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> Miura
ralfabco
post Jul 15 2009, 03:47 PM
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Miura,

The Miura is the first Lamborghini supercar. Some claim, it is the world's first supercar.
Other people claim the honor belongs to either the Dusenberg or the Mercedes 300SL
Gullwing. Ferrari had no answer for the Miura, until the debut of the BB - years later.
The Miura is one of the most beautiful cars, to ever come from Italy. No doubt, the Ford
GT 40, was looked at when the car was designed. Low production #'s, the 60's lust for
the car, the timeless beauty, and spectacular period performance, will ensure that this car
is always in demand. I will give some impressions, from a somewhat modified early car.

The outside of the car

The car is a beautiful work of art. I don't need to find some fancy words, to describe
this car. The back bumper with the geometric built in design, is about the best looking
rear on a car, I have ever seen. The body was put together by Bertone. With some
cars, the body gaps are not too well spaced. I read that Bertone, should have put the car
together much better. Quite a few cars have variations from the factory. A late Miura
P400, will have some Miura S features. A late Miura S, will have some SV features.
The car is small from the outside. It also feels small on the inside.

The interior

I like the interior of this car. Tall people, are going to have a hard time. At almost the
average height for a man, I can put the width of two fingers on top of my head, before the
fingers touch the headliner. Tall drivers, will have to sink down into the seat, and pull the
knees all the way up to the steering wheel and beyond. When driving the car for an hour
or two, the tight headspace never bothered me. In fact, I never even noticed it, for quite
some time. I did notice the lack of headroom, after spending an entire day in the car.
At the end of an entire day of driving, I felt like I was about to go nuts. You may not notice
it at first, but the interior of the Miura, is actually more compact than the tight Countach.

I have read from several period reviews, that the factory installed interior was made from poor
quality. Some owners took delivery of the car, and had another company, completely reupholster
the interior. This was also done with some other period Lamborghini autos. The Miura was not the
only L car, that had problems, with the lack of quality factory interiors. The gated shifter, feels real
nice. The quality Jaeger gauges, placed in the direction of the driver, is a nice touch. I like the
entire layout on the inside. It is all business. The small steering wheel, blocks out some of the huge
tach and speedo. You can live with that issue.

Ergonomics

The pedal placement on the Miura is excellent, compared to the Countach. I find the pedal
placement, even superior to the Diablo. I always drove the Miura with shoes. I often drove
even the Diablo with socks. Everyone can drive this car with regular shoes. The Countach
has the tightest pedal placement, of the three L supercars. It is not difficult to heel and toe, with
this car. The steering wheel was advanced for the day, due to the small diameter. The early
car had a thin wooden steering wheel. The later cars, had a leather wrapped steering wheel,
that was a little bit thicker. This is not a difficult car to shift or engage the clutch. It all
works quite well. This is a very easy car to get in and out of. The Countach and Diablo, are
both much more difficult to ingress and egress - especially the Countach.


Visibility

The car has good visibility. It is not difficult, to change lanes or look outside. The car
I had, came equipped with small factory mirrors on the peaks of the front bonnet - so Kewl !
It was no different, than Italian motorcycle mirrors - and almost as useless. I found it easier,
to just look behind you, by turning your head. I found it an easy car to back up and move into
tight spaces. It is almost no different, from any dd. You do not have any problem with scraping
a front fascia. You have no problems with ground clearance - despite it's low overall height.

Power

The car had good power, when it was released. Today, it will not impress too many people, with
it's power. The difference in factory rated power between the three different models, is not too
important. It is much more important, to have the car in tune. The car pulls to some degree,
on account of the low weight. This is a light street car. It has good terminal velocity. I cannot
quote figures, due to the gauges not telling the truth, on most occasions. Italian gauges have
been known to lie. Ask Emilio ! The earlier the gauges, the more often they tell a story. The
early cars seem to have better top speed, due to the lower weight and better aerodynamics. The
later SV cars, had more weight and were also more aerodynamically dirty. The difference is
insignificant. Of course the later cars, handle much better when you compare just factory cars
with no suspension modifications.

Handling

Quite a few of the early cars, have been modified, in an effort to make the car more streetable.
The 2nd owner, told me the car had to have the suspension modified, in order to keep the car
on the road. The early cars were not known, to handle well. I can only give feedback, from
the experience of driving a modified early car. I understand most early cars have had some
modifications with the suspension over the years, in an effort to obtain more from the car.
The early cars do not seem to be like classic 57 Chevys, where people argue over different
screws, and how the factory oversprayed the valve covers.

