The Importance of Being Miura
The Lamborghini Miura is the most beautiful car of the sixties. There. I’ve said it. You can’t be objective when you’re talking about automotive beauty. There’s this idea that journalists are meant to be objective, platonic, even handed; set back from the debate. But whichever sort of scales you could possibly employ to define ultimate beauty in a car, the Miura comes out on top. For me, at least.
Sure, Marcello Gandini’s design for Bertone might not be necessarily be possessed of the sublime curvature of Ferrari’s 250 GTO. It might not have the natural racer pulchritude of the Alfa 33 Stradale – nor the long limbed sleekness of Jaguar’s E Type.
But what the Miura had over these titans of sixtes automotive loveliness was its purity. The Miura had a completely uncompromised Latinate machismo encoded in the sort of futurism that defined perfectly the end of the decade that changed everything.
Illustrations by Matt Taylor, commissioned exclusively for Influx
The mid-rear engine layout that had been used to so much success in GT racing; particularly in the form of the Porsche 917 and Ford GT40; was for the first time served up in a road going car of instant appeal. It changed Lamborghini from an also-ran in the world of sports – a tractor maker who upgraded to producing vaguely bourgois GTs for me of a certain age – to a company that would add a dash of hooligan chic to the rarified poise cornered by blokes who drove Ferraris.
Every subsequent ‘supercar’ can thus trace its lineage back to the birth of the Miura in 1966. Even the latest crop of low volume mid engined hypercars from manufacturers like Koenigsegg and Noble owe their basic format to the Miura. And the thing is, this was a more pretty car than anything produced these last 44 years.
If there is a Miura fan in your life, or you can’t get enough of details and beautiful pictures on Gandini’s beautiful brainchild, then you should check out The Lamborghini Miura Bible, Joe Sackey’s definitive tome on the legend. Published By Veloce, the book isn’t cheap, but contains more brilliant pictures than the WWW could ever muster. It reads well too and would make a killer Christmas present for a car nut.
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