Portrait – Lamborghini Miura Roadster

This Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster is one of the few real one-off cars in the world.

At the end of 1968, the Miura Roadster was presented at the automobile show in Brussels. This roadster was more than just a cut-off Coupé. This could not be otherwise, because the vehicle would be absolutely impassable due to insufficient stiffness. For this reason,  Bertone increased the chassis considerably and built a very robust roll bar into the structure. In addition to the rigidity, the structure of the revised draft had to be convincing in terms of aerodynamics and aesthetics . The roll bar was therefore flattened  30 mm and the entire rear part of the roadster has been redesigned. The air intakes have been widened . A lip spoiler has been integrated into the rear and the fenders were remodeled. The exhaust pipes lead through the rear panel and the blinds have been eliminated in favor of a conventional rear window.

A 4-liter V12 mid- engine operates with an output of approximately 360 hp. This brings this super sports car to a top speed of almost 260 km / h. On each cylinder head  6 Weber carbs provide the engine with fuel. This powerfull classic runs up from 0 to 100 km / h speed in only 6.2 seconds.

 


But not only the mid engine ensures the stable roadholding. The independent wheel suspensions with dual wishbones,  coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers at the front and rear axles, ensure high cornering stability.  Disc brakes on all four wheels are responsible for a safe halt.

Handles on the outside, the side windows and the roof have been relinquished. Gills from cast aluminum fit the back doorway. The air inlet is provided with a bead-edge and runs smoothly into the round shape of the rear hood.

Another distinctive feature is reflected in the interior: The radio buttons,  which are located on the ceiling in the Coupe version oft he Miura, are  integrated into the center console.

As appropriate for a show car, the Roadster has been painted in a very eye-catching light blue metallic paint and the interior is lined with white leather. The grille and the lashes to the headlights are identical to those of the P400 coupe.

In late 1968 the car became property of the company LEAD ZINC RESEARCH ORGANIZATION (ILZRO). The car has been used as a show car and many parts were reproduced of cast zinc alloy. It  was sprayed dark green and many chrome parts were attached.

A few years ago, this one-off prototype has been put back into its original state, as it can be seen here. Unfortuntly this roadster never went into serial production . So this Miura shown here is an unique, which is driven only when the weather is nice, because there´s no way to close the roof.

The history of the Lamborghini Miura began as early as 1965, when Ferruccio Lamborghini presented the idea of a mid-engined sports car at the Turin Motor Show. However, only in the form of an empty chassis with integrated drive unit and gearbox. This design study was called P400, whilst the P stands for „posterior“ (Italian: positioned in the middle) and the 400 stood for the 4 liter engine.

Lamboghini used the technique of many race cars, to place the engine in the middle oft he chasis to get a better weight contribution and therefore better traction. But this caused problems, due tot hat the wheelbase had tob e extended considerably.

Giampaolo Dallara bypassed this design problem by orientating his idea on the construction of the Bugatti Type 252 prototype. Without further ado, he turned the engine and transmission at 90 degrees and placed it  parallel to the rear axle. So Dallara achieved a wheelbase shortened by 51mm compared, to its predecessor, the Lamborghini 350GT.

Up to the time of the presentation at the Turin Motor Show, Ferruccio Lamborghini had not commisioned anybody with the design of the body – one of the reasons why only the chassis has been presented in Turin. Ferruccio Lamborghini had originally planned to award this contract to Touring, who were already responsible for the design of the bodywork of the 350 GT. But he decided to give the job to Bertone. Although Bertone was pleased with this order, hard work was waiting for him, because the Geneva Motor Show  already took place in 1966, and the new bodywork should have it´s premiere on this show. Three months remained after the order, until its presentation.

Another complictaing factor was, that designer Giugiaro left Bertone after a dispute and joined Ghia, so Bertone had to find a designer. Giugiaro had already made some sketches for the project P400. Replacement was soon found an Marcello Gandini joined Bertone, who had actually designed interiors for night-clubs untill then. Bertone believed in this young and unconsumed designer and entrusted him with this important project.

The result was impressive. And the new Lamborghini in the stall was named Miura – after Antonio Miura, a spanish breeder of fighting bulls.

The Miura immidiatly found several buyers. It  has been developed further and promptly powerful variants were brought tot he market branded S and SV.