1968 Lamborghini Miura
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The Roadster, also known as a Spider or Spyder, was never a production vehicle. A top had never even been built for the prototype. The original prototype was later sold to ILZRO (International Lead and Zinc Research Corporation). The purpose of their purchase was to reconstruct the car using their own metals and technology to help promote their business and the capabilities of their talents.
John Foster, a designer for Ford, was given the opportunity to oversee the modifications. Upon receiving the car, it was completely disassembled with many of the parts receiving zinc-plating, chrome plating, polished or remanufactured using metals made by ILZRO. In many regards, it went from being an original to a 'replica', as many of the parts, including the bumpers, exhaust, carburetor stacks, radiator, and more were recreated. The car was finished in chrome with a metallic green paint scheme over a black metallic base. The result was a dark green appearance. The interior was finished in brown suede upholstery. The name of the vehicle was changed to 'Zn-75' signifying the periodic table of metals used during the reconstruction.
This was the ultimate show car, coupling beauty, design, and rare metals into one exotic package. It made its debut in May of 1969 and shown throughout the world on a very busy schedule. After its tour it was auctioned to S.F. Radtke, who was the Executive Vice President of the Ilzro at that time.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s the car received a restoration by Synthetex Inc and then was donated to the Boston Transportation Museum in Massachusetts, USA in 1981. It was later restored by J. Geils, a member at the museum at the time. The car was later auctioned and purchased by an unknown buyer. At another auction, the car was purchased by the Portman Group based in the UK.
The car has since changed ownership on several occasions. In recent times, it has returned to the US in the care of a NY based real estate developer named A. Gordon. Gordon had the car restored to the 1968 Brussels Salon configuration with the work being handled by Gary Bobileff.
Engineer Giampaolo Dallara easily recalls the Bertone's Miura renderings in the late December 1965: 'We immediately realized this was something that happens only once. We knew....it was something unique.' To make that 'unique something' even more alluring, at the 1968 Brussels Auto Show Bertone unveiled the Miura Roadster. It had a targa top with special rear sail panels, a massaged interior, and an exposed engine. So sensational was the car that in late 1968 the International Lead Zinc Research Organization purchased the one-off, and zinc- and chrome-plated much of the car. It remained this way until 2007 when it underwent a full restoration to return it to its original livery. The 2008 Pebble Beach Concours thus marks the first time in 40 years the car has been seen in its original configuration.
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