THE ARISTOTLE ONASSIS 1969 LAMBORGHINI MIURA P400S
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Let’s take a trip down memory lane and check out the Greek pop charts in the late Sixties, early Seventies … Stamatis Kokotas was a famous singer in those days, and one of his fans was none other than multi-millionaire Aristotle Onassis.
Kokotas wasn’t only a well-known singer back then, he was also a rally-driver … and as money wasn’t a problem for ship tycoon Onassis he gave Stamatis a small token of his appreciation … his very own, 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S in metallic brown over a natural brown, full leather interior … now why don’t I get gifts like that?
The Lamborghini Miura was the epitome of automotive must have items for the rich and famous in the early Seventies, a race car for use on the open road, everybody on the who’s who list all over the world had … or wanted to have this Bull … remember Frank Sinatra (1970 Miura S, chassis #4077) owned one, as did Rod Stewart (1972 Miura SV, chassis #4818), so you can imagine Stakatis accepted this gift in a heartbeat.
But this Miura P400S (chassis #3829) wasn’t just any Miura S model, it received some special options rarely seen on the S series and had several custom made items installed … you could state this is truly a one of a kind 1969 Muira S. For on it had air conditioning … which makes perfect sense for a car registered in Greece as it tends to get warm over there, but this Bull also came with power windows and a very sumptuous, warm brown leather upholstery … note early Miura came with a vinyl interior, not leather, many even got cloth seats.
Not this Miura, take a look at the stitching on the dashboard, that is not factory original … it could even be shipped for a totally new upholstery after Onassis took delivery of it, it wouldn’t be the first time this happened to a Lamborghini … Frank Sinatra’s Miura had wild boar hides in fact. And if we look closer to the interior of this brown Miura the leather is only the first custom work you might notice.
Take a look at the three vents on the air conditioning … those are engraved alloy units, not the regular black plastic fins we see on later Miura SV models, even the control buttons and the plate are made from alloy … and received intricate etching too. As did the gear lever and passenger handle on the central console … the hand brake lever and the surrounds on the window controls … even the cigarette lighter has been customized.
If you want to personalize an interior … on any car, the first thing you do most of the time is change the steering wheel … so this already unique Miura got a stunning black leather steering wheel with an engraved Raging Bull crest surrounded by leaves, while a stylish S sits below the crest … probably stands for Stamatis I guess.
On the outside this classic Raging Bull has been personalized too, the trademark eye lashes around the headlights are made from alloy on this car, while a new grille was mounted up front and four additional high beam lamps found a place below the front bumper … I’m sure it was a very impressive sight to see this Miura come down the road back in the Seventies.
Stamatis, being the rally-driver he was, drove this Miura S as fast has he could, covered over 50,000 Miles … until he encountered some serious engine trouble in 1972 … the car was taken to a specialist who advised Stamatis to have the engine repaired by the people who actually built it in the first place … Lamborghini in Sant’Agata.
The massive V12 was removed from the car and shipped to Italy, in the meantime the shell was parked at the Athens Hilton … and Stamatis forgot all about it and left it in the same underground parking lot for 30 odd years … until 2003 when the hotel underwent renovations and the car was moved to a different location … still without an engine.
Fast forward to December 2012 … the car was recovered after being neglected to forty years, on the outside it looks rather sad to be honest, the front is clipped, the wheel arches are scraped, there is a dent in the door, the paint is just completely ruined and one of the taillights is cracked … but the interior looks absolutely amazing for its age, and what really makes this Miura S interesting now is the fact the engine is finally back.
In fact the engine has been completely restored … and got used as an exhibit item at the factory museum until now … today this 1969 Miura S is a matching numbers Raging Bull with an interior and engine straight out of a time capsule … too bad the exterior is letting it down … a little.
Still it was up for auction on December 4. 2012 at Coys in the United Kingdom … valued up to nearly $600,000 the final bidding went up to $483,210 … but it wasn’t enough to reach the reserve set on this one of a kind Lamborghini, so it was left unsold.
Will Kokotas put it for sale again in the future? We don’t know, but what we do know is that whoever has the nerves … and funds, to bring this very special Miura back to showroom condition will end up with one of the highlights in the history of Lamborghini … the Miura is already a legend, a custom Miura owned by Aristotle Onassis (he initially bought it) … and to quote Onassis himself: “After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.”