Lamborghini Miura, the first “supercar” in history

The most famous Lamborghini of all time, the most legendary and iconic sports car ever produced at the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
04 September 2023 Monday 17:27
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Lamborghini Miura, the first “supercar” in history

The most famous Lamborghini of all time, the most legendary and iconic sports car ever produced at the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory. The Miura is 'the' Lamborghini par excellence, the most coveted, the most valued, without discussion, and a true motorsport legend of the late sixties.

Its revolutionary configuration with a 4-liter V12 engine in a transverse central position was a revolution, while its imposing design, the work of Bertone – and signed by the brilliant Marcello Gandini – is, in turn, a work of art in itself. With a top speed of 300 km/h in its latest SV versions (a record that was hardly imaginable almost sixty years ago), the Miura earned the title of the first supercar in history.

It debuted in March 1966 at the Geneva Motor Show and was the star of that year's competition. Initially, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Nuccio Bertone agreed to manufacture 50 units per year for 5 years, but their commercial success was such that they immediately had to expand the forecasts.

They ended up producing 763 Miuras of the P 400 series (275 units between 1966 and 1969), P 400 S (338 copies from 1968 to 1971) and P 400 SV (150 from 1971 to 1973). The Miura was the car that placed the Lamborghini name among the elite of the great sports car manufacturers worldwide, a status that has not lost since then.

The arrival of the Miura, which owes its name to the Spanish bullfighting of Lida, was also the beginning of a tradition that is still maintained today: naming the models of the brand that precisely this animal wears with the name of bulls. company logo. This is because the zodiac sign of its founder was Taurus (represented by a bull). In addition, the bravery and nobility, but also the strength and aggressiveness of these bovines, was considered by Ferruccio as suitable to evoke the qualities of his vehicles.

The magical aura of the Miura was also created by indelible stellar appearances in the cinema, such as the most remembered of all of them: the first scene of the film The Italian Job (1969), in which the actor Rossano Brazzi drives a Miura on the roads. of the Alps with the melody “On days like these” by Matt Monro interspersed with the roar of his V12 rumbling through the mountains.

The privilege of seeing a Miura is already something very rare today, since it is a museum car. Being able to see it in motion and having the opportunity to listen to the vibrant mechanical symphony of its block is quite a unique event, but the fact of being able to drive it – on open roads and for a journey of almost an hour – is something that very few people have the opportunity to do. lucky to experiment A unique and unrepeatable occasion that, once the test is over, generates a great feeling of satisfaction (and relief... in equal parts).

It should be remembered that the current price of these cars does not fall below two million euros per unit, and that certain exclusive pieces or those with a distinctive pedigree have exceeded the four million barrier. It is, therefore, a responsibility and the consequences of suffering any mishap weigh on the conscience in a terrifying, almost paralyzing way. However, and despite everything, it is an unforgettable experience not without romanticism and authenticity.

Just sitting behind the wheel is almost an exercise in contortionism. Let's not forget that the total height of the car is just over 1 meter (only 106 cm). The seat is low and small, with the backrest very straight. Sitting down, the front limits of the car cannot be seen, the rear vision is almost zero and the presence of a single mirror (not original) on the driver's side does not help to improve the perception of the surroundings.

The feeling of "insecurity" and lack of control of the environment is noticeable. In addition, the position, far from being comfortable, is quite unnatural, with the brake and clutch pedals very close and in a very vertical position, which forces you to lift your feet a lot to operate them. The steering wheel is quite large and the gear lever, very small and fragile-looking, slides with some difficulty inaccurately between the H-shaped grille.

But the highlight of the experience begins when you turn the ignition key. It is then when the roar of his V12 mechanics behind our backs and a few centimeters from his head begins to do his magic. An intoxicating and thunderous symphony, powered by its 4 triple-body Weber carburettors, begins to accompany us throughout the escalation of its five gears, an almost infinite sequence, since the red line of this block is located at 7,850 rpm.

Without even reaching half of them and barely savoring a third of its 385 CV, it is enough to anticipate the type of "monster" that the Miura should be at the time. A true brave, wild and indomitable bull -according to its poor braking capacity- and its raw and stark nature. A true beast (of the roads and auction halls) that still proves, even today, to live up to the myth due to its performance and its imposing qualities.