When driving on fast back-roads, this car will require a lot of work, to stay up with modern
exotic cars. You often have to shift the car, to stay on top of it. The car does not feel as
planted on the road, as both the Countach and Diablo demonstrate to the driver. You have
no reason to drink cafe, just before an early morning fun run. This car will keep your eyeballs
open at all times, while you are taking sharp turns. While pushing the car, you are aware
of the possibility, that you might drive off of the road, and end up in a ditch. Trust me, you
are not the most brave driver on the fun run. The most brave person on the run, is the smart
Gallardo driver, who is driving in front of you !!

The car did not demonstrate any body roll. It only moved a bit, up and down. With the
mid-engine configuration, it is not the best idea, to find the absolute limits of this car.
It is not a modern exotic, with the cheating big vented disc-brakes, fat steering wheel, wide
power band, and ABS. With a modern car, you can move in and out of fast roads, with a lot
of power, and not have too many worries. You really just need to watch out for cops. Imagine
driving the car, with a steering wheel that is as-wide, as a roll of dimes ! Then you can throw
in thin disc rotors, skinny tires, and no ABS. I bitched over the cell with other drivers, on a
local L run, and asked them to please sloooow down. They did not listen. With that, you
have to bust your arse, in an effort to keep up with them.

The brakes on the car are acceptable for the street, if not pushed hard. Movit, sells an
aftermarket modern brake system for the car. The rims on the car are beautiful. It takes
a while, to clean the dust from the rims. I did not notice the front end lift, at hi speeds.
Again, the car had it's suspension modified.

Gawkers

I believe only the informed car enthusiasts know what this car is. afaik, few people gave
the car a 2nd glance. While driving at night, nobody cared at all. At the gas station, it was
all quiet. Aside from the Countach and Diablo, nobody knows a thing about any pre-2002
L cars. I guess nobody thought it was important, for a Chevelle to race it ?

odds and ends

If you want to drive the car on fast back roads, I would install an aftermarket auxillary oil
system, to boost oil pressure in the fast turns. When you push the car on the turns, you
will immediately notice that the oil pressure will fall off. It is only a matter of time, before
you fry the bearings, if this continues on the spirited drives. The V-12 engine is installed
transversely. With that, on a tight turn, the oil will pool to one side of the engine. The
other side of the engine, will become starved for oil.

You can purchase an aftermarket system, that will push oil into the engine, when the pressure
begins to fall off. When the pressure is restored, it will pull out the excess oil. Another good
idea, is to modify the oil pan. The pan can be modded, to help prevent oil from immediately
pooling to only one side of the pan. These preventative measures are an excellent idea, if
you want to drive a wet-sump transversely mounted V-12, on the street. An owner of a
Miura, who fried his bearings, told me about these aftermarket ideas, to help protect the
engine. With the cost of a rebuild, it is the best cheap insurance you can buy. The owner
who mentioned these mods to me, had to rebuild his entire engine.

As you can imagine, authorized L dealers, are usually going to have little or no experience
with this car.


Which car to buy

Make sure you buy an excellent car. Like every other L car, it makes no economical sense
to buy a beater. With this car, it is even more so. Let the po, pay for the serious mechanical
work. I have heard horror stories about owners, who have had to invest a lot of money, to
keep the car working properly. I can tell you, that this car was as reliable as a new Corolla.
I had zero problems with the car. It was the most reliable exotic I have ever been around.
All I did was change the oil, filter, and the plugs. Nothing ever broke on the car.

How did that happen ? The car came with a huge folder, with 25+ years of receipts, for prior
maintainance work. The engine had been completely rebuilt. It also had a split sump. It is
a good idea, to have the car modded, to a split sump configuration. You don't want to chip a
small part of a gear, and have it end up in the engine. If that happens, you will destroy
the engine block. It is difficult ($$$) to find a spare engine block.

Make sure to have the car checked for rust. Quite a few cars have rust problems.
The Countach and Diablo, usually have no rust issues. It is most important, to check
the car for rust. Ever notice, that upskirt Miura pics, are all but unknown ? Consult
with several owners and specialty shops familiar with this car, before you buy any car.
When buying a car, it is a good idea to have an expert mechanic (who is familiar with
these cars) look over the car.

It is an easy car to live with. Just jump in and start the car up and drive it out after it
is warm. Your wife or gf, can drive the car with nobody else in the car. She can take
the car, to go buy lingerie. If you find an excellent car, it should be a fun and easy
experience. You will love to help spend hours, changing the plugs on this car. Those
plugs in the back of the engine, are not easy to move. It is a wonderful experience,
to haul ass down your street at 5am without the aircleaners on - just after the plugs
have all been changed. It sounds awesome.


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...the most badass and raw factory car, that was ever released from Sant'Agata Bolognese
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kinnsella
post Jul 15 2009, 05:05 PM
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Great Review...thanks for taking the time.
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dragvorl
post Jul 16 2009, 05:32 AM
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Very nice.


