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Originally the fastest production car on the road, the 1968 Lamborghini Miura sparked a need for speed in car enthusiasts everywhere. The 2-door coupe is an inspiration to the automotive industry and was designed by Marcello Gandini – a noted Italian car designer with Bertone.
Built with a quad-cam V12 engine and with an output of 350 bhp, the 1968 Lamborghini Miura quickly outdated its competitors. The most revolutionary design choice of this car was the transverse engine positioning behind the drivers’ seat.
The 1968 Lamborghini Miura design
Thanks to Bertone’s – or should I say Gandini’s – genius design, the new supercar turns the impressive internal machinery into something beautiful. So let’s take a bit of a closer look at some of those revolutionary design choices. The Miura features the engine radiator up front which allows a low air intake. The body sides also feature intakes that feed cool air into the engine compartment. Additional intakes in the rocker panels conduct airflow to the rear brakes and the magnesium alloy wheels also work to draw some of that heat out. Pretty neat, right? Not only are we looking at a nicely designed car, but it actually works.
Apart from the awesome green paint work, this 1968 Lamborghini Miura features the two grills to exhaust the air. Personally, I like the smooth bodylines, especially in this picture:
We also see a similar fastback design that was incorporated in the popular 70s Mustangs.
The original price and optional upgrades
Originally marketed at the steep price of $20,000 – equivalent to $145,867 – the Miura was an instant success. The model featured in the pictures is an upgrade of the P400 launched in 1966 and is the newly designed P400 S that was introduced at the Turin Motorshow in 1968.
Not much had changed since 1966, but his model featured bright chrome trims, new rocker switches, the engine intake manifolds were 2mm larger and the engine produced an additional 20 bhp. It also reached a top speed of 171 mph. Alongside these performance – and somewhat aesthetic – improvements, the new model also included a glovebox that locked (shocking, I know) and optional air conditioning – a luxury for the era, but it did come at the extra cost of $800.
In case you weren’t already in love with this car, I know something that will really sway you. Even Frank Sinatra owned one, yes you heard right, the swing king himself owned one of the 338 Muria S’s that were built between 1968 and 1971.
So whilst I’m on the topic of famous connections, would you be surprised to learn of the P400’s brief appearance in the 1969 The Italian Job. It also appeared in the second series of Even Stevens and Jamiroquai’s 1996 music video ‘Alright’.