1969 LAMBORGHINI MIURA S

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IT’S BILLED as the original supercar as owned by the original supermodel and as descriptions go, it has some legs. Sold new to Lesley ‘Twiggy’ Lawson through the Lamborghini UK importers in 1969, and sales director Ubaldo Sgarzi confirmed that the car was painted lime green with orange and white stripes at the factory, upon request of Twiggy. This original right hand drive Miura S was only the eighth such car built and lived in South Australia with one owner for 34 years before coming up for sale in 2012.

Imagining the impact this car would have had on the Kings Road at the tail end of the ’60s, nosing through the Ford Cortinas and Vauxhall Victors. It would have looked like something from a different planet. We’re accustomed to mid-engined supercars these days, but the Miura was a genuinely new thing when it first appeared in 1966. The 1957 Cooper Climax had shown the benefits of the mid-engined layout in Grand Prix racing, and just nine years later, well-heeled customers could buy the incredible Miura, a true race car for the road.

It took Ferrari years to counter the Miura. The Dino 206 GT of 1968 was their first dabble, but this was a cheaper car with nothing like the Lamborghini’s performance and prestige. Of the big V12s, the 1971 Daytona retained the old-school front-engined layout, and the mid-engined 365 GT4 BB’s intro at the 1971 Geneva Show was comprehensively overshadowed by the unveiling of the Miura’s successor, the outrageous Countach. Ferruccio Lamborghini was achieving his rather bitter aim of making Enzo Ferrari’s wares look archaic. To many, the Miura isn’t just the first supercar, it’s the only supercar that counts.

This car presents beautifully. It’s clearly been used, as the 30,550 odometer reading shows, but it’s in that wonderful sweet spot where it has an authentic patina without feeling careworn.

It also avoids that slightly spooky, synthetic feel of many over-restored classics. The black leather interior is as specified from Sant’Agata, but a previous keeper has made a few subtle and tasteful upgrades, with a thicker front anti-roll bar and two extra suspension arms out back, mirroring the factory upgrades visited upon the later Miura SV. The radiator and cooling system, brakes and transmission were all overhauled, new headlamp lift motors installed, hoses renewed and the fluids regularly refreshed. It almost seems superfluous to state for a car that will likely be treated as a museum piece, but it actually is in excellent driving order.

It’s not a car to be underestimated either. The Miura P400 S which arrived in 1968 was a more powerful and reliable than its predecessor, with revised manifolds and camshafts adding another 20hp to the original’s corral

Instant Expert: Miura

THERE ARE three key Miura models to consider.

The first Miura lasted from 1966 to 1969, covering a production run of 275 cars. Between November 1968 and March 1971, Lamborghini built 338 Miura S models, like the one you see featured here.

The last and most famous Miuras were the 150 SV models built between 1971 and 1972. From that point, we’re into specials.

There was one P400 Jota racing test mule built by Bob Wallace that crashed and burned near Brescia in 1971 and six SV/J specials – one built at the factory and five converted from existing SVs. An eighth SV/J was built for Jean Claude Mimran in 1987 from an unused Miura S chassis. A Miura Roadster one-off was shown at the 1968 Brussels Auto Show and is now in the hands of a collector.

There’s also one P400 SVJ Spider, a car displayed at the 1981 Geneva Show, converted from a yellow Miura S. Finally there’s the 2006 retro-themed Miura Concept, designed by Walter da’Silva which resides at the museum in front of the Sant’Agata factory.

of 350 ponies, although Miura power outputs were famously variable, as confirmed by test driver Bob Wallace. Road and Track strapped their instruments to a Miura S and clocked 5.5 seconds to 96km/h (60mph) and a top speed of 269km/h. Back in the late ’60s these were rocketship numbers.

The cabin of the S got a number of extra refinements such as electric windows, upgraded switchgear, and lockable glove box and optional air conditioning while the exterior had additional chrome trim. The details are intriguing. The shape is attributed to Marcello Gandini, but just as Jean Shrimpton would contest Twiggy’s claim to be the first supermodel, there are some who believe Giugiaro deserves the credit for the Miura’s lines. Nevertheless, it has aged wonderfully, the 1050mm roof height and 4390mm length giving it a low and slinky silhouette that might just owe a nod of gratitude to Ford’s GT40 racer.

The doors, which are claimed to resemble a bull’s horns when open, have a delicacy that gave no clue to the design direction of the Miura’s iconic successor, the Countach.

Dutton Garage in Melbourne has this one listed as ‘Price On Application’ and given the way the market’s going, coupled with this car’s condition and history we’d be surprised if it was sold for anything much less than a number beginning with two.

If you’re interested, give them a call. And if your budget doesn’t stretch to a Miura S, I can heartily recommend the banana and pecan bread from the café.

“TO MANY, THE MIURA ISN’T JUST THE FIRST SUPERCAR. IT’S THE ONLY SUPERCAR.”

Model material

NOT ALL supermodels had the style and panache of Twiggy when it comes to their cars. Cindy Crawford’s a trier in her Bentley Conti GT, while Kate Moss overcompensates in her Range Rover Vogue.

Gisele Bundchen has a Rolls-Royce Ghost and Adriana Lima appears to be going for some aesthetic offset scheme with the challengingly-styled Porsche Panamera.

Miranda Kerr’s got a long wheelbase Jaguar XJ and Rosie Huntington- Whitely has an Audi Q7.

Twiggy still wins.

LAMBORGHINI MUIRA

ENGINE 3929cc DOHC mid-mounted alloy V12 MAX POWER 276kW @ 7700rpm TORQUE 389Nm @ 5500rpm TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual transaxle WEIGHT 1040kg 0-100KM/H 5.7s

PRICE On application CONTACT duttongarage.com.com (03) 9419 8080