The Lamborghini Miura is the granddaddy of all supercars, setting the standard for mid-engined, high performance two-seaters. This month an ultra rare version of the car is going to auction, with bids starting at a cool 2.5 million dollars.
The vintage supercar is powered by a transverse 12-cylinder 3.9-liter engine that puts out 385 horsepower, controlled by a five-speed manual transmission. It started life as a Miura P400 SV, which bore mechanical improvements over previous versions that boosted the engine output. This car joined a handful of its brethren on a return trip back to the original factory for some modifications that made it more track worthy; the “superleggera” treatment, if you will.
What makes this particular car special is that it’s a Miura SVJ, of which less then seven have ever existed. The story behind the suffix goes that Bob Wallace, the chief test driver at Lamborghini wanted to adapt the Miura for motorsport, since performance-wise, the road legal sports car could hold its own against some of the race cars of the era. Wallace then modified a prototype to fit specifications set by motorsport’s sanctioning body, the FIA.
Many of the mods centered on swapping heavy materials for lighter ones, stiffening the chassis and improving the weight balance by repositioning components. Since the car met with appendix J of the FIA regulations, this Miura was dubbed the “Jota.”
Ferruccio Lamborghini didn’t warm to the notion, however, and ordered the prototype scrapped, but before it was sent to the heap, its rumored that a Millionaire named Alfredo Belpone bought it. Sadly, the one-of-a-kind Miura met a fiery end during a crash on the autostrada.
Wallace’s work wasn’t in vain, though, and many Lamborghini customers who had purchased the Miura SV sent them right back to receive the same modifications that the Jota sported, thus the factory modded Miura SVJ was born.
The car hitting the block underwent a two-year restoration process, despite never having been in an accident. It’s also been certified by several Lamborghini experts throughout the years, having even been confirmed as one of the originals by Wallace himself shortly before his passing.
The auction takes place in Arizona next week, where it’s expected to fetch more than two million dollars, making it one of the most expansive Lamborghinis ever purchased at auction. Some could argue though, that it’s a small price to pay to own a part of automotive history.