40 years of the Lamborghini Miura
The Lamborghini Miura, the most famous high-performance car ever to be produced in Italy, is about to celebrate its 40th birthday.
Automobili Lamborghini will begin the official celebrations of this anniversary at the Techno Classica 2005 in Essen, Germany (7th-10th of April). The celebrations will continue throughout 2006 with a series of events involving The House of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini Clubs, and numerous customers and enthusiasts from all over the world.
The revolutionary concept of a supercar with a mid-engined V12 mounted transversely saw the light of day for the first time in the autumn of 1965 at the Turin Motor Show and it cemented the reputation of the Lamborghini name worldwide.
The chassis, complete with all mechanical parts and therefore the technical heart of what was to become the supercar par excellence, was presented to the public in Turin. With this chassis, its creators, the engineers Gianpaolo Stanzani and Gianpaolo Dallara, turned the accepted concept of a super sports car on its head.
The ‘TP400’ chassis (the abbreviation stands for ‘Trasversale Posteriore 4.0 litre’) was constructed from sheet steel which was bent, cut, welded and drilled in a more aeronautical rather than automotive style. This was a radical innovation compared to the standard solution of a circular or oval section tubular chassis.
This intricate structure in sheet steel provided the frame for the vehicle, the attachment points for the suspension, the central area for the cockpit and the space for the drivetrain, which was just as revolutionary.
The well-known, highly-rated V12 engine from Bologna, which had a cylinder capacity of 3,929cc and a maximum power of 350 hp, was modified by creating a new engine block into which the clutch, transmission and differential were incorporated.
This single, light-alloy sculpture made sure that the principal mechanical parts of the TP400 were integrated into a unique, light, rigid and compact structure: ideal for use in a very high performance sports car. The fact that it was mounted immediately behind the cockpit and in front of the rear wheels, and therefore near the centre of gravity of the car, meant that weight distribution and the polar moment of inertia were particularly good.