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When the 2018 Tokyo Auto Show opened their doors the automotive world was in shock … Kato-san, owner of Liberty Walk, managed to create something so controversial that his previous wide body, low riding cars, were put to shame … Kato-son had the nerve to cut up a Lamborghini Miura, add fenders and slam her to the ground with an air ride system … the audacity!
When the dust settled, and more details became available, we were told this wasn’t a real, million dollar Raging Bull from the Sixties … but a replica, built on a Ford GT40 chassis … wait a minute … a Ford GT40 chassis … that’s almost as mind-blowing as touching a Miura … but rest assured, the GT40 was also a replica made by GT Developments … so all is good in the world of classic supercars again … or is it?
So what’s the story behind this low riding, black painted, over fendered Lamborghini Miura look-alike?
Kato-san loves classic cars, and a Lamborghini Miura is about as classic of a supercar as they come, but problem is, prices have been going up for years, and a decent, original Miura can set you back a cool million US these days … which was a bit steep for Kato-san … so he bought a GT Developments replica of the legendary Ford GT40, a car that did, in fact, inspire Marcello Gandini when he designed the Lamborghini Miura back in the Sixties.
The entire body of the GT40 has been replaced with new parts resembling the Lamborghini Miura, starting with the cockpit … roof, side sills, and doors (complete with sliding side windows) are now almost identical with those found on the Miura Jota, note there are no fins in the intakes behind the side windows.
The front and rear sections are also Miura inspired, they tilt up as an entire unit … funny thing is, to open the rear hood you have to remove the exhaust tips, because they protrude through the lower part of the rear diffuser, they would touch the bodywork if left in place … the front hood features a deep chin spoiler and large vents … again inspired by the legendary Miura Jota.
Even behind the front wheels, on the side, there are large air vents cut out, surrounded by rivets … just like on the Miura Jota and the Miura SVJ, even a fast filler fuel cap can be seen through a hole in the front hood, hiding a very small fuel tank offering a mere 60 Miles autonomy and to complete the 60’s vide a set of Vitaloni Sebring mirrors are screwed on top of the fenders.
To get the trademark look we all know from Kato-san and Liberty Walk, an Ideal Air suspension was installed, this did require some modification to the lower arms to achieve the needed camber angle and wide fender flares have been added … which once again required cutting in to the original Miura replica fenders, add some rivets to the flares and you get the sought-after LB-Works look.
Add the period correct 15-inch wheels from SSR and the look is complete … MkIII rims, 10 inches wide at the front and 12 inches wide at the rear, the offset of -20 and -60 respectively to the front and rear wasn’t even enough to fill the wider fenders, so spacers were required … 60mm up front and 90mm at the rear. Add Yokohama Advan A050 tires in 205/50R15 at the front and 225/50R15 at the rear, and you just know these are being stretched tremendously to fit the wide wheels … personally, I would fit a lot wider at the rear … but that’s me.
Inside is where we notice the fact this isn’t a Lamborghini Miura very quickly … Kato-san settled for the original GT40 replica dashboard in this wide fender creation, he did add the typical, yellow painted roll cage and a modern, Alcantara steering wheel from Momo, but other than that it is still a small, narrow cockpit with a very wide side sill to climb over when attempting to take a seat in those black leather units.
When you do manage to open the engine cover, you aren’t greeted by that legendary, transversely mounted V12 engine from Sant’Agata … but instead a Ford Performance V8 engine is fitted, it came with the GT Developments GT40 replica … 302ci with four twin-choke Weber carburetors and a custom made set of Wolf headers … with no silencers … this Kato-san Miura wide body is loud … very loud!
So this one-off Kato-san creation has been responsible for a lot of controversies after being unveiled in Tokyo … but despite what your personal view might be, people have already asked to acquire this car from Liberty Walk, so there are customers out there for such a car.
If you like it, or hate it … the fact remains Kato-san has once again created something different, something not-done before … and even if you really despise of it, you have to admire the workmanship and the sheer imagination that has gone into creating the unique in the world (it took six months to build) Lamborghini Miura LB-Works wide fender replica … this car was intended to become a driving ad for Liberty Walk, and I think they succeeded perfectly … this car has been talked about ever since the unveil in Tokyo.