Restoration Piece: A car for the ages. (Images courtesy Lamborghini)
1971 Lamborghini Miura Super Veloce, restored to its original splendor.
Miuras on display at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
Beauty in red
One of the most anticipated highlights from the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most gorgeous cars to ever come out of Italy — and perhaps the whole of Europe: the Lamborghini Miura.
Named after a family of fighting bulls (in traditional Lambo fashion), the car’s original moniker, P400, stood for posteriori 4 litri, hence the transverse-mounted, 4.0-liter V12 behind the seats. The rear-engine supercar was created in secret by engineers Bob Wallace, Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani. When released, the Miura was the fastest production road car in the world, making 350 hp from its V12 engine and costing a lofty $20,000 in the U.S. It was followed by the P400S, the P400SV, the Jota and a few others — most of which made the journey to the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton great lawn for the Concours, which took place from March 10 through March 13.
“The Miura rewrote the rules,” said Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The commendatore (Enzo Ferrari) had a talent for making enemies. He angered Henry Ford and Ferruccio Lamborghini; Ford took Le Mans from him permanently in 1966, and by the end of that year, the Miura had become the ultimate road and fantasy car.”
Its full production run lasted just seven years, from 1966 to 1973.
As perfect a time as ever, Lamborghini used the Amelia Island event to unveil the first original Miura Super Veloce of the 1971 Geneva Motor Show as the premiere restoration project of its heritage vehicle department, PoloStorico, which often employs the craftsmen who built the cars back in the day.
Interestingly enough, in 1971, the Miura SV was relegated to the display booth of its coachbuilder, Bertone, primarily because Lamborghini was showcasing its brutal new Countach. In its original metallic-green Verde Metallizata with tan leather, the SV restoration included a complete teardown of the chassis and engine and took more than a year to complete. Lamborghini used photos and archival documents to return the car as closely to the original as possible.
In addition to the Miura SV debut, six Miuras, spanning from 1968 to 1972, appeared in a special 50th anniversary tribute display on the lawn. Lamborghini’s showcase at Amelia Island was the premiere event of a series of celebrations to come — and a gentle reminder that nearly a half-century later, the Miura, like Cindy Crawford, remains as gorgeous as ever.