Ferruccio Lamborghini answered Enzo Ferrari's challenge in 1964 by building the 350GT. The arrival of the Miura (arguably the first supercar), however, established Lamborghini as a manufacturer of luxury sporting cars. Prior to the Miura, the Lamborghini had gained notoriety for their mechanical prowess but they lacked a distinctive persona. The Miura, with its official debut at the 1966 Geneva Salon, changed this perception. It was named after Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of fighting bulls.
The Miura had first been shown as a rolling chassis at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. At the time, it was not expected to be put into production. It had a sophisticated mid-engine layout designed by Gianpaolo Dallara and carried its transversely mounted engine amidships in a box-section platform chassis. The coupe coachwork styling was courtesy of Bertone's Marcello Gandini. In similar fashion to the 400GT, the Miura was powered by the 4.0-liter version of Lamborghini's Giotto Bizzarrini-designed four-cam V12. It offered 350 horsepower and gave the Miura an estimated top speed of 180 mph. Production examples were independently tested at more than 170 mph, making the Miura the world's fastest production car.
In early 1968, after the 125th car had been produced, the steel used in the chassis was increased from 0.9 to 1mm thickness, enhancing the car's structural rigidity. After April of that year, customers could specify a leather interior. These improvements were consolidated in the more powerful Miura 'S' (meaning spinto - tuned), introduced in 1968.
In 1971, Lamborghini introduced the 'SV', for spinto veloce. It was the fastest Miura yet and the world's fastest production car. The body remained largely unaltered apart from slightly flared wheel arches hiding wider tyres. Other changes included the deletion of the 'eyelash' headlight embellishments and changes to the rear lights. The interior received cosmetic changes. Mechanical improvements major revisions to the suspension arrangement, the new 9-inch Campagnolo wheels, and a more powerful engine. Mid-way through 1971, a 'split sump' lubrication system was introduced, which used separate reservoirs for the transmission and engine oil. This was needed by the final cars' ZF limited-slip differential, which could not share the engine's oil.
By the time production ceased at the end of 1972, a total of 150 SV models had been produced.
Between 1966 and 1972, a total of 763 Lamborghini Miuras were produced, at the company's plant in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. Versions of the car were also built outside of Sant'Agata, as numerous model car manufacturers have created a scale version. Japan's Kyosho produced 1:18 scale models of both the Lamborghini Miura SV and Miura SVR. The Miura SVR was a race car evolution of the Jota developed by Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace.
After Wallace's Jota was lost in an accident, incessant customer demand in the following years led Automobili Lamborghini to build a few Miura SVJ models and a single Miura SVR. The Miura SVR had been completed in November of 1968 as a Miura P400 S. It was sold through the Lamborghini dealership in Turin, Italy following its day at the 50th Turin Motor Show. It was owned by several enthusiasts over the years. One individual returned the car to the factory where it was converted to 'SVR' specification. Modifications included wider wheels, dry-sump engine, enlarged brakes, and changes to the exterior including a full width front spoiler and a rear wing. The original color of Verde Miura was changed to red. After the work was completed, it was sold to Hiromitsu Ito from Japan.
The car was well received in Japan, including being the inspiration for the Circuit Wolf' comic book series. It was also chosen by Kyosho as the base for its scale model, whose lines and colors made this SVR an indelible part of toy car lore.
In 2018, the car completed a 19 month restoration by the Lamborghini Polo Storico team.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2018