• 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone

    Ferraris aren't the only classic supercars that draw in heavy bidders. This Lamborghini Miura SVJ is poised to bring in millions.
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Old Ferrari’s have been selling for ridiculous sums of cash and grabbing headline space recently, but now an ultra-rare 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ will be crossing the auction block at the 2015 RM Auction event in Scottsdale, Arizona, and, according to RM, it could see a hammer price as high as $2.6 million.

First introduced in 1966, the Lamborghini Miura is widely regarded to both the first mid-engine road-going supercar and one of the prettiest cars ever built. It was penned by Italian designer Marcello Gandini of Gruppo Bertone, and, interestingly, was developed by a small engineering against the wishes of Ferruccio Lamborghini, who preferred grand touring cars like the 350 GT.

The story of the Miura SVJ variant starts with the Lamborghini Jota — a one-off car based on the Miura developed by Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace to go racing. Unfortunately, the Jota never raced, and it later crashed and burned to the ground at the hands of a private owner.

But by that time, word of the Jota’s potential had reached other Miura customers, which finally brings us to the car we have here. This Miura SVJ is one of five (or possibly seven, depending on who you ask) examples ever built. The SVJ used many of the high performance parts originally developed for Jota, including upgrades to the engine, body, exhaust, suspension and brakes.

This particular example, chassis number 4892, was originally built as a Miura SV and later converted to SVJ specification. Only two SVJs were built at the factory from the ground up. It underwent a two-year restoration in 2007 costing $225,000. The current owner was also able to get in touch with Bob Wallace before he passed away in 2013 to confirm that it was indeed a factory converted SVJ.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone.

  • 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    five-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3929 cc
  • 0-60 time:
    6.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    171 mph
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Exterior
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1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Exterior
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1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone High Resolution Exterior
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Even thought they are separated by more the 40-years, it’s hard to believe the same company designed both the Miura and the modern-day Huracán. The styling on display here is absolutely worlds apart from modern Lambos. Today, Lamborghini is all about hard edges, angular surfaces and wedge-like profiles, but things were different in the pre-Countach era.

The Miura looks like it was shaped in stone by of wind and water over the course of millions of years. In SVJ specification it received fixed, covered headlights in place of the flip-up “eyebrow” units, and a splitter mounted below the front bumper. It also got riveted aluminum body panels similar to the original Jota. Originally finished in white with a blue interior, the car was repainted in its current shades of Rosso Granada and gold during the original SVJ conversion.


1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Interior
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1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Interior
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1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Interior
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Like the outside, the interior is in absolute, drop-dead pristine condition, and despite the car’s pretenses, it’s not quite the stripped-out racecar affair you might expect. Just don’t go looking for an eight-track player.

Everything is covered in light-brown leather. All the center console gauges are angled slightly toward the driver seat, with the speedometer and tachometer perched on either side of the steering column. The three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in black leather and is shockingly minimalist by today’s standards. By just looking at it, you can almost hear the clack-clack of the lovely gated five-speed shifter.


1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Drivetrain
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After the 350 GT, the Miura was the second Lamborghini to use the evergreen V-12 designed by legendary Italian engineer and Ferrari refugee Giotto Bizzarrini. It displaces a little under four liters and produces 385 horsepower in SVJ specification, which is a half liter larger and about 35 horsepower up on than the standard Miura. Amazingly, this same engine architecture would be used in every V-12 Lamborghini until the last Murcielago was built in 2010. By then, it had been stretched to a 6.5-liter!

One of the more unique aspects of the Miura was its transverse-mounted engine. Subsequent mid-engine Lamborghinis would all have engines mounted longitudinally along the car’s axis. This gave the Miura some reportedly interesting handling characteristics that might be described has “hairy,” but the SVJ’s improved weight distribution and stiffer suspension meant the odd arrangement was better managed.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 3,929 cc DOHC transverse V-12 engine
Transmission five-speed manual
Output 385 HP
0 to 60 mph 6.7 seconds
Top Speed 171 mph


1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone Interior
- image 608737

Here’s the weird part. If it weren’t for some of the new goofy one-offs that Lamborghini can’t seem to stop making, like the $5.3 million Veneno and $3 million Egoista, this would probably be the most expensive Lamborghini ever sold. RM Auctions anticipates it will be sold for somewhere between $2 million and $2.6 million, but given the car’s rarity, history and condition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it go for over $3 million.


1965 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

"Viva Porsche" - historic overall victory for Porsche 50 years ago
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Viva Porsche - historic overall victory for Porsche 50 years ago

RM Auctions will have a plethora of drool worthy machinery on offer in Arizona in addition to the Miura SVJ. One that caught our eye was this 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, which is expected to fetch between $1.5 and $2 million.

Like the Miura SVJ, the 904 was bred for competition and is just as rare. Its body represented Porsche’s first foray into plastic composites and is glued and bonded to the steel frame. This example is one of just four Series 2 cars and is the next to last 904 ever built. A 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine is currently fitted, but the period correct four-cylinder is also included in the sale.

1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti

1964 Ferrari 250 LM Fetches $14 Million at Auction High Resolution Exterior
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Looking to spend a bit more in Scottsdale? Then allow us to point you towards this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM that boasts an extensive competition history. It’s sister car, another 250 LM, was last Ferrari to earn an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected to sell for between $9.5 million and $12.5 million.

It’s the ninth of 32 examples ever built and is powered by a 3.3-liter 320 horsepower numbers matching V-12 engine with six Weber 38 DNC carburetors. It was last restored in 1997 has since been certified by Ferrari Classiche. Not too hard on the eyes either.

1990 Ferrari F40

1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40 High Resolution Exterior
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How about something a bit more modern? If the moment hasn’t already passed, now might be the best time ever to buy an F40. These supercar icons of the 1990s are poised to skyrocket in value over the next few years, and RM is expecting this one to go for somewhere between $1.2 million and $1.5 million. With just 5,300 miles, this thing is basically new.

Apparently, F40s are a pretty good drive too, even by modern standards. They have everything you need to have a blast behind the wheel, and nothing you don’t. Its stripped-out interior and carbon fiber reinforced chassis means it weighs just 2,400 pounds. That, combined with its twin-turbo 3.9-liter 478 horsepower V-8, means 0-60 is dispatched in just 3.8 seconds.


1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ By Bertone High Resolution Exterior
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Unless you’re name is Jay Leno or Ralph Lauren, cars like the Miura SVJ are not only completely out of reach, but also totally impractical. With the exception of a few incredibly brave owners, the only times cars like this get driven are off transporters onto the manicured lawns of concours events. Still, it’s good to know there are a few rich people out there willing to preserve rolling pieces of history like the Miura SVJ.

The Miura SVJ is also cool because it’s not a Ferrari. Le Mans and other race-winning Ferraris with all sorts of provenance have been selling for staggering amounts of money recently, but in a weird sort of way, the Miura SVJ is just as interesting for what it could have, but never accomplished on the track. Given Ferruccio Lamborghini’s aversion to racing it’s amazing these cars were ever built, and their rarity and fascinating story make them an indispensable part of Sant’Agata history.

  • Leave it
    • It’s a bit pricey
    • No competition history
    • You’d probably be too terrified to drive it anywhere

Source: RM Aucions

James Wolfcale
About the author

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