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Lamborghini Miura: Buying guide and review (1966-1972)

Lamborghini Miura: Buying guide and review (1966-1972) Classic and Performance Car
Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura Lamborghini Miura
It’s one of the most evocative openings to a movie ever made. A bright orange Lamborghini  Miura spears across an elegant viaduct in the Italian Alps. We see its driver – a typically dapper Italian silver fox, wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette – deftly hurling it around the mountain hairpins, to the soundtrack of Matt Monro crooning On Days Like These.
It’s a sequence familiar to tens of millions of Britons, and millions more across the globe; the result of countless Christmas-time and holiday repeats on television since The Italian Job was released in 1969. The car is only on screen for a matter of minutes, but it really does leave a lasting impression. 
And that’s certainly a running theme with the Miura. If you were asked to name the most beautiful cars of all time, there’s a pretty good chance that it would be somewhere in your top 10. Perhaps even in your top three. While its successor the Countach was brutal, the Miura was lithe, curvaceous, almost effete. 
Often regarded as the first production mid-engined road car (although both the Ford GT40 and the Bonnet Djet predated it), the Miura was a revolution in supercar packaging and dynamics. Sure the early ones were pretty compromised, but never before had a 12-cylinder supercar featured its powerplant in the middle – things would never be the same again. 
In fact, the structure beneath Gandini’s uplifting body panels had been displayed at Turin in November 1965. It used all the components of the existing 350GT – a conventional Grand Tourer, in the mould of the car that Lamborghini would have had Ferrari build for him – only organised rather more radically, with a deep backbone and sills at the core of the structure, and Lamborghini’s V12 (originally designed with Formula 1 potential by former Ferrari 250 GTO engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, of Società Autostar) slung transversely behind the seats to keep overall length in check. 
Of course, the Miura’s achingly beautiful proportions would only become apparent four months later at Geneva, but it remains unusual among mid-engined cars in maintaining the classic long-nose/short-tail GT look. Thank the engine’s orientation for that.
But never mind the engineering or packaging – what really matters is those drop-dead gorgeous looks. Seductive from every angle, the Miura has one of those designs that really couldn’t be improved upon, so if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford one, why wouldn’t you buy your very own Miura? 

Which Miura to buy?

Just 764 Miuras were built and not all of them survive, so there are fewer of them about than you might think. Most have been restored or at least worked on in some way – there are few completely original cars left. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it can be, because most Miuras are bought by collectors as an investment rather than to drive, and to them originality – in terms of specification at least – is key. 
So before you buy any Miura, establish who has restored it and make sure there’s a full photographic record of any work done. There’s no shortage of companies happy to restore Miuras, but some have a better reputation than others – it’s important than anybody who has revived one of these cars has a track record in doing so. 
In terms of which edition to go for, the original P400 is sought after as it’s the first of the breed, while the SV is the most valuable because it’s the most highly developed. However, the P400 isn’t all that usable as the cabin gets hot and refinement is poor. 
Reliable production figures are hard to pin down, but in 2005 the factory disclosed that having gone through the build sheets and collated everything, 275 P400s were made, along with 338 Miura Ss and 150 Miura SVs. Many earlier cars have been converted to a later spec though, so check the chassis number against the factory records to make sure that you are buying what you think you’re buying. 
If originality is your thing (and you want the Miura’s beauty left perfectly intact), then you might want to skip this part, but those seeking a wilder experience could look at one of the few Jota conversions. Only one official Jota was built – and subsequently destroyed in an accident – but a number of standard Miuras were converted to Jota spec by the factory in the 1970s. These SV/J cars are highly valued, although some more than others. Other replicas, built by specialists over the years are another option. Although quality can vary, some are very good indeed.  

Performance and specs

Lamborghini Miura SV 
Engine  3929cc, V12
Power 385bhp @ 7850rpm
Torque 286lb ft @ 5500rpm
Transmission Five-speed manual
0-60mph 6.7sec
Top speed 172mph 
Insurance group   -
Fuel consumption  13.0mpg
Price when new  £8050

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase              2500mm
Length 4359mm
Width 1760mm
Height 1067mm
Weight 1293kg

Common problems

• You’re unlikely to find a Miura that’s corroded as such – although you could find one that’s full of filler. Thankfully it's a rare these days. What’s more likely though is that you’ll find a car which has seen some bodywork repairs which are below-par, so look out for poor panel fit and sub-standard welding. 
• The Miura’s V12 is an absolutely fantastic piece of engineering, and is extremely strong and reliable - if looked after correctly. It was built to be used, and generally lasts well if the car is used how Ferruccio intended. Hard use is one thing, but the V12 doesn't take well to outright abuse, so regular specialist servicing is really the key to a healthy powerplant.
• Even basic maintenance is often a major undertaking, especially where the engine is concerned. Valve clearances need to be reset every 15,000 miles at least, but this is often left due to the fact it will take up to two days to complete, thanks to the fact you have to remove the carburettors.
• Oil changes should be undertaken every 5000 miles or so. If the engine is in good health, oil consumption won't be too high, and thanks to a 16-litre sump capacity you shouldn't need to top it up with semi-synthetic oil much between changes. As the gearbox on earlier models shares its oil with the engine, it's key to make sure good quality oil has been used since the last rebuild. 
• Despite the unconventional packaging (with the gearbox housing and engine block cast as one item), the transmission is usually fairly long-lived. Extreme use, either on track (which is fairly unlikely) or due to an unsympathetic driver, will cause premature wear. Even the best Miura will feature some transmission noise, but the biggest give-away to a worn 'box is an audible whine or rumbling bearings.
• Clutches are reasonably durable; some cars might last up to 40,000 miles before a change is required, but drive the car properly and you'll easily half that figure. Replacement is an engine-out job

