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A Lamborghini built as a one-off design exercise in 1967 has reappeared after receiving extensive refurbishing by a New York property developer

09 Sep 2008 | International News :


Purely as a design exercise, aimed at keeping demand for Lamborghini's Miura on the crest of a wave, Nuccio Bertone assigned Marcello Gandini a styling project to create a Spyder version of the Miura, commencing in the second half of 1967.

The 'Lamborghini Bertone Miura Roadster,' as it was officially christened, was finished in a light metallic blue with an off-white leather interior with red carpeting. The dashboard and steering remained black, and the steering wheel itself was the original avant-garde unit that was also used on the Marzal. This Miura carried chassis number 3498 (which, in accordance with its one-off prototype status, is not even listed in the factory's original production chassis number register), and P400 engine number 1642 was fitted.

Bertone told Lamborghini to put any ideas of production right out of his mind: "We couldn't make this car for production because there were untold problems with stress-tolerance issues involving the chassis and the windscreen. It's purpose was simply that of a showcar," Bertone confided to a GM stylist years later.

After a final showing at the 1978 Detroit Motor Show, in February of 1981, Radtke donated the car to the Boston Museum of Transportation for an estimated $200,000 tax deduction. In the mid-1980s, it was refurbished and its interior upholstery replaced.

In 1989, it was purchased by the Portman group, and has spent its life since then shuttling from auction house to temporary owner, likely because its full history and significance is unknown by most. Auctioned off soon thereafter, it spent a number of years in Japanese collection. In 2002 it returned to the USA for a brief sojourn, before finding another home with a Ferrari collector in France.

In December 2006, the priceless Miura Roadster was finally purchased by a New York property developer who, at huge cost, has had the car returned to its original 1968 Salon de L'Automobile Bruxelles specification. The conversion, by the Bobileff Motorcar Company, was completed in late August 2008.

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