V12 Lamborghini Miura P400SV
Lamborghini Miura P400SV
Shortly before the Miura was discontinued in 1973, Ferruccio Lamborghini sold off his controlling interest in the company; with this beautiful beast of a car, he had achieved all that he set out to do when he started making cars: out-Ferrari Ferrari.
The Miura was a rock star of a car, a voluptuous, brutish mid-engined road racer often dubbed the first true production supercar.
Road and Track magazine described how it feels to push a Miura to 7,500rpm in each gear, “which it does with a long surge of power and beautiful noise that could best be described as ecstasy”.
“Returning the Miura…was like returning from Disneyland – we were sad to have to come back to the real world. No, it’s not perfect, and no, it’s not practical. But driving it is one of those beautiful experiences.”
And that was in 1968, before the introduction of the P400SV in 1971, the last and most famous Miura of all, boasting an increased 385bhp and a top speed of 186mph from its 4-litre, V-12 engine.
Only 148 examples were built, which helps to explain its huge price tag today, and its owners included Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and the Shah of Iran.
Originally, Ferruccio was against the idea of producing this mid-engined supercar, preferring instead the Grand Tourer-with-attitude of it predecessors, but three of the company’s engineers worked overnight on the car and when it was unveiled to rapturous reviews at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, the decision was made to put it into production the following year.
Styled by Marcello Gandini, the sinisterly stunning Miura – a famous type of fighting bull – featured in the opening sequence of the original The Italian Job film.
The P400SV can be distinguished from its forerunners by the lack of “eyelashes” around the pop-up headlamps, wider fear wings and different tail lights.
Check out this video shot in Turin in 2011 to celebrate the Miura’s 45th anniversary: