There are rare cars and then there’s this: the pre-production prototype Lamborghini Miura P400 SV that was displayed at the 1971 Geneva motor show and has now been restored by Lambo’s in-house heritage workshop, Polo Storico.
Tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini famously started building cars after a large disagreement with Enzo Ferrari. Three years later, in 1966, the venture kicked into high gear with the launch of the Miura.
The Miura defined the modern supercar. Lots of power came from a mid-mounted, 4.0-liter V12 - placed transversely, with the gearbox in the sump, following the format laid down by the Mini - and it looked like nothing else that had ever been seen on the road.
Performance was equally outlandish, with a top speed on the far side of 170 miles per hour. If you were brave enough to take it that far, as the sharply pointed nose generated a huge amount of lift beyond 130 mph.
Regardless of dynamic shortcomings, the Miura was the first true to the finest, fastest cars that Maranello had to offer. (It actually took deeply conservative Ferrari seven to build its own 12-cylinder, mid-engined road car.)
A more luxurious interior and extra power turned the original P400 into the P400S in 1968, then came the P400 SV.
More aggressive camshafts and bigger carburettors raised the SV's power output to a stonking 380 hp, enough to make it one of the fastest cars of its day. The suspension and brakes were beefed up to cope, and massive 9-inch-wide Pirelli tires fitted. The lack of headlight “eyelashes” marked it out from lesser Miuras.
This car, chassis #4846, trialled many of those changes before the SV went into production. It was essentially a P400S upgraded to SV spec, fitted with many unique parts.
Polo Storico endeavored to restore and reuse those parts rather than swap them out for later, production-spec bits. Extensive research went into making sure the restoration was as accurate as possible, so the car could be returned to the exact condition it was in at the Geneva show 45 years ago.
It was actually displayed on the stand of coachbuilder Bertone, as Lamborghini itself was showing off the prototype Countach. Lamborghini hasn’t said what #4846 will be used for now, beside being a rolling advert for Polo Storico.