A hugely collectible Lamborghini that was hauled from storage in an exposed barn in Germany earlier this year has sold for a monumental fee at a London auction.
The 1969 Miura P400 S is believed to be one of the most original examples of the supercar having been left untouched for years – most recently accumulating a fair bit of dust and muck in the shed of a Black Forest property.
But despite its rundown state, the prospect of an unmolested Miura with just 18,000 miles on the clock proved ‘irresistible’ to collectors, according to RM Sotheby’s. It confirmed a sale price of £1,248,125 for the iconic vehicle at Thursday’s 13th annual London Auction in Kensington.
The £1.2million barn-find supercar: This 1969 Lamborghini Miura sold at a London car auction for a huge fee as bidders battled it out for what is believed to be one of the least modified examples of the original supercar
The car was sold at RM Sotheby’s 13th annual London Auction in Kensington on Thursday evening
Described as a ‘time capsule’ example of a legendary Lambo, the 50-year-old supercar has been preserved in unrestored condition boasting the paint, trim and all mechanical components it left the factory with.
The auction house believes it is one of the last remaining examples to still be in an entirely original state, which helps explain why the final sale price far exceeded the pre-auction estimate of £800,000 to £1million.
The car – which was offered without reserve – caused a serious bidding battle between collectors in the room, says those in attendance.
‘Its new owner would take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the time capsule Miura P400 S, which last changed hands in 1974,’ RM Sotheby’s said.
Will Smith, auction manager, added: ‘The Lamborghini Miura sold well thanks to its exclusivity and rarity, and we are proud to have played host to the sale of the car as it changes hands for the first time in over 40 years.’
The value of chassis number 4245 was predicted to go through the roof due to the fact it hasn’t been modified in its half-century existence. It’s not even received a new lick of paint since 1969.
Even when on display ahead of the collectible car auction, RM Sotheby’s left the car in the condition it was found – including a film of dust and grime on its bodywork
This Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe that left the factory in 1969. The Miura is considered the original supercar and famously featured in the opening scenes of The Italian Job
The car could do with a good clean inside but shows few signs of wear and tear and remains totally original
The car was recently recovered from storage in a barn where it had been kept among usual garage clutter – including an old telephone and a grille from a vintage Citroen, with breeze blocks stopping it from rolling forward.
Sotheby’s says it’s an ‘incredible car’ with a history that can be traced back to the original owner.
That lucky individual was advertising executive Walter Becker from Nürnberg in Germany, who became the registered keeper in 1971, though only retained the Miura for three years.
‘A wealthy socialite, the car remained in his hands until 1974 when it was sold to Hans-Peter Weber, who, along with his brother, were amateur racing drivers who competed regularly in Porsche 911s during the 1960s and 70s,’ the auction firm explained.
‘In 1974, the brothers were keen to buy the ultimate supercar of the period and set about finding a Miura. On finding the “Giallo Flay” yellow Miura P400 S in Nürnberg, they immediately purchased the car from the eccentric Becker, who seemingly had a large car collection and who sold them the car whilst wearing his silk bathrobe!’
Collectible car enthusiasts battled it out for the Lamborghini on Thursday night as a bidding war for the bright yellow machine took place
The ‘Giallo Flay’ yellow paintwork has not been touched in the 50 years since it left the Sant’Agata Bolognese facility near Modena in 1969
Sotheby’s says it’s an ‘incredible car’ with a history that can be traced back to the original owner – an advertising executive called Walter Becker from Nürnberg in Germany, who became the registered keeper in 1971
According to the sale description, Weber always kept the car in ‘pristine condition’ throughout his ownership, only using the high-performance Miura for special occasions.
Having tracked down his nephew, he recalled his uncle visiting his home at the foot of the Schauinsland mountain close to the south west border of Germany.
Approaching via a narrow valley, the nephew explained: ‘Whenever my uncle, Hans-Peter, arrived with his Miura, we could hear him minutes before as the sound of the engine was travelling fast.’
