In the February 1966 issue of ROAD & TRACK, writer Henry N. Manney, III, in describing the 47th Turin Auto Show, wrote, “The prize for the poker hand was reserved for Comm. Lamborghini who not only showed up with a shortened Touring-bodied convertible but also the wild new transverse-engine chassis.” There was no reference to the name “Miura”, since the new chassis and car were, as yet, not named. Only later would the Lamborghini tradition of naming cars after Spanish fighting bulls or breeders of those bulls begin. Soon appeared the first name, also acknowledging the Zodiac sign under which the Company founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, was born. Lamborghini’s birth sign was Taurus, one of the reasons that he adopted the charging bull insignia for his cars.
Miura chassis 1965 Turin Auto Show
Like many Italian Emilians, Ferruccio, a true classic Emilian born in Renazza di Cento in the province of Bologna, had the stubborn trait of refusing to grow old and “to do it his way”. During a visit to Spain, he became a fan, an aficionado, of the Corida (the bullfight and its pageantry). Later, during a subsequent trip, he visited the breeding ranch of patron Don Eduardo Miura near Seville. This famous ranch had then a greater than a century tradition of breeding Spain’s most famous, fearless fighting bulls. Senor Miura and the ranch had widespread fame throughout Spain. Interestingly that meeting with patron Senor Miura occurred after the car had already been named. The Miura.
Inspired by the Ford GT40, according to to the Lamborghini developmental test driver, and later Lamborghini restoration expert, New Zealander, Bob Wallace (on left), the Miura ultimately became “the template” for the future of exotic cars, later called “supercars”, mid-engined, but not necessarily transverse, so much so, that even Enzo Ferari reluctantly, with the encouragement of Pinin Farina, followed “the template” of a mid-engine exotic for his Ferrari Boxer (first the 365GT4 BB, then the 512BB, and finally the 512BBi).
The following is the Miura article first published in the British publication, “CAR”, February 1981
These still rank as one of the most beautiful designs ever. I was lucky enough to see one in person recently and I am still in love.
The thing that the transverse V12 allowed that is very distinctive with the Miura are the almost front engined proportions. When you look at the Ferrari BB or the Countach in profile there’s a mile of bodywork behind the doors, and the passenger compartment is cab forward, with the end of the windshield ending just above the wheel openings. Not so on the Miura. It’s long hood and short decked, and the passenger compartment is dead center within the wheelbase. That unique engine configuration is key to it’s unmatched beauty.
I fell head over heels for it when I first saw it in a magazine at the time, and I’ve never fallen out of love with. Its impact and lasting influence cannot be overstated. Truly inspired.
Thanks for this; I remember reading it at the time. An excellent tribute.
The Miura will always be the only Lambo I care about. Simple and absolutely gorgeous design.
Back in 1968, my dad some how got his hands on a centerfold cutaway illustration of a Miura, from a Italian auto magazine.
Unfortunately I lost it. After decades moving to different neighborhoods and even to different countries, I have misplaced most of my personal treasure.
The Miura is the Francoise Hardy of automobiles
In Naples in 1969, I came around a corner and was face to face with a Miura. It was breathtaking, sitting at the curb. I can’t remember what color it was (it was night), but the shape and presence was unlike anything I had ever seen.
I don’t remember when or how I first became aware of the Miura (probably in the 70’s), but I thought it was gorgeous then.
I still think so now. That design, IMHO, is FAR better looking than later Lamborghinis.
The car is pure sex. I remember reading this article in 1981. I used to pick up CAR magazine religiously before they went all coffee-table.
The Miura has to be the most beautiful car ever built.
Absolutely no contest.
Many subsequent “Supercars” have been better in many ways than the Muira, but nothing can really hold a candle to it. Will never forget the day I sat in a rental Seat, waiting for the traffic lights to go green, and a red Muira pulled up beside me.
The SV is the best, thanks to the better transmission, but sadly it lacks the “eyelashes ” of the early Muiras.
Can’t disagree; simply the most beautiful supercar ever.
Lancia Stratos HF
All by Marcello Gandini. Any one would have made a designer legendary, but all three …
That last photo of the Miura in front of the pylon was just amazing. That was truly great graphic design.
A piece of art.
However, the engine and transaxle share a common lubricant. Not the best idea.
I got a brief ride in one from 0-70-0 over the space of a few blocks in downtown Charlottesville. I think it was an S model. The car disappears around you at speed and all that’s left is the world rushing at your knees as the atmosphere roars down the intake trumpets behind your head.