The World’s First Supercar – The Lamborghini Miura
Fifty years ago Lamborghini sets the world on fire when it introduces their sleek new performance car, the Miura at the Geneva Auto Show. The Miura is considered to be the world’s first supercar and the inspiration for many of the sports cars we love today.
Revolutionary Design Turns World Upside Down
Engineers Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani along with visionary designer Marcello Ghandini develop this revolutionary sports car for Automobili Lamborghini in 1966, just three years after the company is founded. From its innovative styling to its unique mid-engine power plant design, it truly turns the car world upside down.
Built Like a Racecar
The 1966 Miura is the fastest production car in the world, able to go from 0-60 in seven seconds and clock a top speed of 170 mph. Dallara and Stanzani do the unthinkable, they put a transverse 3.9 liter V12 engine behind the driver’s seat, a mid-engine configuration rarely used outside of racing.
Sleek, Predatory and Sexy as Hell
Twenty-four-year-old Bertone designer Marcello Ghandini gives the car its sleek, predatory look. From the round headlights (with signature “eyelashes”) to the vents on the B-pillars, this car is unlike any other. Many of the performance cars today borrow design elements from the Miura. Ghandini goes on to design another iconic Lamborghini in 1974, the Countach.
Even Sinatra Owned a Miura
The Miura is an immediate hit and orders pour in. Everyone from rock stars to industrialists want one of these unique cars. In the immortal words of the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, “You buy a Ferrari when you want to be somebody but you buy a Lamborghini when you are somebody”. Old Blue Eyes orders an orange Miura for his 54th birthday.
Italian Supercar Turns Film Star
Featured in the opening scenes of the 1969 film, The Italian Job, the Miura is seen blasting down the Alpine roads that cut through the Great St. Bernard Mountains. This year Lamborghini loaned two cars from its museum to recreate this memorable scene. To make the ride even more special are the car’s creators – Dallara, Stanzani and Ghandini.
Only 764 Miuras Produced
Despite the Miura’s popularity, only 764 units are produced between 1966-1973. Facing lean times in the 70’s, Ferruccio Lamborghini decides to sell his shares of the company and retire in 1974. When asked if he’d miss the action, the founder replies, “When I miss the sound and fury, I will take refuge in my garage and turn the key in the ignition of my Miura”.
Rivalry is Born
This great car gives a shot of adrenaline to the performance car industry. Lamborghini may have wanted to thumb his nose at Ferrari but a feud is started that continues today. Competition between these rivals is what makes the cars better and the Miura plays a big role in raising the bar for all car companies.
(Photos – Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A)
The Miura 50th Anniversary Rally Tours Italy
Miura owners were invited to participate in a rally organized by Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this amazing car. A parade of beautiful cars left the factory site in Sant’Agata Bolognese on June 8 and finished June 12 in Florence. For those in the U.S. wanting to join in the celebration, you will have a chance at the Monterey Car Week August 15-21.
Celebrate This Rolling Piece of Automotive History
Still considered one of the most beautiful high performance sports car ever created, the Miura is a hot commodity among collectors. The owners of these rolling pieces of automotive history understand the role this car plays in our view of the sports car. So celebrate this iconic car’s 50th anniversary this year by doing what any exotic car owner would do – rev that engine and leave the world in your rear view mirror. Happy Birthday, Miura!
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