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1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

SOLD

Barney Ruprecht
Senior Car Specialist
1

1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

SOLD

Barney Ruprecht
Senior Car Specialist

Highlights

  • An exceptional P400, finished in attractive colors
  • Late production “thick chassis” P400
  • Extensive Swiss history preceding full Lamborghini factory restoration
  • Restoration overseen by the legendary Valentino Balboni
  • Matching numbers

Chassis no. 3739
Engine no. 2502

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 V-12 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, of which this is a particularly outstanding example. P400 production can be divided between “thin chassis” and “thick chassis” examples; of which this is a “thick chassis” car. The nomenclature signifies the upgrade of some parts to 1.0mm thickness from 0.8mm. As outlined in Simon Kidston's seminal work on the model, chassis 3739 was production number 263, dispatched from the factory on 30 October 1968, bound for the French-speaking part of Switzerland, finished in Bleu Miura (“Miura Blue”) over a Gobi (tan) interior. Factory build records, which remain on file, indicate that the car was specially ordered with wider wheels, special lighting and horn, and a quieter exhaust, commissioned by its first owner, one “Fraissinet.” Ultimately total production of the P400 series amounted to 275 cars, including five prototype and pre-production cars.All shades of blue amounted to only about 10% of production, whereas the more ubiquitous Rosso Miura (red) and Giallo Miura (yellow) shades accounted for well over 100 cars, so blue in its various iterations was quite rare.

By the turn of the millenium the car had been residing in Switzerland, with Swiss registration records on file indicating ownership by Maurice Girard in the town of Rue, near Lausanne. By 2005, the car was submitted for a three-year restoration by its Geneva-based owner at the Lamborghini factory itself, specifically in its Centro Restauro section within the Customer Service Department. This section, it should be noted, predated the Pollo Storico program and as such this was a very special commission. The owner insisted on the direct oversight of this restoration by Valentino Balboni himself, Lamborghini's famous now-retired chief test-driver whose intimate mechanical knowledge of Miuras and virtually all Lamborghini road cars is well known and highly regarded. In a letter following the completion of restoration, Balboni states “It has been a very long and accurate process but necessary to achieve expected quality standards and maintain originality.” He alludes to the full restoration of the interior, a total transmission and engine overhaul, updating of brakes and suspension, and bodywork to the front and rear bonnets. The car has since been refinished in Bleu Notte (“night blue”).

By 2013, the car was offered at auction, at which time it was advertised as having been consigned by only its third owner. The car is now offered on behalf of a distinguished private collector in the United States, in whose collection it has resided for the past five years. It continues to present extremely well and a recent inspection by our specialist confirms its numbers-matching status. The car is offered with a comprehensive history file, which includes former registration paperwork, factory records, restoration correspondence, receipts for restoration work, and much more.

Given their comparatively limited original production, the offering of a Lamborghini Miura P400 remains a special occurrence, with varying degrees of desirability, predicated on originality, specification, and presentation. This particular matching numbers car, in a lovely factorycolor of Bleu Notte, and with a restoration overseen by none other than Valentino Balboni is an especially wonderful example.

INTERESTED PARTIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT COLLECTORS GARAGE AND REVIEW ALL AVAILABLE HISTORIC DOCUMENTATION.


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