The wildest of the raging bulls - the Lamborghini Miura R
The story of one of the maddest one-offs I've ever seen.
The Lamborghini Miura is one of the most iconic supercars of all time - it's the first mainstream supercar to have the engine in the middle, and it paved the way to the modern supercar along with the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959. There were many iterations of it back in the day - the P400, the S, the SV, the SV/J, the Jota, and even a one-off Roadster and SVJ Roadster. However, what I'd consider to be the best iterations of the Miura is this chap in the profile picture.
This one-off creation started life as a standard Miura S, built and displayed in 1968, with chassis number #3781, engine number #2511 and body number #383. The S had a 3.9L V12, of course mounted in the middle, with around 365 horsepower - a 20 horsepower boost from the standard P400.
It could do 0-60 in around 6.3 seconds, and keep going to a top speed of 179mph. That was like a rocketship in the 60s, and it's not exactly slow even today. Of course it won't be the most gloriously handling thing, but the standard car was never necessarily designed for the track exclusively. It was all about Ferruccio showing Enzo that he too could make a supercar, and wouldn't be pushed around by a man who called him a 'tractor-maker'.
Although that wasn't technically a lie.
What we now know as the Miura R (or alternatively the Miura SVR from some sources) changed hands around 9 times, before it made it's way into the hands of Mr Heinz Straber, based in Japan, who wanted to build a car even more extreme than the five Miura SVJs that Lamborghini had made in response to the original being destroyed.
And so he shipped it back to Sant'Agata Bolognese, where - with the help of Lamborghini's own workers - he had it transformed into what you see in the pictures here.
A massive, pedestrian-slicing front splitter was fitted just under the rounded grille, giving the front a more sharp and aggressive angle to it. The pretty black eyelashes and grille covers were completely stripped away, and the racing fuel filler was relocated to the bonnet for that proper racecar look. The headlight bulbs themselves were pushed back, no longer pop-ups, which made the front look somehow wider and lower.
Enormous side vents were cut into the slightly flared front wings, and new and larger gold wheels were fitted into the new wheelarches. As for the rear, a set of enormous widebody arches was fitted to the rear, housing an set of even larger tyres. The... rear grille, if you will, was removed completely, and a new exhaust system rerouted through the gaping whole where it once was.
And, as I'm sure you might have noticed, a rather large and... striking roof spoiler was fitted to above the rear window.
I don't know how much about performance specs, as not much is documented about that side of this unique car. I'd naturally assume it's faster, as it quite obviously needs the extra downforce. After the car was finally assembled, after 18 months, it was shipped back to Japan and became an icon. It even made it's way into a comic book series called Circuit Wolf.
Personally, I've never heard of it, but apparently it was a big thing.
Fast forwards to 2018, Lamborghini’s Polo Storico team had heard of the tale of the SVR, which had apparently been reduced to a pile of parts. They decided to restore it back to its former glory.
The whole process took 19 months; longer than the original conversion. The whole process was daunting for the team; Paolo Gabrielli, Director of the Polo Storico team himself, said: “The challenge was even more daunting as the car arrived in Sant’Agata in pieces, although the parts were all there, and with considerable modifications."
And so far, that seems to be the current state of the Miura R story. The fact that this car exists in itself is a fascinating ordeal, all due to one man's innovation. And now, due to one team's determination, this marvellous machine gets to live on today, and apparently it still does occasional track events today. And so the people of today still get to enjoy the lunacy of the 60s.