Hans-Peter Weber kept the car until he passed away in 2015, at which time it is believe the Miura was still in running condition.
Since then it has been stored in a friend’s barn in Germany, where it has been left untouched for the last four years with the odometer reading just 29,020 kilometres covered – which is a mere 18,032 miles.
On average, that works out at the car being driven 360 miles each of the 50 years since it was made.
It has the original 4.0-litre V12 engine, which doesn’t show any signs of ever being rebuilt. Lamborghini claims – at the time of launch – the motor produced 370bhp, which was good enough for the Miura to accelerate from a standstill to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 177mph
The odometer reading says it has covered just 29,020 kilometres – which is a mere 18,032 miles. On average, that works out at the car being driven 360 miles each of the 50 years since it was made
According to the lot description, the last owner, Hans-Peter Weber – who purchased the car in 1974 and had it until his death in 2015 – always kept the car in ‘pristine condition’ throughout his ownership, only using the vehicle for special occasions
Everything about the car is entirely as it was when it left the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory near Modena in 1969.
That includes the paintwork, ‘Skay Blue’ blue interior and original 4.0-litre V12 engine, which doesn’t show any signs of ever being rebuilt.
Lamborghini claims – at the time of launch – the motor produced 370bhp, which was good enough for the Miura to accelerate from a standstill to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 177mph.
It also has the original German title from 1971, its original service book, as well as many period documents, invoices and the original correspondence with the Italian factory.
The only changes made to the car during its life were two front indicators and a set of Schroth harness seat belts.
The ‘Skay Blue’ blue interior is as it was 50 years ago, with the part-cloth and leather seats having little to no tears or rips
The only changes made to the car in the 50 years since it left the factory include two new front indicators
A set of Schroth racing-style harness seat belts are the only other modification to the vehicle to note, RM Sotheby’s says
Maarten ten Holder, executive vice president and head of RM Sotheby’s Europe, said it was a ‘rare honour’ to be able to offer a car as significant as a Miura P400 S in unrestored, original condition.
‘Any Miura S is rare and desirable in its own right, but the car we are selling in London is an opportunity that would be very hard to repeat,’ he boasted.
‘I think it’s fair to say that for many collectors an original Miura such as this, is the ultimate prize.’
It also has the original German title from 1971, its original service book, as well as many period documents, invoices and the original correspondence with the Italian factory
The auction house describe the sale as a ‘rare honour’ and the chance to own the car ‘an opportunity that would be very hard to repeat’
The car will need a little TLC to make the most of its condition, but the buyer will likely want to keep it as original as possible to preserve its value
Earlier this year, Lamborghini confirmed that it had certified the original Miura that was used in opening credits of The Italian Job after it went off the radar shortly after filming was completed in 1968.
Lamborghini’s Polo Storico heritage department ratified the Miura P400 – chassis number 3586 0 – as the original car used for the driving scenes (not the one that was pushed off the side of the mountain, which was a pre-crashed Miura that was already written off) in the Paramount Pictures film in May.
Currently part of The Kaiser Collection of Vaduz (Liechtenstein), it’s not offered for sale, though classic car experts believe it would fetch more than £2million if it was put on the market today.
The value of this example – chassis number 4245 – is likely to be inflated by the fact it hasn’t been modified or given a new lick of paint in its half-century existence
The sale figure of £1.25million exceeded the higher estimate of £1million. That’s a fairly big achievement, given the recent downturn for the classic car market
Maarten ten Holder, executive vice president and head of RM Sotheby’s Europe, said: ‘I think it’s fair to say that for many collectors an original Miura such as this, is the ultimate prize’
Earlier this year, Lamborghini confirmed that it had certified the original Miura that was used in opening credits of The Italian Job after it went off the radar shortly after filming was completed in 1968. The current owner has no desire to sell it
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