The Original Supercar

The Automotive Industry has had plenty of innovations over the past century with countless advances in engineering that either end up not being popular enough and fading into obscurity or changing the landscape of design, engineering, etc., for the betterment of the automobile as a whole.

Ferruccio Lamborghini and the brand that bears his namesake went from producing tractors to a line of GT cars to spite a man named Enzo from Maranello. Ferrucio was a simple man and preferred sedated design rather than race-derived street cars. However, a few of his top engineers had other ideas, creating the Miura during late evenings in 1965.

At first, Ferrucio was hesitant on the idea until the car complete concept premiered at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show to excellent reception. As a result, the Miura is considered the first mid-engined supercar production, laying the groundwork for every supercar that subsequently followed it.

The swooping Aluminum bodywork penned by Marcello Gandini featured proportions similar to Lamborghini's previous grand tourers, hiding its powertrain layout very well. A wide-open grille with motorized headlamps characterizes the front fitted neatly into the bodywork above, surrounded by fashionable applique called eyelashes. The rear section is much shorter, promoting airflow and louvres covering the rear windshield area; below it was a trunk lid to access a storage compartment behind the engine.

The interior featured a full leather interior and short back bucket seats. Additional standard options were power windows and air conditioning on top of standard equipment.

Beneath the unique louvres and behind the passenger compartment sat the beloved V12 that powered the Miura, similar to the Bizzarini units that powered front-engined cars asides from two aspects. First, the engine was mounted transversely. Dallara and the other engineers did this to keep the center of gravity low and retain its beautiful proportions. The V12 displaced 3.9 litres (3929cc) and was equipped with dual overhead camshafts and downdraft Weber carburetors.

This Miura produced 365hp and 286lb/ft of torque, 20 more bulls than the original P400, thanks to a new intake manifold design and camshaft profiles. The new engine position meant that the Miura couldn't use a traditional gearbox; the new 5-speed manual shared its housing with the engine block, which also meant they shared lubrication. This new powertrain propelled the Miura from 0-100km/hr (62mph) in 6.7 seconds, through the quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 280km/h (174mph), making it one of the fastest cars of the era.

Beneath the muscular bodywork, the Miura was built to perform despite Ferrucio preferring soft GT cars, riding on 15 inch Campagnolo Aluminum wheels with knock-off spinner caps wrapped in 205 wide Pirelli Cinturato tires. Girling vented disc brakes at all four corners ensured ample stopping power and were attached to double wishbone suspension all around to handle the Miura's brisk pace.

The Miura's beautiful lines and new unconventional powertrain layout made it an absolute sensation. But, unfortunately, Lamborghini could only roll so many of them out of their Sant'Agata Bolognese facility due to them being handbuilt. As a result, only 764 cars were produced during their seven year run (1966-1973), making them quite rare, especially if you're interested in the later Super Veloce models.

Fun Facts:

-The Miura was featured cruising through the Alps in the opening scenes of the original Italian Job film from 1969 before a bulldozer famously destroyed it. Lamborghini sent two cars for the film. One was already involved in a collision before the bulldozer sent it over the cliff in the film.

- Eddie Van Halen owned a Miura S, and active listeners can hear it revving during the bridge in the bands' famous song "Panama." The car was backed up to the studio and had microphones attached to the exhaust tips for the recording session.

- The crest affixed to each Lamborghini, which bears a bull from the breeder of its namesake, first premiered on the Miura.

-Team 604

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