Lamborghini just unveiled where it's taking its future production cars with the carbon-fiber-intensive Sesto Elemento concept. With its future previewed, we thought we'd take a look to Lamborghini's past with our Potential Purchase of the Week, and bring you an exceptionally rare 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV Jota.
The Miura SV Jota was never actually meant to go into production, and was built as a race car by Lamborghini development driver Bob Wallace in 1970. He built the car to conform to the FIA's Appendix J racing regulations, hence the designation Jota (for the Italian pronunciation of the letter *** It was extensively tested, but founder and owner Ferruccio Lamborghini didn't want to go racing. It was eventually sold to a private buyer, but the original race-spec Jota was reportedly destroyed in a crash in 1971.
Despite Wallace's original intention to race the Miura SV Jota, customers began to request Jota-like upgrades to make Lamborghini's already outstanding car even better. Upgrades included a modified suspension for better handling, an aggressive front splitter to decrease front-end lift at speed, enlarged brake cooling ducts, enhanced engine and transmission cooling, and a Plexiglas cover over the headlights. One or two of the Jotas also received a dry-sump lubrication system.
In addition to exterior modifications, Lamborghini modified the engine to produce slightly more than the stock 370 horsepower. Most of the production Jotas, with the exception of the first, didn't touch that car's 447 horsepower rating, though. This example produces 385 horsepower. Another change from the original development race car was that the interior of the production cars were left mostly intact, rather than stripped for competition purposes. With the stripped-out interior, even Lamborghini's lightweight Sesto Elemento can't touch the Miura's 1784-pound curb weight.
The car offered here is S/N 4892, and has been confirmed it was built at the Lamborghini factory in 1971 based off a Miura P400. It was one of the original five up-rated to full Jota-specification before 1974. This was confirmed in 2007 by Claudi Zampolli, head of Lamborghini special projects from 1967 to 1972.
Why would I want one?
The Miura is undoubtedly one of the coolest cars of all time and created the formula that supercars now follow, and add in that this is one of the original five Miura SV Jotas. The car underwent a full body-off restoration and is now show-car status. The only problem? You'd better have a well-endowed pension fund to buy this car, as it's estimated to sell for between $1.3 and 1.7 million.
Photos: Scott Williamson/Photodesign Studios Courtesy of RM Auctions