Factory restored under the supervision of Valentino Balboni,1968  Lamborghini  Miura P400  Chassis no. 3739
Lot 15*
Factory restored under the supervision of Valentino Balboni,1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Coupé Chassis no. 3739 Engine no. 2502
Sold for €575,000 (US$ 794,477) inc. premium
Lot Details
Factory restored under the supervision of Valentino Balboni
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Coupé
Chassis no. 3739
Engine no. 2502
'But step back for a minute and work out what makes the Miura so special. In 1966 there was nothing like it. Only racing cars and the obscure little French Bonnet/Matra Djet had mid-mounted engines. Ferrari's road-going mainstay was the traditional front-engined 275GTB. So when tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini stole the attention of the Geneva Salon crowd with the Miura, people were shocked as much by its audacious mechanical layout as they were by its era-defining and stunningly gorgeous styling.' – Classic Cars, July 2004.

Ferruccio Lamborghini's bold challenge to Ferrari had begun in 1964 with the 350GT but it was the arrival of the Miura - arguably the founder of the supercar class - that established Lamborghini as a major manufacturer of luxury sporting cars. Prior to the model's official debut at the 1966 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini cars were respected for their impressive mechanical specifications but they somehow lacked a distinctive persona. All this changed with the arrival of the Miura, named after Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of fighting bulls. The Miura project first surfaced as a rolling chassis displayed at the 1965 Turin Motor Show but was not expected to become a production reality. Nevertheless, by the time of the Geneva Salon the following year, the first completed car was ready for unveiling to an awe-struck press and public.

The car's technical specification was breathtaking in its sophistication and complexity. Designed by Gianpaolo Dallara, the Miura carried its transversely mounted engine amidships in a box-section platform chassis, the latter clothed in stunning coupé 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 280km/h being claimed. Production examples were independently tested at more than 265 km/h, confirming that the Miura was the world's fastest production car. Early in 1968, after the 125th car had been completed, the steel used in the chassis was increased from 0.9 to 1mm in thickness, while from April that year customers could specify a leather interior. Production of the original P400 ended later in 1968 when the successor 'S' version was introduced, by which time a little over 470 of these wonderful cars had been produced.

This early P400 has been completely restored at the Sant'Agata factory's Centro Restauro section of the Customer Service Department under the supervision of Lamborghini's legendary chief test driver, Valentino Balboni, and comes with his signed letter of confirmation dated October 14th 2008. Coincidentally, Balboni retired that very same month after 40 years with Lamborghini, during which time he reputedly drove around 80% of the cars produced! Despite having a limited edition, two-wheel drive variant of the Gallardo named after him, Balboni has admitted that the Miura is his all-time favourite.

Delivered new to Grand Garage des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, chassis number '3739' has had only three previous owners and was acquired by the current vendor in January 2005. The restoration commenced soon afterwards and took three years, consuming some 4,000 man-hours of labour and costing €160,000, as evidenced by Lamborghini's invoice on file. A few metal components had to be manufactured but this total represents 99% labour costs as all other parts used were 'new old stock' items already purchased by a previous owner and still in their sealed plastic bags as despatched from the factory. The Miura was restored to its original colour scheme and the restoration is fully documented in an excellent file containing over 600 photographs. Factory build sheets for the engine are on file also.

Highlights of the rebuild are outlined by Valentino Balboni in his letter: 'It has been a long and very accurate process but necessary to achieve expected quality standards and maintain originality. To mention only the most significant steps, front and rear bonnets have been rebuilt to original conditions and shape, as well related under frames. The lower section of the central part rebuilt as it was in origin, painted in original colour using original compounds. The electrical wiring harness replaced with a new one. The interior has been totally rebuilt, new leather and carpets, liner as it was in origin. Total engine and transmission overhaul performed, suspension and brakes update.'

Following the project's completion in May 2008, '3739' was displayed at Lamborghini's request in the factory's Centro Eccellenza for the appreciation of visitors and enthusiasts. There can be no greater accolade. Offered with its original handbook and Swiss Carte Grise, this superb Miura does enormous credit to the Lamborghini marque as a whole and its condition, quality and performance must be seen and experienced to be adequately appreciated.

Cette P400 des débuts de la production, totalement restaurée au Centro Restauro du Service Clientèle de l'usine de Sant'Agata sous la supervision du légendaire chef des essais Valentino Balboni est accompagnée d'une lettre de confirmation signée de sa main en date du 24 octobre 2008. Coïncidence, Balboni prit sa retraite ce même mois après 40 ans passés chez Lamborghini au cours desquels il aurait, dit-on, piloté 80 pour cent des voitures produites. Malgré la création d'une variante de la Gallardo à deux roues motrices portant son nom, Balboni a reconnu que la Miura a toujours été son modèle favori.

Livrée neuve au Grand Garage des Nations à Genève (Suisse), le châssis n° 3739 n'a eu que trois propriétaires avant le vendeur actuel qui l'acheta en janvier 2005. La restauration qui débuta peu après demanda trois ans et quelque 4,000 heures de travail pour une dépense de 160,000 euros comme en témoigne la facture de Lamborghini présente au dossier. Quelques pièces en métal durent être refaites, mais la somme représente 99 pour cent du coût de la main d'œuvre car toutes les autres pièces étaient des 'stocks neufs anciens' déjà achetés par un précédent propriétaire et toujours emballées dans des sacs en plastique tels que l'usine les expédia. La Miura a été restaurée dans ses teintes d'origine et la restauration est très bien documentée grâce à un excellent dossier contenant plus de 600 photos. Les fiches de fabrication d'usine sont également présentes.

Les points importants de la restauration sont soulignés dans la lettre de Balboni : 'Le travail a été long et rigoureux, mais nécessaire pour arriver au niveau de qualité espéré en conservant l'originalité. Pour ne citer que les points les plus importants, les capot avant et arrière ont été refaits dans les conditions et dans les formes d'origine comme leurs structures. La partie inférieure de la section centrale a été refaite comme à l'origine, peinte dans la teinte d'origine en utilisant les laques d'origine. Le faisceau électrique a été remplacé par un neuf. L'intérieur a été totalement refait avec des moquettes, du cuir et un drap de pavillon neufs comme à l'origine. Réfection totale aussi du moteur et de la transmission et remise en état des suspensions et des freins. '

Après l'achèvement des travaux en mai 2008, '3739' a été exposée à l'admiration des visiteurs et des passionnés à la demande de Lamborghini au Centro Excellenza de l'usine. On ne pouvait espérer obtenir une plus grande reconnaissance du travail accompli. Offerte avec son manuel d'utilisation d'origine et sa carte grise suisse, cette superbe Miura est en soi un hommage à la marque Lamborghini et son état, sa qualité et ses performances doivent être constatés et vécus pour être mesurés à leur juste valeur.

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  1. Philip Kantor
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Boulevard Saint-Michel 101
    Brussels, 1040
    Work +32 476 879 471