Image credits: © Lamborghini.

1966 Lamborghini Miura

The Miura, also known as the TP400, comes from a breed of fighting bulls. The V12 engine located in the rear of the car was designed by Giotto Bizzarini, the individual who also led developed of the Ferrari 250 GTO. Although the idea to place the engine in the middle of the car came from sources such as the Ford GT40, the idea to turn it sideways came from the Mini. By putting it sideways, the engine was very compact which meant superb handling, balance, and performance. The styling came from Bertone's Marcello Gandini.

This car, along with most of the other cars built by Lamborghini had one purpose: To beat Ferrari. Mr. Ferruccio Lamborghini, a tractor manufacturer, had an argument with Enzo Ferrari. He had bought a Ferrari and had a complaint with the car. When he approched Enzo Ferrari with his comments, Enzo replied that the problem was with the driver and not with the car. He also remarked that Ferruccio was just a tractor maker and did not understand real engineering. The result was a super car dynasty.

The hood and front section was alloy with the rest of the body being steel.

There was minimal rear visibility due to vents located on the back window. The purpose of the vents was to aid in keeping the engine cool. There were ducts on the bottom of the vehicle located behind the doors also used for cooling the engine.


Vehicle Profiles

1966 Lamborghini Miura vehicle information

Coupe
Designer: Bertone

Chassis Num: 0862

This is the second of the three Lamborghini Miura P400 prototypes designed by Marcello Gandini at Carrozzeria Bertone and built in 1966. The three cars were shown at different auto shows around Europe in 1966 and 1967. ....[continue reading]

Coupe
Chassis #: 0862 

History

The Miura was first show to the public at the November 1965 Turin Auto Show. At the time, it did not have a body. It was just a rolling-chassis. The design was mid-engined, very revolutionary at the time. Bertone was chosen to body the vehicle. Nuccio Bertone gave the project to Marcello Gandini. In early 1966 the Bertone body and the chassis designed by Giampaolo Dallara were assembled into one unit. In completed form, it was show to the public at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show and dubbed the Miura. The name coming from a breed of Spanish fighting bulls.
The vehicle was instantly popular with demand overshadowing the supply. Ferrucio Lamborghini had originally planned the Miura to be a low production, flagship vehicle with production set to around 30 models. The demand for the vehicle eventually changed the plan for the vehicle and throughout its lifespan, three series of the Miura were produced, the P400, S, and the SV. Each series brought with it mechanical and aesthetical changes through either fixed problems from the prior series or brought about new developmental improvements.

The P400 was the first series, the 'P' stood for Posteriore, the location of the engine. The 400 represented the engine size, or 4.0 liters. The four-liter engine was capable of producing 350 horsepower to the rear wheels. The spot-welded chassis was made from steel and the steering was a rack-and-pinion unit built and designed by Lamborghini. The front and rear hoods were both 'clamshell' design. There were two small compartments in the rear allowing a small amount of luggage or storage space.

Since the vehicle had been initially intended to be a temporary vehicle, it was poorly assembled and lacked quality. Another major problem was the lack of materials available. The builders of the vehicle rarely had the parts and resources they needed to keep up with demand. As time progressed, so did the quality.

Production began in March of 1967 and offered at a price of nearly $20,000 US dollars with 108 units being constructed. The Miura S series appeared in December of 1968. It was debuted to the public at the 1968 Turin Auto Show. The 'S' stood for 'Spinto' meaning 'Pushed' or 'Tuned'. Horsepower had been increased to 370, thanks in part through the use of a new combustion chamber and larger intakes. The later 'S' series models were given ventilated disc brakes and a modified rear suspension. Air conditioning was available for an extra cost.

In March of 1971, the final version of the Miura, the SV, was displayed at the Geneva Auto Show. The SV was the pinnacle of performance in regards to the Miura series. The rear suspension received modifications including a wider track. Wider tires were placed increasing the performance and handling. The headlights, turn signals, bumper and tail lights received changes. A carburetor change and larger intakes brought the horsepower rating to 385. During its production lifespan only 142 examples of the Miura SV were created. The acronym 'SV' represented 'Sprint Veloce'.

750 examples of the Miuras were built, the last being constructed on October 12, 1973. Production would have continued but Lamborghini was preparing to introduce its successor, the Countach. Since Lamborghini was a small shop, it could only handle the production of one model.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2006

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