My Car Quest

August 10, 2020

Is The ‘S’ Version Really That Much Better For The Lamborghini Miura, Islero and Maserati Ghibli?

by Mike –

By ‘S’ I mean the model designation that was the second version of the Lamborghini Miura and Islero and the Maserati Ghibli. The ‘S’ for these models does not mean Spider (convertible) like it would for a Ferrari. I also cover the SV version for the Miura.

For comparison purposes I quote prices for a condition 1 car from the latest issue of the Hagerty Price Guide (No. 22 Sep-Dec 2013).

Lamborghini Miura

P400 Miura

Lamborghini Miura P400

Lamborghini Miura P400

The original Miura, known as the P400, went into production in 1966 and has a 3.9-liter V12 engine – the same as previously used in the 400GT. The V12 in the Miura was mounted transversely behind the driver and passenger and produces 350 hp. The engine and gearbox were made in one casting and shared the same oil.

Lamborghini Miura P400

Lamborghini Miura P400

Number made – 465

Value – 1966 Miura P400 – $560,000

P400S Miura

This new version, the Miura S, was introduced at Turin in November 1968.

Lamborghini Miura P400S

Lamborghini Miura P400S

Changes included:

* Engine modifications producing an additional 20 hp

* Power windows

* Bright chrome trim around external windows and headlights

* New overhead inline console with new rocker switches

* Engine intake manifolds were 2mm larger

* Different camshaft profiles were used

* Notched trunk end panels (allowing for slightly more luggage space)

* Power windows

* Optional air conditioning

Lamborghini Miura P400S

Lamborghini Miura P400S

Number made – 138

Value – 1969 Miura P400S – $760,000

This value is 36% higher than the P400 model.

I like the air conditioning option but nothing else in the changes between the P400 and the P400S seems worth $200,000 to me – how about you?

P400SV Miura

Lamborghini Miura P400SV

Lamborghini Miura P400SV

The Miura SV was introduced in 1971 with these changes compared to the Miura S:

* Different cam timing and altered carburetors

* Additional 15 hp

* The last 96 made had a limited slip differential and the transmission and engine oil were separated

* The “eyelashes” around the headlamps were deleted

* Wider rear fenders were needed to allow for the 9-inch-wide rear wheels

* Different taillights

Lamborghini Miura P400SV

Lamborghini Miura P400SV

Number made – 148

Value – 1971 Miura P400SV – $1,100,000

This value is 45% higher that the P400S model and 96% higher then the P400 model!

The only significant change I see here is the separation of the transmission oil and the engine oil – but is that worth $340,000 more than a P400S model and $540,000 more than a P400 model? The engine power is only 10% more than the base P400 model.

The way I drive I could live with the lower power and I suspect most Miura owners don’t notice the power difference. I have seen a few Miura S examples upgraded to the SV spec, separating the engine oil and transmission oil. I think this is not cheap but it is much less expensive that the value differences.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

In the video below you can hear the great engine sound of a Miura SV – for $1,100,000 it better sound good!

The Lamborghini Islero and Maserati Ghibli will be covered later.

If you have a classic Lamborghini for sale you can sell it on My Car Quest – CLICK HERE.

My thanks to Mike Clarke for suggesting this topic, although I did all the work.

Comments

  1. Hi there,

    (my first post on this great page)

    First – I do not have the money to afford one of these Miuras. But in the end if … I would choose the one I like most – optical. And for the Miura it is the P400. I do not prefer the additional chrome of the S version and I do not like the missing “eyelashes” of the SV. For sure the “S” Symbol is great and the rims for the SV version are nicer compared to the P400 ones … but that is not worth double the money.

    With the saved money I would buy a used Gallardo or F430 in addition to equalize the less power of the P400 compared to the SV … They might be faster than the SV if you are concerned about the performance of the P400.

    For this kind of classic cars (for me) it does not realy matter if you have 30 PS more or less and the other technical differences are quite small. Last point is different/more pregnant for other cars – sometimes (f.ex. 365/GT4 BB – 512 BB – 512 BBi (I would choose a version with carburetor and in that case the earlier carburetor cars are more expensive – if I remember right)

  2. The power differences between Miura variants are largely a myth. I remember reading a letter in an American magazine decades ago from Bob Wallace, former Lamborghini test driver, saying that all Miuras had around 315-325 hp. The Italians loved to exaggerate power and weight figures in those days, although they weren’t the only ones. The British used to exaggerate power claims as well. Today’s cars really do put out amazing power, and their claims nowdays are honest, although the Italians are starting to play their games again by quoting dry weights of some Lamborghinis. I think that now Ferrari did the same in response.

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