1968 Lamborghini Miura P400/S Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone
Designer: Marcello Gandini
Chassis no. 3474
•Matching engine and colours
•Part of the Schlumpf collection for 12 years
•Long-term private ownership (25 years)
'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 Carrozzeria 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. Production examples were independently tested at more than 170, 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.
Fitted with body number '177', chassis number '3474' was completed in April 1968 finished in blue metallic with mustard interior and was delivered via the concessionaire Carpanelli in Italy. We are informed by Lamborghini historian and Lamborghini Club Belgium president, Olivier Namèche, that '3474' was crashed shortly after delivery and was returned to Lamborghini. As the car was irreparable, Lamborghini suggested that it could supply a new Miura P400S with the chassis number from the original (crashed) Miura P400, thereby saving their client a considerable amount of tax. The car also received a new Bertone P400/S body (number '476') while the original engine (number '1896') of the crashed P400 was transferred to the new car, which was finished in Giallo (Yellow) with blue interior, the colour combination it retains today. As it happens, Johnny Hallyday's Miura (chassis '3006'), the first P400 delivered in France, as well has a replacement Miura S chassis/body.
Believed purchased from an Italian private collector, this car was owned by the famous Schlumpf Museum in Mulhouse from the end of the 1970s until the beginning of the 1990s. It was sold because the Museum wanted to focus more on French marques so the Lamborghini, being Italian, had to go, passing to the current owner in 1993. It is believed this Miura S has had only four owners in total, and that the odometer reading of circa 43,000 kilometres is genuine.
In 1994 the engine was completely rebuilt in Belgium by the current owner, an ex-Lamborghini mechanic and recognised authority on the marque. The engine is said to be in excellent condition, with a healthy power output and capable of 9,000 revs. The brakes, suspension, and transmission were revised at the same time, while in 2017 a further complete overhaul was carried out. This Miura S is said to be highly original and well preserved, the believed original interior having a lovely patina. Miuras have been known to catch fire easily, so this one is fitted with an automatic fire extinguisher.
Between 1995 (when first registered in Belgium) and 2017, the car has rarely been driven and then only for short trips and outings, covering a total of only some 3,000 kilometres in the last 22 years. One of its rare outings was in 2017, this Miura S participated in the Classic Grand Tour and deservedly won the 1st Prize in the 1960s-1970s Class at the Concours d'Élégance. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a highly original example of the groundbreaking Lamborghini Miura, a model widely recognised as one of the most influential sports cars of all time.
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