Between 1968 and 1971, Lamborghini made only 338 examples of its now-legendary Miura. Originally equipped with a roaring transverse-mounted 350-hp V12 and five-speed gearbox as a P400 in 1966, the 1968 S version was tuned for 20 more horsepower for an even 370.
A very fine specimen of a 1968 Miura P400 S with bodywork by famed coachbuilder Nuccio Bertone is prepped and ready for the Gooding & Company auction block starting on June 11. It’s expected to bring down the hammer at a million dollars, and I don’t doubt this collector’s gem will generate that number and then some.
In music, the term spinto soprano designates the vocal stylings of one who is magnificently capable of handling wide ranges of notes up and down the scales with ease. Spinto, which means “pushed” in Italian, is one who explores the edges of what is possible.
In 1968, Lamborghini debuted its update to the Miura P400 with an S to show its commitment to the term, translating tremendous music to operatic speed. It was an improvement on the original P400, which was launched as though it were a sculpture that hadn’t quite finished baking in the kiln. Even the stated history on Lamborghini’s site alludes to the frenetic pace: “from October to February, everyone worked around the clock, seven days a week, like madmen… the chassis presented as a completely experimental prototype in the autumn of 1965 had become the most stunning road car in the world – in just four months.”
Still, it was a masterpiece in progress.
The P400 was impressive, exceedingly quick, and easy on the eyes, with sensuous curves. While the Muira P400 S model had the same stunning looks, the handling, comfort, and quality were enhanced, and the engine’s cylinder heads improved. It retained its unusual headlamps, framed by come-hither metalwork that mimics long, black eyelashes. If the Miura were a movie star, it would be an early Elizabeth Taylor: untamable and uncaring about what you think of her.
The last of the trifecta of Miura variants was the SV for spinto veloce, which means “pushed fast”. It had even more power but without the distinctive eyelashes of the S model.
This particular model for sale with Gooding & Company appears to be exceptional. Miura established the Lamborghini brand as a supercar builder, and the bull raged its way into the market forevermore. Owning this P400 S would be like reliving a moment in automotive history every time you got behind the wheel.
Hey, new owner, if you’re reading this: take me for a spin, will you?
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