The Lamborghini Miura was a ground breaking supercar that introduced the world to mid-engined road cars. It is well known as a coupe but many enthusiasts may not realise that two convertible Miura prototypes were also built.
The first car, named the Lamborghini Miura Roadster, was created by Bertone and launched at the 1968 Brussels Motor Show. The design was modified for both practical reasons and visual effect. The rear air-intakes were enlarged and the roll-hoop behind the seats lowered below the normal roof height. As a concept car no consideration was given to a roof but in all other respects this was a realistic production car. The Roadster was a huge success attracting much press interest but Lamborghini concluded that a production version would be feasible and the concept was dropped. The car itself continued life as a show car for the International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO). Major modifications were made in collaboration with Bertone and Lamborghini to create components mad from their materials to demonstrate their strengths and possibilities. It toured the world as a showcase and became well known in press and TV appearances. It made its way to the Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts and has since been restored close to the original specification and is kept in a private collection.
The second convertible Miura to get factory approval was the P400 SVJ Spider. This car was built by Swiss Lamborghini Importer Lambomotor AG in 1980 based on the 1971 Geneva Motor Show Miura S. Full SVJ parts were provided by the factory and the completed car painted in pearl white was shown at the 1981 Geneva Motor Show next to contemporary Lambroghini models. Originally the car had a distinctive rear wing and chin spoiler but these were later removed by an owner when the car was refurbished. It now also lies in a private collection.
The Lamborghini Miura was created by Lamborghini’s own engineers with styling by Marcello Gandini of Bertone. The transversely-mounted mid-engine was something new as such a position in a road car was viewed as not practical. It debued at the 1965 Geneva motor show as a rolling chassis and returned a year later with full bodywork. It was also cunningly parked in Casino Square on the morning of the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix and attracted as much attention as the Formula 1 cars.