1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 SCoachwork by Bertone
“We were cruising along at a sedate 120mph when all of a sudden there was a Porsche 911S behind us flashing its lights….we shifted down TWO gears and left the 140mph Porsche a speck in the rear-view mirror” – Road & Track’s first test of a Miura P400 S in April 1970
A good, fine-driving example of Lamborghini’s iconic supercar first delivered in Bertone’s Azzurro Mexico, a shade created to commemorate the 1970 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico.
The Lamborghini Miura P400 S
The Lamborghini Miura was an immediate hit, but early cars were very much ‘works in progress’. The factory found that constant improvements and revisions needed to be made to both productionise the car as well as make it more user-friendly.
An updated version, the 'S', for spinto, or tuned, appeared at the 1968 Turin Show. The P400 S addressed the original Miura's shortcomings, principally those of handling, build quality and cockpit comfort. It had new Pirelli tyres and its engine was further tuned, with work on the cylinder heads. The factory quoted an additional 20bhp, to 370bhp.
Inside, electric windows replaced wind-ups, the carpets and (optional) leather interior were upgraded, some switchgear was redesigned and there was a passenger grab handle and glovebox lid. Most Miuras were still delivered with leatherette (‘Skay’) upholstery and a P400 S can be recognised by its chrome window surrounds and ‘S’ badge on the boot.
Production of the P400 S ran to 338 examples, from November 1968 to early 1971.
This Motor Car
According to factory and Bertone records, chassis ‘4419’ was delivered to its first Belgian owner via official distributors Socaria on 9 January 1970. It was one of only seven cars (six P400 S, one P400 SV) finished in Azzurro Mexico, a fine-particle metallic mid-blue developed by Bertone to match the official colour of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Records suggest it was the only car handled by Socaria, the official distributors for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, in that shade.
Although repainted white in the 1970s, then the colour in which it is presented today, a recent technical inspection by the craftsmen at Carrozzeria Cremonini has intriguingly revealed traces of the original shade under layers of later paintwork.
The fabulous interior was typical of the period: ‘Skay’ leatherette in beige with matching square-pattern cloth inserts. Sections of the dash and central console were in medium-brown leatherette, the carpets beige. We believe the current interior to be mostly original – a desirable feature seldom seen today.
For many years chassis ‘4419’ was part of a significant Lamborghini collection owned by the famous Corsican publisher and singer Pierre Brignole. Monsieur Brignole sold the car in 2013, by which time its mileage had reached a believed-accurate 17,980km.
Since then the bodywork has been restored and repainted in midnight blue by Carrosserie Piemontaise of Brussels at a cost of €47,500. A total mechanical rebuild in 2015 by well-known specialists Gipimotor, also of Brussels, included engine, gearbox, suspension, brakes and general work at a cost of €81,500. Since then the car has enjoyed a quiet life (it is still running in) with, appropriately, a highly respected Belgian connoisseur. Our experts in Modena confirm that it runs well and can be enjoyed straight away.
An enticing prospect, although its new owner also has the option of returning it to as-delivered Azzurro Mexico, one of the rarest Miura colours. The car is currently located at the premises of our recommended coachbuilder Carrozzeria Cremonini who are at interested buyers’ disposal if required.
The definitive supercar of the Sixties, in original P400 form the Miura left its rivals for dead in terms of styling, handling and overall performance. The P400 S was a further improvement. This example, with just 18,920km recorded, a figure believed accurate from new, is an opportunity to purchase a beautiful Miura S.
Should a new owner decide to restore its original colour one day, the concours scene awaits; he or she is unlikely to be placed next to another Miura in Azzurro Mexico. Decisions, decisions – as ever, we are here to make it happen.