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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Miura P400 Roadster: The Million-Dollar Lamborghini

ONE-OFF - Lamborghini's legacy is punctuated with iconic sports cars that have left an indelible mark on the automotive world. Among these legends stands the Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster, a truly exclusive gem that made its debut at the 1968 Brussels Auto Show. Crafted and conceptualized by Bertone, this open-top beauty was no ordinary Lamborghini with its roof removed. Unlike its predecessor, the 350 GTS by Touring, the Miura Roadster underwent a comprehensive redesign, showcasing exceptional taste and innovation.
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster. (Picture from: DrivingLine)
Adapting a model like the Miura for a soft-top version was a formidable challenge. The Miura was notorious for its torsional rigidity issues, and simply removing the roof could have exacerbated the problem. To tackle this challenge, Bertone's Marcello Gandini took the reins and embarked on a journey to strengthen the chassis while making substantial alterations to the car's rear.
Right side view of 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster. (Picture from: DrivingLine)
To ensure a smooth ride even at the proposed top speed of 186 mph, several crucial modifications were made. The windscreen's angle was lowered, a rear spoiler was integrated, engine louvers were omitted, and the exhaust system was expertly rerouted. The interior also received significant changes. Notably, the overhead console switches from the standard Miura had to be relocated, eventually finding their place on the central console. Furthermore, the Bertone steering wheel bore a striking resemblance to the one featured in the Marzal and the Espada prototypes, both of which were Bertone creations as well.
Interior view of 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster. (Picture from: DrivingLine)
The Miura P400 Roadster donned a stunning bright-metallic azure blue exterior, while the interior boasted magnolia-hued leather upholstery, almost resembling white leather, reminiscent of the first 350 GTV. The impact of this showstopper prototype was enormous in Brussels and later in Geneva. However, it was destined to remain a unique creation. Many enthusiasts and collectors expressed their desire for a Miura Roadster from the Lamborghini factory. Nevertheless, Automobili Lamborghini SpA never officially produced a Miura Roadster, let alone crafted a replica. It's worth noting that Bertone also refrained from adding a top or side windows to this prototype.
A high angle rear view of 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster. (Picture from: LamboCars)
The Miura P400 Roadster found a new home with the International Zinc and Lead Development Association (ILZRO), which utilized it as an exhibition showcase to highlight the properties of the metals they were eager to promote. Collaborating with the factory and Bertone, they reimagined the car, changed its color, and christened it as "Zn75."
When the car sold to ILZRO, the 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Roadster changed color and name to Zn75. (Picture from: DrivingLine)
Following its tenure with ILZRO, the car went through various owners until it was meticulously restored to its original appearance and specifications. Its grand return took place at the prestigious 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In 2013, CNN sought the expertise of Hagerty Insurance to appraise this exceptional Lamborghini. The valuation that emerged was nothing short of astonishing, with a price range estimated between $8,000,000 and $10,000,000, solidifying its status as the most valuable Lamborghini ever.
In conclusion, the Miura P400 Roadster stands as a testament to the unparalleled artistry and innovation that Lamborghini and Bertone brought to the world of automotive design. Its unique blend of style, power, and exclusivity continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors, making it a true icon in the realm of sports cars. This remarkable creation remains a testament to the enduring legacy of Lamborghini, a name synonymous with uncompromising excellence in the world of high-performance automobiles. *** [EKA [21072015] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LAMBOCARS.COM | DRIVINGLINE]
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