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4n6md
post Jul 16 2009, 06:18 AM
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It is contributions like this and your one on the Countach which make this THE definitive Lamborghini sight. Thank you for taking the time out to do these two reviews, they are very much appreciated.
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Destructo
post Jul 16 2009, 10:31 AM
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Awesome post! Thanks for contributing!


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Joe-Trojan
post Jul 16 2009, 07:39 PM
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Thank you sir! and very interesting about the modifications needed
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Fellippe
post Jul 17 2009, 09:16 AM
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PE


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QUOTE (4n6md @ Jul 16 2009, 09:18 AM) *
It is contributions like this and your one on the Countach which make this THE definitive Lamborghini sight. Thank you for taking the time out to do these two reviews, they are very much appreciated.


iamwithstupid.gif

My new favorite section!
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gLA
post Jul 17 2009, 09:21 AM
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I agree

QUOTE (Fellippe @ Jul 17 2009, 09:16 AM) *
iamwithstupid.gif

My new favorite section!

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IsleroMan
post Jul 17 2009, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE (ralfabco @ Jul 15 2009, 03:47 PM) *
At almost the average height for a man, I can put the width of two fingers on top of my head, before the fingers touch the headliner.

icon_mrgreen.gif

QUOTE (ralfabco @ Jul 15 2009, 03:47 PM) *
The pedal placement on the Miura is excellent, compared to the Countach. I find the pedal placement, even superior to the Diablo. I always drove the Miura with shoes. I often drove even the Diablo with socks. Everyone can drive this car with regular shoes.


I did have a problem with the angle of the throttle pedal. At idle, it is verticle, or even over verticle. At least in mine. My ankle would get cramped when driving it at less than highway speeds.


QUOTE (ralfabco @ Jul 15 2009, 03:47 PM) *
The steering wheel was advanced for the day, due to the small diameter. The early car had a thin wooden steering wheel.


IMO, the early wood wheel is one of the most beautiful steering wheels ever made. I wish I could get another one, if only to hang on my wall, but the only one I've ever seen come up for sale was priced at $7500. shock.gif

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ralfabco
post Jul 17 2009, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (IsleroMan)
My ankle would get cramped when driving it at less than highway speeds.



You just need some young girl, to go down and massage it. icon_mrgreen.gif

Yes, that wheel is hot. I thought about replacing it, just before it was time to say buy crybaby2.gif

________



Thanks for all the nice comments.


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...the most badass and raw factory car, that was ever released from Sant'Agata Bolognese
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j ingram
post Jul 19 2009, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE (Fellippe @ Jul 17 2009, 09:16 AM) *
iamwithstupid.gif

My new favorite section!


Mine too!
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TheFilipinoStig
post Jul 19 2009, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE (j ingram @ Jul 19 2009, 05:07 PM) *
Mine too!

iamwithstupid.gif

& Love the Miura - thanks for the write up


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mackoblewett
post Jun 8 2013, 02:11 AM
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Love how you reviewed my favorite car!!! smile.gif
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cake
post Jun 8 2013, 04:14 AM
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Thanks for the insight on my favorite Lambo!
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HannibalACP82
post Jun 10 2013, 03:54 AM
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Oldie but a good one!


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"There is no substitute for sexy.. and sexy is high maintenance and expensive with both women and cars ... Deal with it proudly like a Baller ". TEAMSALAMONE 2014
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Duck life
post Jun 25 2013, 04:21 PM
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Thank you for the write up. I just saw one at the dealership where I service my car yesterday. This is the 1st time ever I've seen one in real life. It is absolutely beautiful! It is safe to say that I will never own one but last night I dreamt that I was driving one biggrin.gif
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Traction Control...
post Aug 1 2013, 08:59 AM
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I realize this is an old thread, but fascinating review on the Miura. Very well done. I would have never guessed that it would be so easy to live with.


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LamboNutter
post Aug 12 2013, 07:10 AM
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great write up!

what stunning machines these are, wow.


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RobbyDiStefano
post Feb 9 2015, 11:36 PM
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I really appreciate how much thought you put into this review. It was a joy to read
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koenig928
post Apr 26 2015, 09:57 AM
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Nice write up! I was good friends with a car dealer in Toronto. In the 60's and 70's, you wanted a used exotic or luxury car, you saw him. He had everything. Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Porsche to Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW. Anyway, I asked him once besides Rolls Royce (his favorite) what is the best car you've had. He chose the Miura.

picture of his lot in the 70's: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/37723438 note the Miura and Rolls Royce's parked outside like used cars! His son was at Gentry Lane in the 90's, when it was still the authorized Lamborghini dealer.
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