1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
Before the introduction of the Lamborghini Miura at the 1966 Geneva Salon, the term 'supercar' simply did not exist. The Miura heralded the beginning of a new age in automotive history, and visually, it looked like nothing else on the road. The designer, Marcello Gandini, was just 27 years old when he penned its stunning design for Bertone, and his work encapsulated the youthful spirit of the age and the power lying behind the bodywork.
The Miura’s design was indebted to its engine placement, with the V-12 mounted transversely directly behind the passenger compartment. Not only did this allow for a highly attractive silhouette, but it also gave the Miura incredible balance and weight distribution. Like many supercars that have followed in its footsteps, the Miura evolved over time, and the last iteration, the P400 SV, was the most developed and potent. The suspension was also revised slightly to help reduce the “front-end lightness” that characterised the handling of earlier cars, and the rear bodywork was widened for a more aggressive stance. The engine was also addressed, and the SV was fitted with larger carburetors and featured different cam timing, helping to make the SV more user-friendly at lower RPMs.
Needless to say, performance remained incredible, and the SV could outrun just about everything on the road when new. Producing a total of 385 horsepower, the SV could sprint from 0–60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. On a wide open stretch of road, the Miura could reach a top speed of 180 mph. This example was sold at auction last month in Arizona by RM Sotheby's. It fetched $2million. Photos: Robin Adams ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's