1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SVCoachwork by Bertone
The ultimate expression of arguably the world's first- and definitive- supercar, the SV variant of the iconic Lamborghini Miura appeared at the Geneva Salon in March 1971. The most powerful and aggressively styled production Miura, it was immediately distinguishable by dramatically flared rear arches accommodating wider wheels with fatter rubber, a reshaped nose aperture, the disappearance of the earlier 'eyelashes' above the pop-up headlights and a restyled interior with full leather trim and electric windows as standard. Under the skin the chassis was reinforced, the rear suspension redesigned and the engine developed further to give peak power of 385bhp, making the SV the most potent, best handling and most stable of all Miura variants.
Further improvements arrived late in 1971 with the separation of engine and gearbox oils (until now shared) by means of a split sump system, and the last 96 or so SVs (from just 150 built) boasted this feature. There were other small tweaks to individual cars, usually by special request, but in general the only real variation between SV models is whether or not they have the split sump.
One of the last twenty Miuras built, this European specification, split sump SV was ordered new in left-hand drive configuration by Lamborghini Great Britain and supplied on 14th July 1972. The colour scheme was Azzurro Cielo (sky blue, Bertone paint ref. 2-466-150)) with blue leather upholstery (ref. 3209) and air conditioning, the only significant option available. Little is known of the car's early history until it was viewed by the author in the Lamborghini collection of Swiss property entrepreneur and former Olympic bobsled competitor Jean Wicki, whose other cars were sold by our team at auction in March 2000. At the time the Miura SV, which was sold privately to an acquaintance of Mr Wicki, was white and had undergone some restoration work in Switzerland. It was later exported to the USA where further improvements were carried out including repainting and retrimming in a very attractive combination of dark metallic blue with parchment leather upholstery. Carried out by Automotive Restorations in Connecticu, the cost of this work amounted to $75,000. Miura devotees will notice the twin fuel pump set up and appreciate the split sump specification, not forgetting of course the optional factory air conditioning.
Recently mechanical checked over by renowned Miura specialist Gary Bobileff, and said to drive and show superbly, this is an excellent example of what most consider Lamborghini's masterpiece, furthermore to the ultimate specification. With interest in the Miura growing steadily, and the model eligible for an ever wider range of events, the opportunity to acquire a well prepared SV with all the 'factory goodies' is worth serious consideration.