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Coachwork by Bertone
First shown as a bare chassis at the November 1965 Torino show and then unveiled with its body fitted to stunned onlookers at the 1966 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini’s Miura P400 relegated all other contemporary sporting automobiles to the distant past. The impetus of the mid-engine Italian supercar concept, the bold Miura – appropriately named after a legendary and lethal fighting bull – featured incomparable styling by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini and a chassis designed by a team led by Gian Paolo Dallara, with testing and development spearheaded by Bob Wallace.
Delivering massive performance and a wallet-withering price to match, the Miura immediately sparked an automotive arms race with archrival Ferrari resulting in the eventual debut of Maranello’s mid-engine challenger, the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer. While strictly a road car from the outset, the Miura’s mechanical specifications rivaled those of the world’s finest competition cars, including its lightweight chassis, all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and Giotto Bizzarrini-derived DOHC V-12 engine with four Weber twin-choke carburetors mounted transversely in unit with the five-speed manual transaxle. Capable of reaching nearly 180 mph in the hands of the brave, the Miura was soon developed into the comprehensively updated Miura P400 S (for Spinto, or tuned) version, which appeared in late 1968 at Torino.
Among its upgrades, the Miura P400 S was equipped with low-profile Pirelli tires, a power boost to 370 bhp, power windows, optional leather upholstery, redesigned interior switchgear, a passenger grab handle, and a glove-box lid; and on later examples, brakes were vented and air-conditioning was optional. External cues included chrome window and windscreen surrounds and rear badging. The final evolution was the SV model; by the time production ended in 1973, approximately 765 Miuras were built in all, including 275 P400s, 338 S-models, and 150 SVs.
While all Miuras are rightly coveted today, the LP400 S is particularly desirable for its combination of pure early styling cues, minimal “flash” in contrast to the later SV, and its many definitive enhancements for comfort, convenience, and especially performance. Numbered 4413, this 1970 Miura P400 S is documented as the 463rd Miura produced. It is recorded as having been completed on January 22, 1970, equipped with engine no. 30463. Finished in Fly Yellow, 4413 was trimmed with black vinyl upholstery. Although little of its early history is known, 4413 eventually migrated to Japan. According to a feature article in the April 2003 edition of Japanese enthusiast magazine Rosso, the Miura had been repainted in red by 1990, but a subsequent restoration returned the car to yellow.
The Miura eventually returned to North America and, in August 2008, it was acquired by the consignor, who commissioned more than $180,000 in restoration work to elevate 4413 to its exceptional present condition. The consignor states that the curvaceous Bertone body was stripped to bare metal before being refinished in the incomparable hue of Miura Green, complemented by new leather upholstery trimmed by Dan Kirkpatrick, whose work has graced Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® entries. The transverse, mid-mounted V-12 engine and gearbox were rebuilt by California Miura expert Gary Bobilef and upgraded with the desirable split-sump configuration, a notable feature of the late-production Miura SV, which heightened durability. Further mechanical attention was performed to the brake, cooling, and electrical systems, an electronic ignition and a stainless steel exhaust system were installed, as well as an improved fuel recirculation system. For safety, a pressurized onboard fire-suppression system was added. Riding on correctly plated and repainted cast-alloy knock-of wheels mounted with period-type Pirelli Cinturato radial tires, this exceedingly beautiful 1970 Lamborghini Miura LP400 S is a true design and engineering landmark on all possible levels.