The iconic multicoloured Lamborghini Miura celebrates its 55th birthday next year and the luminous automotive silhouette looks sharper than ever.
Capable of a blistering 170mph, the illustrious Lamborghini Miura was admired and desired by oil sheikhs, pop stars, heads of state and wealthy philanderers all around the world.
Produced between 1966 and 1973, the Italian rear mid-engined supercar blazed the trail of high-performance supercars that followed in its high powered tyre tracks. Launched by Ferruccio Lamborghini, the colourful icon became the fastest production road car and was aptly named after a breed of ‘toro’ reared since the 19th century by the Miura family in Andalucia, southern Spain.
Synonymous with masculinity, strength and power, the Lamborghini badge is now the instantly recognisable bull. Following a rolling chassis presentation at the 1965 Turin Auto Show, the P400 prototype was given its successful debut at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show where it received rapturous applause from the press and onlookers.
Its ostentatious Bertone-crafted design was penned by Marcello Gandini who worked closely with a skilled development team which included three outstanding engineers that were privileged enough to work on the Miura at the start of their long careers, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace who was himself responsible for the Miura’s horsepower.
Following the P400, 1968 witnessed the introduction of an updated Miura: the P400 S and retained the same Bertone design and featured the ongoing updates that were applied over the course of the production run of the original Miura P400. Visually, what differentiated the P400 S from the P400 were the headlight bezels, less “eyelashes,” and chrome-plated exterior window trim, as well as the addition of an S badge to the rear.
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Inside, the cockpit was given an updated and higher-quality trim which included a revised instrument layout with power windows. Powertrain changes included four Weber 40IDL-3L carburettors and an additional 20hp pulled from the 4.0-litre V-12 which gave the hungry Italian an eye-watering 370hp.
The P400 S was fast, very fast. Road & Track tested a new Miura for their April 1970 issue and clocked a 5.5-second 0–60 mph time, as well as a top speed of 168 mph, while a later test by Autocar magazine that August cited a top speed of 172 mph.
To many, the Lamborghini Miura remains the world’s first supercar, pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be possible in designing an automobile. Not only did it push the boundaries of performance to the limit, but its sensuous form also gave automobile aesthetics a new direction. The classic Italian is now the most recognisable and perfect automotive silhouette to this day.
So desirable are the Miuras that they have often been in the possession of many of the most fashionable celebrities including Rod Stewart, Miles Davis, and even the legendary Frank Sinatra.
Prices remain buoyant with a recent ‘barn stored’ 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S selling in London for a remarkable £1,248,125.