<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)

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Lot 66
1971 Lamborghini Miura SV
Coachwork by Bertone - Design by Gandini

US$ 1,700,000 - 2,100,000£ 1,300,000 - 1,600,000
1971 Lamborghini Miura SV
Coachwork by Bertone - Design by Gandini

Chassis no. 4976
Engine no. 30692 (see text)

3,929cc DOHC Split-Sump V12 Engine
4 Triple-choke Weber Carburetors
385bhp at 7,850rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*Less than 18,300 miles from new and in singular ownership since 1973
*One of just 13 factory split-sump, US-specification examples produced
*Arguably the most collectible Lamborghini model to date
*A rare find, in highly original and unmolested condition


THE LAMBORGHINI MIURA

One glance at the stunning Miura and you cannot help but think of Rossano Brazzi gliding through the Alpine passes 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 eighteen months after his first car had debuted.

Ferruccio Lamborghini, was the son of grape farmers in the Emilia–Romagna 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 while he had owned several Ferraris, he felt that he could build a better high-performance car. 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. However, Bizzarrini 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. 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.

Soon after 350GTs were rolling out of the factory, Lamborghini raised the stakes in the most dramatic fashion at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. It was here that the Miura project was first seen. The world was in raptures over the new design—Lamborghini included—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-liter version of Lamborghini's Giotto Bizzarrini-designed alloy 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. Mr. Lamborghini - a bullfight enthusiast - names the car after the iconic spanish bull, Miura.

Over its six-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 wheel arches 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. These end-of-the-run and fully developed definitive "Spinto Veloce" or SV versions, remain the most sought-after models of the now-legendary Miura, and arguably the most collectible Lamborghini produced to date.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Lamborghini is said to have stated that from the outset the SV was to be strictly for VIP clients, not to mention 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. A mere twenty-one were delivered to the US—of which just thirteen were factory-equipped with the ultimate split-sump equipped engine. Such low production figures have always made these cars an exceedingly rare commodity in the US.

The spectacular example offered here, chassis no. 4976, is indeed one of these rare and most desirable, split-sump, US-market specification models. According to factory records on file, 4976 was completed to Miura SV specifications at the Sant'Agata Lamborghini works during the fall and winter of 1971 and '72. Destined for the US market, the SV was finished in the elegant Argento Indianapolis Metallizzato (Silver Metallic) exterior color—a color in which just three Miura SV's where painted from new. The lower trim panel and the iconic alloy wheels were finished in a neatly contrasting, soft gold metallic color. The interior was trimmed in black leather over grey carpets, all of which remains intact and original in the car today, oozing with lovely patina. The optional extras installed on 4976 at the factory were seat belts, hexagonal wheel nuts, a radio with tape player, and the Borletti Air Conditioning system. All these desirable extras are still in situ on the car today. Factory records further note a first test drive on the Tangenziale motorway in Northern Sant'Agata was in very foggy weather, and that the finished Miura SV chassis no. 4976 was dispatched on February 28, 1972.

Chassis no. 4976 was soon after shipped off to the United States, where Lamborghini's USA concessionaire Modena Racing Company and Mr. Alfredo Pedretti would take delivery of the brand-new Supercar that Summer. During the following six to nine months, the engine was replaced with that of sister-car, Lamborghini Miura SV chassis no. 4992. This engine no. 30692—just six digits off engine no. 30698 which the SV sported in the first few months—remains in 4976 today. In April of 1973, just over a year after the new Miura SV was completed at the factory, it joined the exceptional collection of the consignor and singular owner of 45 years, of whom Bonhams is extremely honored to have been chosen to handle the sale of the car. Lovely Kodachrome photos of the Miura SV and the pioneering-collection of the consignor were taken in the 1970s, already including a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and Roadster, Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and other, to-be, highly collectible motorcars. Letters in the history file between the consignor and Lamborghini S.p.A, reveal his interest in the purchase of an early Countach LP400 Periscopio, although he would retain the Miura SV, as that car's design was timeless. Indeed, he was right!

Apart from a 1979 repaint in a color much like the factory Miura SV color Blue Notte, 4976 remains in remarkably original and unmolested condition, with just over 18,200 miles recorded since new. The interior remains original, and ancillaries and options remain intact and on the car. A close inspection of the car's chassis tub and body panels further reveals an original and undamaged car. The Bertone body number is found on the chassis tub, front and rear clips, both door handles, each of the six louvres over the engine compartment, and even on the trim panels. The glass has the correct stamps on it, and the chassis tag and stamped chassis number on the front cross member remain original and unaltered. This is without question a time-capsule Miura SV, emerging out of 45-year ownership. Benefitting from the ultimate and highly-desirable SV specification, factory split-sump engine, and US delivery since new (one of just thirteen) the sale of this most-collectible Lamborghini represents a very rare opportunity.
Contacts
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
<b>1971 Lamborghini Miura SV</b><br />Chassis no. 4976<br />Engine no. 30692 (see text)
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