The ex-Frank Sinatra 36,844 miles from new
1970 LAMBORGHINI MIURA P400S
COACHWORK BY BERTONE
Chassis No. 4407
Engine No. 30447
Arancio Metallico with Pelle Cinghiale (Wild Boar) leather interior
Engine: V-12, mid-transverse mounted dohc, 4 Weber 40IDL 3L triple choke carburetors, 3,929cc., 370bhp at 7,700rpm; Gearbox: five-speed within engine unit; Suspension: independent front and rear double transverse wishbones with coil springs; Brakes: front and rear ventilated discs. Left hand drive.
Lamborghini Miura - the name, taken from the famous breed of fighting bull, is one of the most evocative of those given to all roadgoing super cars. The new Miura was the absolute sensation of the 1966 Geneva Salon when Ferruccio Lamborghini chose to unveil his sports GT for the street, fitted with a transversely mounted V-12 engine capable of 170 mph! Never one to miss a promotional opportunity, he had his chief development engineer Bob Wallace drive the prototype Miura to Monte Carlo over the Grand Prix weekend. Strategically positioned in front of the Casino, crowds quickly gathered around what many now consider to be the most beautiful sports car ever built.
Both beautiful and fast, well heeled clients waited a year or more for the Sant 'Agata Bolognese factory to complete their often personalized Miuras, in many cases taking delivery at the factory itself. The list included the likes of 60s Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Briggs Cunningham, the Shah of Iran, Prince Faisal and Rod Stewart among other lucky owners.
It is clear that Ferruccio Lamborghini adored his Miura. Interviewed by the French magazine Automobiles Classiques for its Spring/Summer 1984 issue, he quite simply stated: When people ask me nowadays to describe my ideal sports car, I still answer with one word; MIURA... When we launched the Miura, our plan was for (just) 50 cars... I know sports enthusiasts all over the world who would have paid a king's ransom for a racing version... for the rest of my life I'll feel happy when I look at my Miura... I say that nobody has built anything better since. It was the first car of our wildest dreams, a car for absolute fanatics. We refused to make a single technical compromise in the Miura. Mounting the engine transversely in the center was a daring step in itself, one that no one had ever dared to try (for the street in 1966). As for its appearance, you can judge for yourself nineteen years later... when I miss the sound and fury, I take refuge in my garage and turn the key in the ignition of my Miura.
474 examples of the Miura's original P400 were thought to have been built before the Miura P400 S was introduced to the public at the 1968 Turin Show. The new model had been chosen by Autocar magazine for a comprehensive road test and their verdict was quite simple: fastest car yet tested. On a quiet and early Sunday morning on the Pisa-Florence autostrada the testers in the P400S achieved a mean maximum speed of 172mph and reached 140mph in less than 30 seconds! The road testers were moved to say the exhaust dominates every other noise. Blast up mountains in 1st or 2nd with the windows down and you hear the bark again, changing to a curiously pleasant musical whine that descends with the revs on over-run, reminiscent of the blower on an ERA.
Frank Sinatra - the iconic and legendary singer and actor with a lifestyle to match was one of the world's greatest performers of all time. Nine Grammy Awards and two Academy Awards, sixty films and thousands of recordings, Rat Pack member together with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop.
The Miura on offer, chassis 4407, was given production order 475 by the Lamborghini factory, the register simply stating 'Sinatra' against the build listing as the first accepting owner, whereas more usually the listing would have the first supplying dealer name. Former factory Sales Manager, Signore Ubaldo Sgarzi, recalls Sinatra's unannounced visit to the factory in 1969. With a specific request for no publicity, Signore Sgarzi gave Sinatra a tour of the Sant 'Agata works. 4407 was painted in Arancio Metallico and trimmed with wild boarskin leather and with orange shagpile carpeting - orange was Sinatra's trademark favorite color...not only did he wear it regularly, he even had his jet trimmed in it. The dispatch date is recorded as 12/12/69, Sinatra's 54th birthday!
Apparently no one knew that Sinatra had purchased this car and at the time of writing we are uncertain how long he actually kept it; Dean Martin had a green Miura so ostensibly the two friends shared similar tastes in exotic sports cars. We believe the Miura was subsequently either sold or given to Gloria Kent, a model friend of Sinatra's, and she traded it for a newer Countach model through the late Bob Grossman's shop Grossman Motorcar Corp. of Nyack, NY. Bob Grossman was an accomplished race driver in a variety of exotic cars and his Nyack emporium was full of exciting cars such as Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari during this time. The current owner went in to visit in January 1977 with the intention of buying a Mercedes and instead came out with the orange Miura, which had just been put in the showroom. The mileage at the time was just 33,000 and the car was, and still is, highly original. Not having the funds to immediately register his new prize, the car was put into store and then, in July 1978 when it was back on the road, used only sparingly which explains its low mileage. Indeed the car has only ever been driven by the present owner in good weather conditions and away from other traffic wherever possible. When a business relocation to California came in 1982, the Miura was carefully stored in New Jersey. The interior still has its original boarskin leather trim with 1 inch tall orange shagpile carpeting to the sills and lower doors and original special order 8 track stereo player. The external paintwork is all original so far as we understand, and the front windshield still has its 1976 New Hampshire blue sticker pertaining to that period of ownership. The Miura has thus been amazingly well preserved ever since having been dry stored for the past twenty-five years. A new owner will need to recommission the car before use. It comes with a Bob Grossman key fob in leather pouch, a set of new air filters, a modern car cover and a Lamborghini Owner's manual in leather embossed case.
There can be few Lamborghini Miuras in such original condition as this car, which now shows just 36,844 miles from new. Only 140 P400S models were built and of these probably less than 100 exist today. With its iconic ownership history, 4407 is a remarkable survivor and a prime example of the final days of the swinging sixties. As racing driver Paul Frere stated in his summation having road tested a Miura in 1967 ...the Miura is really a man's car... if you have money - a lot of it - and want a Miura, you'll just buy it, and to hell with the rest! We couldn't agree more.