The beautiful 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV

Here’s a little information about the 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV which was on display at the 2022 Concours of Elegance. One of our favourite cars of all time. You can see more Concours of Elegance news, reviews, videos and galleries here.

The Miura very nearly didn’t exist. Ferruccio Lamborghini was not a fan of Ferrari‘s supercars, preferring grand tourers. The Miura was a true backroom, after-hours project by enthusiastic engineers inspired by cars such as the Ford GT40.

The original gang of three were Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace, working by night on the prototype as a way to convince Ferruccio that a mid-engined V12 was possible, and when unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show it was a sensation, even if at that point the engine wasn’t fitted. It was the first supercar with a rear-mid-engine, two-seat layout, though the first production car with such a layout was the Matra Djet from 1965.

Marcello Gandini’s seductive shape went into production in 1966, using the 3.9-litre V12 from the 400GT. This first model, the P400, ran from 1966 to 1968, and delivered a peak output of 345bhp.

This model was replaced by the P400S, which was designed to be a little more usable-extra stowage space, air conditioning, electric windows and a locking glovebox lid. More exciting developments included 2mm larger engine intake manifolds and altered camshaft profiles, which liberated an extra 20bhp.

The last version of the Miura appeared in 1971, with altered Weber carburettors and different cam timing, which pushed output to 385bhp and torque to 295lb ft. The final 96 cars had a split sump, which allowed the gearbox to have an entirely different lubrication system to the engine, and thus more appropriate oils for each application. Metal shavings from the gearbox had been known to travel into the engine with wallet-bursting results, which the split sump solved, and it also allowed the fitment of a limited-slip differential.

The SV model also differed from its predecessors with the lack of ‘eyelashes’ around the headlamps and swollen rear wings to envelop the 9in-wide rear wheels. In total, just 150 SVs were built out of a total Miura production run of 764.

The Miura was soon a car for the rich and powerful, and particularly musicians-one can only imagine the hypothetical service department waiting room with Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Jay Kay and Eddie Van Halen in it…

This particular car is an SV and has just been treated to a full restoration overseen by Valentino Balboni. It’s a German specification SV which means it has thinner grilles, and it’s a split-sump example. It’s finished in Giallo Arancio Miura.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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