RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale Preview
1971 Lamborghini P400 SV by Bertone
If you want to narrow down the number of reasons as to why the last version of the spectacular Lamborghini P400 “Spinto Veloce” or SV, was the more desirable one over the first P400 or the P400 S, then it could simply be the fact that it is the rarest and also the most updated among the variants before production came to an end by 1973.
Only about 150 SV specs came out of the Sant’Agata factory from less than a total of just under 800 Miuras ever produced. The SV also had revised suspension settings to improve handling in order to counteract the well-documented problem of a light front and heavy rear as the fuel load decreases at the front tanks. There were further mods to the transverse V12 to alter the performance of the car as well, giving 15 more horsepower than the 370 in the previous “S” Model.
Bearing those aspects in mind then, there should be quite eager participations in the bidding for this Rosso Corsa Miura SV which will be at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale later this month. Chassis number 4920 itself would be considered unique when it was delivered new to its first Italian owner some time in 1971. The car, with an already rare single sump engine, was equipped with the then special option of the Borletti air-conditioning (which costs a whopping US$555 in Seventies money!). As per instruction from the customer, it also had a racing-style external fuel filler cap and is one of only two with factory-fitted chrome bumpers.
After a few years in its native homeland, 4920 became more as a California car when it came in possession of Claudio Zampolli—the engineer who actually worked at Lamborghini with Bob Wallace and Gian Paolo Dallara on revising the Miura’s suspension applied to the SV. Zampolli would then move to California where in the Nineties he later instigated his Cizeta V16T supercar.
After Zampolli, the Lamborghini has always remained Stateside under several ownerships right up to the present time and has proved to be quite popular at quite a number of U.S. shows through most of its life. While the engine is still original, one of the previous owners restored the car so that cosmetically it looks similar to standard SV specifications (although the chrome bumper still remained). However, the external fuel cap is still with the car as well as the special slats for the clamshell should the next owner wishes re-install them back as they were.
(Estimate: US$2,200,000 – $2,400,000)
All Photos Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s