rise in the automobile business to the birth of the Miura was stratospheric. Many automakers started out making bicycles at the turn of the century and had decades of experience in the industry, by contrast this was only the third model that the company built, and the second all new design, amazingly its styling prototype was seen less than 18 months after his first car had debuted.
Ferruccio Lamborghini, was the son of grape farmers in the EmiliaRomagna region of Italy, and he must have taken his inspirations from this, beginning his industrial career with building tractors. As this business developed he later manufactured oil heaters and air conditioning equipment. But in 1963, he took a turn down a new avenue, and formed Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SpA to build high-end sports cars. It is said that that while he had owned several Ferraris, he felt that he could build a better high-performance car and to do so he purchased a factory at Sant'Agata Bolognese, near Modena, and hired a cadre of engineering talent.
His first production car was the 350GT, launched at the March 1964 Geneva Motor Show. Initially designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, its engine was a four-cam V-12 of 3,464 cc. Bizzarrini, however, had designed it as a racing engine, and Lamborghini was adamant about producing a road car. Thus it fell to Lamborghini's chief engineer Giampaolo Dallara to civilize it for the street. Dallara converted it to wet-sump operation, reduced the compression, revised the cam profiles and changed the racing carburetors to conventional side-draft 40 DCOE Webers. Dallara similarly adapted Bizzarrini's chassis design to make it more robust and rigid. Suspension was independent all around, with unequal-length wishbones and coil springs. Bodies were made by Touring in Milan, using their superleggera tubular birdcage technique to mount aluminum panels. Chassis and bodies were mated at Touring, then transported to Lamborghini's facilities at Sant'Agata Bolognese for final assembly. Transmission was a five-speed ZF manual unit; ZF also furnished the worm-and-roller steering gear. Brakes were power-assisted Girling discs all around. Reportedly capable of 161 mph, the 350GT exhibited a then-remarkable zero-to-sixty time of under seven seconds.
Barely were 350GTs rolling out of the factory, when Lamborghini raised the stakes in the most dramatic fashion at the 1965 Turin Motor Show, when the Miura project was first seen. The world was in raptures over the new design, Lamborghini himself also, and what some considered to be no more than a styling exercise, he quickly channeled their efforts into and turned into a reality. By the time of the Geneva Salon the following year, the first completed car was ready for unveiling to a stunned press and public.
Also designed by Giampaolo Dallara, the Miura carried its transversely mounted engine amidships in a box-section platform chassis, the latter clothed in stunning coupe coachwork styled by Bertone's Marcello Gandini. Like the contemporary 400GT, the Miura used the 4.0-litre version of Lamborghini's Giotto Bizzarrini-designed four-cam V12. With 350bhp available, the Miura was capable of shattering performance, a top speed of 180mph being claimed with production examples independently tested at more than 170.
Over its 6 year production run, the car was honed to perfection. Initial development concentrated on chassis strengthening, improvements being consolidated in the more powerful 'S' version announced in 1968. This process of making the Miura faster yet more durable reached its peak in 1971 with the arrival of the 'SV'. Apart from the deletion of its distinctive 'eyelash' headlight embellishments and changes to the rear lights, the body remained largely unaltered apart from slightly flared wheelarches accommodating wider tires. In addition there were cosmetic changes to the interior and a more powerful (385bhp) engine, not to mention a significant improvement in build quality. Approximately 150 SVs had been made when Miura production ceased in January 1973. There was also, briefly, a solitary competition version - the 'Jota' - produced by Lamborghini development engineer Bob Wallace. Sadly, it was destroyed in an accident in 1972.
Lamborghini is said to have stated that from the outset the SV was to be a strictly for VIP clients and would be by special order only. In the end this accounted for a tally of just 142 automobiles, putting its rarity quotient right up there with some of the most collectible cars of all. A mere 21 were delivered to the U.S. at all, which has always made them an exceedingly rare commodity in the U.S.
5012, dates from late on in SV production and is a split sump derivative, of which there were only 96 constructed. It was supplied new through the Belgian agent for the brand, Hollebecq and has spent the majority of its life in Europe. An early owner was Alain Auoizerat in France, and while with him it shared stable with an SVJ. At the start of the 1980s the car was sold to a Middle Eastern gentleman who commissioned the factory to restore the car after which it passed into two decades of Swiss ownership.
In 2005, the SV passed into the hands of another connoisseur of the model, where it would again share stable with an SVJ, this time, the famed Shah of Iran car. While in this brief ownership the car received a thorough overhaul at the hands of British restorers DK Engineering, including engine and electrics work. All of this was in preparation for running the Tour d'Espagne Rally which it not only was driven to and from but completed without incident. In 2006 the car was repainted by Graeme Shultz's Lamborghini agency in the U.K. just prior to its leaving for the U.S. and it was acquired by the Oldenburg Family later that year. Earlier this year the car was taken to engineering experts Motion Products for a thorough service, during which it received new primary exhaust manifolds and new tail pipes, and a tune up. Testing the car on the rolling road, they established that it was putting out 390hp at the rear wheels, a number greater than any other Miura they had handled! It remains in top mechanical order and ready to be used.
Through just a handful of owners, the Miura has been prized as it should be, close inspection of its structure shows the car to be particularly sound. It has been repainted, though remains in the scheme in which it was delivered, and its interior shows modest wear for a 45 year old car which when compared with the odometer reading of around 47,000 kilometers, can almost certainly be considered to be the original. Of note is the fact that this cabin also retains venting for air conditioning, which it is thought that the car had at one point, although it is not listed in the factory records as having been delivered as such and is no longer fitted to the car.
Bob Wallace is quoted as saying that the 'fast tuned' or 'Spinto Veloce' Miuras were an altogether different beast from their predecessors in every respect, they were better built, faster, and the best looking, for this reason this limited production run has always been coveted. This fabulous example offers the chance to be part of a very exclusive club, just in time for this year's SV tour.
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.