1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

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Lamborghini emerged in the 1960s as perhaps the primary rival to Ferrari among Italian sports car manufacturers, and it was due to one car: the Miura. The world's first mid-engine production road car, the 350 hp DOHC V12 and slippery shape meant it was also the world's fastest car. The engine was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, a famous figure in Italian automotive history who went on to create his own eponymous marque.

This particular car is unrestored, and aside from a repaint, presents as a carefully kept and maintained example of one of the most desirable cars of the 1960s.

This car will be sold by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016, right before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 21.

---- Specifications ----
Price -- Production 764 built from 1966-1973
Engine 3.9 liter V12 Weight --
Aspiration natural Torque --
HP 350 hp HP/Weight --
HP/Liter 89.7 hp per liter 1/4 mile --
0-62 mph -- Top Speed over 170 mph

(from Mecum Auctions Press Release) 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

  • Early production matching numbers Miura P400
  • 45,590 kilometers
  • Accompanied by tools
  • Single family ownership since 1985
  • Purchase order included from Ferrari of Los Gatos dated November 3, 1985
  • Engine rebuilt by Al Burtoni's Milano Imports in early 1997 at 39,000 kilometers
  • Extensive service history
  • Recently detailed chassis, engine bay and storage compartment
  • Quad cam 3.9L V-12 engine
  • 5-speed manual transmission

Born to Italian grape farmers in 1916, Ferruccio Lamborghini had a lifelong passion for engines from a very young age and, after returning home after World War II, was inspired to start a farm tractor company that soon became the centerpiece of an industrial empire. In the early 1960s Lamborghini formulated a plan to produce his own engine for use in a personal car and perhaps a racer or two. He hired ex-Ferrari engineer Giotto Bizzarrini to design it using Lamborghini’s own design parameters: a 60 degree V-12, four overhead cams, short stroke/big bore architecture, dry sump oiling and as low a profile as possible to allow for use in both road and racing cars.

The completed engine surprised the group by easily churning out 360 HP, but when Lamborghini ordered Bizzarrini to detune the V-12 for reliable road service, the engineer rejected the instruction, leaving 24-year-old Giampaolo Dallara, a brilliant graduate of the aeronautical engineering program at the Polytechnical Institute of Milan, to continue development. Paolo Stanzini, a graduate engineer from the University of Bologna, and New Zealander Bob Wallace, a former Ferrari and Maserati test driver, joined him to complete the engine work and design a new car around it; both were just 25 years old.

Their first chassis design, the GTV prototype, shown at the 1963 Turin show, failed to impress the cognoscenti, but the new V-12 engine displayed next to it attracted enough attention that Lamborghini had the GTV chassis cloaked in Carrozzeria Touring coachwork, and orders poured in for the gorgeous and refined front-engined 2-seat 350 GT coupe shown at Geneva in 1964.

As 350 GT production commenced, Dallara, Stanzini and Wallace presented Lamborghini with a layout for a mid-engined sports car designed around the V-12 that would be the first mid-engined road going sports car. Lamborghini gave his enthusiastic approval, and the resulting Miura P400 redefined the very concept of the Grand Touring car.

Cloaked in bodywork designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, the first completed Miura stunned the crowds at the 1966 Geneva show with its otherworldly beauty. The car attracted a huge throng at the 1966 Monaca Grand Prix that grew even larger when Lamborghini lit the V-12, its bellowing exhaust note reverberating off the stone walls of Casino Square.

Named after the renowned fighting bulls bred from the lineage of the Miura Cattle Ranch in the Spanish province of Seville, the Miura was not only the most beautiful new car on the road in 1966; it was also the fastest, with a top speed of over 170 MPH – in 5th gear, at 7,000 RPM.

Autotelaio n. 3315 is a very early production matching-numbers 1968 Miura P400 that has been largely preserved throughout its ownership by the same family since 1985, when they purchased it from Ferrari of Los Gatos in California. The car appears to have been driven only 45,590 kilometers or 28,328 miles since new, which is supported by the voluminous maintenance records that accompany the vehicle. In 1997 the engine was rebuilt by Al Burtoni’s renowned Milano Imports in Gilroy, California, who carried out regular service work through the 1990s to 2006, with Dino Motors of San Mateo carrying out more recent maintenance through 2014.

This magnificent early Miura coupe’s condition well reflects its documented history of professional care and maintenance. Described as very gratifying to drive and operating exceptionally well, the car presents as generally unrestored with a repaint and characterful patina throughout. It is structurally solid and sound, with recent detailing to the chassis, engine bay and storage compartment, and is accompanied with the factory tool roll and extensive documentation that includes the November 3, 1985 purchase order from Ferrari Los Gatos and a binder of service receipts.