Model history

1965: The mid-engined Miura chassis is shown at the Turin motor show. It’s unclothed, but causes a major stir.
1966: The production-ready Miura is unveiled at the Geneva motor show. Except Lamborghini isn’t ready quite yet... 
1967: The first Miura P400s are delivered to their owners. 
1969: The next iteration arrives: the Miura P400S. Air-con and electric windows are optional. 
1971: The final Miura goes on sale, the P400 SV. There are wider rear wings, revised lights front and rear, a bigger grille and those famous eyebrows have disappeared.

Summary and prices

It was only as recent as 2010 that we were discussing the idea of the world’s first £1m Miura – and that was a Jota! After years or soaring price rise, they have started to level off recently, and today the cheapest Miura could be around £400,000 – and that would be a P400 restoration project. 
Decent to good P400s range from around £650-750k, with the best commanding £950k. The P400S models are more desirable, costing around £150,000-200,000 more. The SV, save for the extremely rare Jota model, is the most desirable Miura, costing £950,000-£1.2m for a good example. The exceptional cars can sell for £1.75m+. 
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Last updated: 26th Jul 2017
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  • Lamborghini Miura P 400 S Series II


    We are proud to offer this Lamborghini Miura P 400 Series II which has been produced in the Lamborghini factory in mid 1970 and registered to its first Swiss owner on the 18th of May 1971. It was ordered by its first owner Carmine Mariangelo living in Lausanne in the more elegant colour scheme of argento with black seats with textile inserts. The second owner Roger Poinsot living nearby in Geneva fall in love with the Miura P 400 S only five years later when he registered the car on the 17th of May 1976. It changed hands for the last time before we have been able to purchase this Lamborghini icon on the 6th of March 1981 again to a Swiss citizen living in the north east part of the country. The last owner had it for no less than 34 years and decided to sell it last year. The car was part of a major classic car collection. It has been serviced nearly each year at the Swiiss based Lamborghini dealerships. The mileage today shows 66 895 km which is documented by its large history file full of Lamborghini service records going back to the late seventies. It might be more than difficult to find a true three owner from new Lamborghini Miura P 400 S which has been always perfectly maintai

    • Year: 1971
    For sale
    Mario Bernardi
    +49 5541 660886 View contact number
  • Lamborghini Miura P 400


    We are proud to offer the Lamborghini Miura P 400 which has been produced in the Lamborghini factory in 1968. It was delivered to its first owner through Voitures Monceau Paris on the 18.04.1968. It was ordered in the more elegant colour scheme of argento with black seats. It was the 174th built Miura P 400 carrying the engine number 1857 which is still today sitting in the car. There is a gap in history in its early days until it came to Denmark in 1986 where it was kept for a longer period. The large history file shows service records going back into the eighties. The car benefited from a complete restoration in the last few years. It received a perfect new paint job having chosen a dark blue metallic contrasting to the new upholstery in beige. The complete technique has been overhauled in one of the known Lamborghini workshops in 2016 documented by an amount of records. The latest compression test from March 2017 made in our workshop has brought the best results possible to achieve. This was documented as well on a recent test drive when we learned how fast a well done engine accelerates. On and on it is amazing how fast an early Miura P 400 could be, it shows tremendous power a

    • Year: 1968
    For sale
  • 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400


    This Miura, chassis number 3069, was delivered new to Zurich-based Lamborghini dealer Foitek in July 1967. It was sent to sunny California in 1969 and remained there until being transported to Florida in 2005 for a complete nut and bolt rotisserie restoration at the workshop of the marque experts of Ultimate Motor Works in Orlando. The work was completed in February of 2010. The car was stripped to bare metal and every part of the car received individual attention from the restoration experts. From the paint and the body to the interior, suspension, wiring and brakes, everything was restored to concours level. The car was painted red earlier in his history, it was returned to its factory correct yellow. There was no need to restore the blue interior, as it was in such original and excellent condition. Even Lamborghini's retired Chief Test Driver and factory historian, Valentino Balboni, was involved in the process, inspecting it on several occasions throughout its restoration, and on the first visit, remarked to the owner at that time: '‘This must be one of the first 20 cars we ever made.” The visible clues for this observation were that certain bracing points on the chassis were c

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
    Jan Luehn
    +49 (0) 251 2844691 View contact number
    Jan Luehn
    +49 (0) 251 2844691 View contact number