1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S
Lot 79 | Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate $1,600,000 - $1,900,000
Chassis No. 4039
Engine No. 30357
The 21st of May 1966 was the evening before the start of the Monaco Grand Prix. Jim Clark, John Surtees, and Jackie Stewart had secured positions one, two, and three on the grid for the race the next day and the world's well-heeled and well-connected were congregating at parties around the principality, including the famous Casino Square. Lamborghini's now-legendary development engineer and test driver Bob Wallace had since driven a prototype Miura all the way from Sant'Agata to Monaco, making its presence well known around the Monegasque streets and parking it directly in front of the Casino. For Ferrucio Lamborghini, who never entertained a factory racing program and whose fabled marque was born in part out of a rivalry with Enzo Ferrari, this was quite the statement, in full view no less of a very qualified buying audience.
The reaction was extraordinary. The Miura had only been introduced a short while earlier at the Geneva Auto Salon, and here it was, the world's first true supercar, dropping the jaws of the tuxedoed jetset in attendance. Its design was stunning, low, menacing yet remarkably beautiful and its engineering was atypical to say the least — a transversely mounted V12 displacing four liters, fed by four Weber carburetors, and it was mounted amidships, the way most all true supercars have been configured since that time. It was a tour de force to say the least, with a chassis engineered by Giampaolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani, a body built by Bertone in Turin, and a design by a young Marcello Gandini, whose stellar career requires no introduction. With a raging bull on its hood and a name that paid homage to Don Eduardo Miura, breeder of legendary fighting bulls, the Miura produced an appropriately aggressive yet elegant exhaust note, in contrast to its competitors in Maranello and it heralded the arrival of Lamborghini's bombshell design that set the course for decades of model evolution.
The first series of Miura are known as P400, whereas the subsequent model iteration was termed “P400 S”, which ultimately included the introduction of ventilated disc brakes and myriad cosmetic differences, revised Bertone badging, a revised center console, interior switch panel, and more. As might be expected, of the total 338 production Miura P400 S examples, shades of red, green, and white were generally specified quite frequently by original owners. Simon Kidston's definitive book on the subject matter, The Lamborghini Miura, interestingly denotes the various colors and corresponding production numbers. Chassis 4039, the lovely P400 S we have the pleasure of presenting here, was delivered new in Argento Indianapolis Metallizzato (“Silver Indianapolis Metallic”), which constituted only about 5% of total P400 S production for 1969. The Miura Register indicates the car was dispatched on 17 April 1969 with production number 357. The interior was finished in “Nero” (black) and beige “Fintapelle” (leatherette) and cloth.
Specified for the Italian market, the car was ordered by the dealer Lamborauto and known to have resided in Italy until 1979, after which it was exported to Japan. It presumably remained overseas for quite some time as Japanese ownership is further reported in 2000, prior to the car's importation to the United States in more recent years.
As presented, the car is liveried in its period correct Argento Indianapolis and does indeed sport a leatherette/cloth interior in black and grey with matching grey carpeting. Inspection of the car reveals that it retains its matching-numbers engine, 30357, with which it was built new. The car's extensive file consists largely of exhaustive service, repair, and maintenance work conducted between 2013 and 2020 at Alfa of Tacoma, Washington, amounting to thousands of dollars in mechanical attention. Everything from suspension, transmission, and engine work to brakes servicing and repair of ancillary systems like window regulators, headlights, and the like, is all detailed. The file further indicates the car has been driven about 5,000 miles since 2016 and, more recently, in advance of its auction offering, the car has been treated to a leak-down test at Lamborghini of Philadelphia. As presented, the car is in remarkable condition, having never been over-restored to such a level that prohibits the enjoyment of driving. It truly is the ideal driver's car, with extensive mechanical work and receipts on file for work conducted over the years by knowledgeable specialists.
Arguably the world's first supercar, the Miura P400 S truly is nothing short of iconic. Its design is almost otherworldly and something completely ahead of its time. Finished in a rather atypical but elegantly subdued shade of silver that restrains the outlandish design perfectly, this Miura is most certainly among the very best sporting cars of its era and a particularly desirable example of the breed, equally at home parked in front of the cameras at Casino Square or the switchbacks of the corniche.