Monterey

16-17 August 2013

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Lot 129

1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S

  • Chassis no. 4262
  • Body no. 477

$650,000 - $750,000


370 bhp, 3,929 cc DOHC transverse mid-mounted alloy V-12 engine with four Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension with A-arms, coil springs, tubular shock absorbers, and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98.4 in.

  • Preserved in largely original condition
  • One European owner for over 35 years
  • Complete with tools, manuals, jack, and original paperwork


The Lamborghini Miura, named after Don Eduardo Miura Fernández, the legendary breeder of fierce Spanish fighting bulls, was the very embodiment of the “supercar” moniker. Prior to the arrival of the Miura in 1967, many sports cars certainly offered high levels of performance and handling. The Miura, however, was the first to be built around the criteria that defined our modern concept of the supercar: tremendous speed and jaw-dropping design, coupled with technical innovation, resulting in a wallet-wilting price tag to which only the wealthiest could aspire.



By 1967, the latest version of the Lamborghini V-12 engine, which by now had been enlarged to four liters, was used for the entirely new and radical Miura. First shown to a stunned public in March 1966 at the Geneva Salon, the Miura’s sinuous body was penned by Bertone designer Marcello Gandini, who was at the young age of 22 at the time. The Miura development team also included two brilliant engineers who would gain fame in their own right, Gian Paulo Dallara and Paolo Stanzini.



Under the guidance of New Zealander Bob Wallace, the Miura’s chassis was carefully tuned to deliver the handling levels needed to contain and exploit the prodigious amounts of available power. With a double-wishbone suspension at each corner, in the best racing tradition, the Miura’s technical specifications were very advanced for a road going car. The mid-mounted engine was fitted transversely to allow for a more compact overall layout. The Miura’s original design sketches also called for a glass engine cover and a three-seat layout, with the driver in the middle and one passenger on either side. Although this latter feature never made it to the production Miura, it did re-emerge on future supercars, most notably the McLaren F1 of the 1990s.



While the glass engine cover was also never used, the rear window louvers that did appear on production models were an industry first. As the engine was no longer front-mounted, rather posteriore, the first generation of Miuras were accordingly named P400s. This turned out to be a sensational, trendsetting decision. Almost immediately, the young Lamborghini marque leapfrogged to the head of the class, well ahead of both Ferrari and Maserati, with this innovative mid-engine configuration.



The Miura’s technical specifications remain impressive even today: a lightweight frame, fully independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and power provided by that well-proven, symphonic V-12 engine. Breathing deeply through four triple-choke Weber carburetors, the Miura initially offered 350 brake horsepower on tap and was capable of over 175 mph. In the hands of the brave, it was more than a match for any other road going production car of the era.



A steady process of evolution and improvement was maintained throughout the production cycle of the Miura, and in 1968, the “S” version appeared, boasting 370 brake horsepower, updated brakes, and numerous other enhancements. Faster, more luxuriously appointed and more stable with better braking, this spinto (tuned) Miura represented a large step forward from its already magnificent predecessor. The Miura S was capable of reaching 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and 140 mph in fewer than 30 seconds, with a top speed of 177 mph. In April 1970, Road & Track called it “an exercise in automotive art.”



The P400 S offered here is confirmed by Lamborghini factory records as having been produced August 4, 1969, in Silver Metallic with black and beige upholstery. Originally delivered to Coppini S.E.A. Baracchi, it was put away in 1974 and remained undriven until its acquisition, very recently, by a collector and enthusiast outside of Milan.



An e-mail from Fabio Lamborghini, which is on file and available for inspection, confirms that this car retains, to this day, its original, matching-numbers data tag, frame, and body panels, which can be found to have the original body number, 477, on the hood, doors, and rear louvers. All body components are stamped with their original codes, including the correct numbered glass. Even the door handles and the latches are original. The engine block is stamped as having been built in November 1969, indicating that it was possibly replaced at some time by Lamborghini as some type of warranty work.



Much of the paint remains original, with the checks and marks of age, but it is in a remarkable state of preservation overall; in addition, much of the interior is also original. The car is supplied with its original tool roll and bag, jack and bag, and hammer, as well as the parts and owner’s manuals, a 1969 dealer register, a sales brochure, and the Italian registration plates. The speedometer unit has been replaced and is not original, so it is difficult to tell exactly how many miles are on this car, but its condition indicates that it is very low.



With so many Miuras found today having undergone exhaustive restoration, the car shown here is an example of preservation of original features, resulting in an increasingly desirable asset. Having been tucked away in a Milanese garage and hidden from the public for more than three decades, the spark plugs were changed and some very minor service work was performed, but the car started straight away. Accompanied in the file is a video of the car being driven at speed, and the owner reports that the car performed wonderfully. Please consult an RM specialist to review the footage of the car driving.



This is a once-in-a lifetime chance to acquire a car that has patina in spades, and it would be the ideal basis for freshening mechanically and driving “as-is,” or as the best possible beginning for a ground-up restoration.



It is, simply put, “the original supercar,” at its most original.

Addendum

Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this car if the buyer is a resident of the United States.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more