Visitors to the 1971 Geneva
Show might be forgiven for missing the last-ever series production Miura
sitting on Lamborghini’s stand, as it was overshadowed by the Countach
prototype. The car, a ‘P400 SV’ (spinto veloce, or ‘tuned’ and ‘fast’)
is by far and away the best production Miura and the most valuable.
Lamborghini Miura SV
In theory the fastest production Miura, the reality was that it wasn’t so much
quicker – but drivers could now use more of the performance from the now 385bhp
It was offered alongside the regular P400 S in Lamborghini’s catalogue, but
most buyers chose the newer car. Visually, the SV looked more macho: 60-series
tyres replaced 70s at the back and were on 9in rims; the nose was reworked, and
the lights lost their characteristic ‘eyelashes’. It also had new rear lights.
Underneath the bodywork small changes were made to the suspension and the
chassis was beefed up. Big rear arches covered the new wheels, and the car took
on a meaner stance.
And not only were the ‘eyelashes’ deleted, the lights themselves were
re-engineered to rise much faster. Leather upholstery was now standard.
Mechanically, the most significant change for many cars midway through
production was to split the engine sumps, so instead of the engine having to
share its oil with the gearbox, two separate reservoirs allowed different lubricants
to be used.
The new SV was bought by the same eclectic mix of
wealthy and sometimes celebrity enthusiasts who were drawn to the original
P400. Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family owned one; so did rock legend Rod Stewart;
the Shah of Iran’s was peacock blue – and he also took delivery of the first
SVJ, the most valuable Miura ever.
Only 150 Miura SVs were eventually delivered, between 1971 and January 1973, as
Lamborghini was eager to close production of an ‘old’ car and start on the
Countach. In the event, Ferruccio was to sell a majority shareholding in his
car company in 1972 and in effect lost interest in the business.
The Miura SV could be said to be the last-ever ‘Ferruccio’ Lamborghini. The best were to European specification, so had no
side repeaters or other US-imposed safety features.
This Motor Car
Miura ‘5102’ was sold new via to Italy via Rome
dealer SEA. As a late-model car it was supplied with a split sump and was built
to European specifications: without ugly side repeaters and ‘anti-smog’
emissions equipment. Its colour, Bruno Metallizzato (ref. 1-463-181), is
rare. Another, US-spec car was built in this colour, though the exact Bertone
colour reference is slightly different.
According to registration records kept by the Publico
Registro Automobili, the first owner of the car was 23-year-old Maria
Luisa Pencarelli, a resident of Ancona. The Miura’s invoice totalled 7,670,000
lira and the car was first registered locally AN 170595 on 27 July 1972. It was
not uncommon in those times for cars to registered in the names of other family
members to optimise the real owner’s tax position.
On 18 February 1974, ownership passed to Rossetta
Berton – on behalf of Gianni Calore, resident of Monselice – who paid the
nominal sum of 200,000 lira. Later that year it was bought by Giuseppe Caprioli
of Bisceglie, a city on the Adriatic. Caprioli had purchased a Miura S in
November 1973, and it’s likely the nearly new SV replaced that car. He paid
2,000,000 lira and registered it BA 405147 on 3 August 1974.
Finally, on 21 May 1975, the current owner in Forli
bought the car and registered it locally FO 325781.
Since then, it has remained seldom seen on the road, enjoying club events and an occasional spell on display in the museum of Tonino Lamborghini.
Unrestored, one of only two cars – the only one to
Euro-spec – in Bruno Metallizzato and coming from 45 years in the same
family ownership, this Miura SV is everything a forward-thinking collector
could ask for.