Back in 1965 Automobili Lamborghini SpA was still a very young company, founded only two years earlier in 1963 and producing the classic but beautifully styled 350GT at that time … still they managed to show something at the 1965 Turin Auto Salon that would turn the exotic car market completely upside down.
This lightweight, drilled chassis actually showed a massive V12 behind the seats (that would be single seat in case of this chassis) … in a transverse position, which was totally unheard of in those days, only race cars would even come close to something like this … this beautiful looking chassis with Boranni 72-spoke wheels would later be the basis for the sensuous Bertone designed Lamborghini Miura.
This specific chassis was built by Gianpaolo Dallara as a personal project, we all know the late Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted to build GT cars and wasn’t really interested in high power exotic super cars … which a chassis setup like this would be right from the start.
Back in 1965 mounting a 4-Liter V12 in a mid-transverse position was a very innovative move, and Dallara had to convince Ferruccio to show his work to the world at the December 1965 Turin Auto Salon, they didn’t even think about a name or a body style … even actually producing a Lamborghini based on this prototype chassis wasn’t decided yet at that time.
During the show it became obvious this chassis drew a lot of attention … and a lot of controversy … would this become the first Lamborghini race car or would it be the base for a radical street car? Naturally we now know what it would grow into, also keeping in mind Ferruccio didn’t want to spend a small fortune on putting together an official race car it would have been obvious if he did decide to build a Lamborghini on that chassis it would be a road car.
Rumor has it Ferruccio loved the attention for his car make but had no real intention to use the chassis … until after the doors on the Turin Auto Salon closed for the public on the last day and Nuccio Bertone walked onto the Automobili Lamborghini SpA stand … he looked at the chassis from every angle and after having a talk with Ferruccio it was decided Bertone would have a design put together using the setup shown in Dallara’s chassis.
As they say ‘the rest is history’ and one of the most influential cars in automotive history was created … the legendary Lamborghini Miura, a car that would make Automobili Lamborghini SpA know all over the world, and considered to be the ‘bad boy’ among super exotic cars … a title they still hold today in fact.
After the Turin Auto Salon the chassis was transported back to Sant’Agata … after a while it was stored away and would remain hidden for 12 years until Marios Kritikos (official Lamborghini importer for Cyprus) convinced them to sell it to him … he took it with him to Cyprus on a trailer behind his Range Rover on April 7. 1978 … where the chassis once again disappeared from view … this time for about 30 years.
In late 2008 the chassis was revealed again, in periodic condition it still looked really amazing, but if Mr Kritikos wanted to sell it for a good price it still had to be restored, so he asked Joe Sackey to put together a deal with Gary from Bobileff Motorcar Company to have the chassis put back to show condition … being a non-driving unit the focus was on cosmetic looks more than on engine performance.
Both the steering wheel and the gear shift knob could be reconditioned, the ‘patina’ of the chassis was put back to original as was the engine and running gear, even the wheels look brand new now … but one thing was missing … the seat. In fact the original seat from this chassis was not the same as the ones used later on in the Miura, so Gary had to build a new seat … from scratch.
It took until early 2010 for this one of a kind Lamborghini chassis to be completely restored … and once again it went into an airplane hangar … away from the public … until August 2013 when this amazing piece of Lamborghini history became listed for auction by Gooding & Company.
It comes complete with the original 1978 invoice and you can’t ignore the fact this chassis was the genesis of just about every V12 Lamborghini super car that would be built … even today’s Aventador has its roots in the Miura from the Sixties.
In mid-August 2013 this unique piece of Lamborghini history was sold for $473,000 … note the auction house had it valued between $450,000 and $600,000 … so whoever managed to buy it did so at the lower end of the price bracket.