Although it was only in production for six short years, the Lamborghini Miura is widely considered to be a ground breaking vehicle. The car was believed to be the catalyst for a series of high performance, mid engine two seater sports cars but it was designed, very much against the wishes of the company's owner.
The company had been founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamorghini who had a preference for bulky and slightly sedate grand touring cars. Design work had begun on the Miura and the owner was very unhappy about it but the first model eventually made its way off the production line in 1966.
Mila N [22.08.2012 19:25:29] Mila Nasonova (Litvin):
Prior to its launch, the prototype Miura was unveiled at the Turin auto show in 1965 where it received a rapturous reception. As a direct rival for the sports cars produced by local competitor Ferrari, it seemed set to be a success and production duly began a year later.
The first Lamborghini Miura was a two seater coupe with a powerful 3929 cc V12 engine and a 5 speed manual gear box. Speed and power came in abundance but it also carried a stunning look which many argue has matched anything that other manufacturers have produced in the sports car line either before or since.
The mechanical specifications remained unchanged in the years that the Miura was produced but there were other modifications, leading to many variants up to 1972, when manufacture ceased.
The original vehicle was known as the P400 and this was followed in 1968 by the P400S. Like its predecessor, the Miura S was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show and the differences included a chrome trim, power windows and optional air conditioning.
However, the most famous version of this iconic car was undoubtedly the P400SV. There were some useful mechanical changes such as different carburettors and altered cam timing which increased performance but the main change was purely cosmetic.
While it may only seem like a minor alteration, the removal of 'eyelashes' - the trim around the headlights – made the P400SV stand out from the models that had gone before. The eyelashes were seen by some as an unnecessary 'quirk' but this was a serious car that has since proved to be the most popular of all the Miuras that were ever built.
Production officially stopped in 1972 although there have been a number of one-off concepts built by private individuals that were based on the original design. These included the 2006 Miura concept and the P400 Jota. Many came along to emulate the original design but as these were strictly one offs, the prices involved were extremely prohibitive.
Fortunately, the market for the original Lamborghini Miura is very healthy. A good proportion of the original vehicles still exist and they have been well looked after although prices can vary greatly depending on the overall condition.
Even Ferruccio Lamborghini would have to concede that his company were right to tackle Ferrari head on and produce the Miura. It was a phenomenal car that deserves to be remembered as a true classic.
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