Es ist doch unbedingt wieder einmal an der Zeit für einen Miura. Und wir machen das auch brav wie immer, also:
425) Chassis-Nummer: 4302.
Farbe: Blu Notte
Interieur: Pelle Nera
Erstbesitzer: ausgeliefert an Lamborauto (Turin)
Weitere Besitzer: Maddalena Camoli; Armando Borra; Riccardo Tondolo; Giovanni Sotgiu/Walter Ronchi; Aldo Cudone; Kidston…
Dann hat es da ja immer auch noch die Linie mit «Besonderes». Und da kommt bei diesem Wagen eine ganz spezielle Geschichte. Am 11. März 1975 kaufte also Giovanni Sotgiu den Miura. Sotgiu war ein BMW-Händler in Mailand – und ein guter Freund von Walter Ronchi. Ronchi nun hatte einst den einzig echten SVJ besessen, jenes Spielzeug, das Bob Wallace für sich gebaut hatte. Ronchi nun hatte den SVJ auch bereits verkauft – doch dann verunfallte der Wagen im April 1971 und wurde dabei komplett zerstört. Sotgiu, Ronchi und noch ein paar andere italienische Helden konnten nun aber zwei ehemalige Lamborghini-Mitarbeiter überzeugen, sich #4302 anzunehmen und ihn in einen «Pseudo-SVJ» umzubauen, mit Spoilern und halt allem, was man sich Mitte der 70er Jahre als passend vorstellte. Der Umbau kostete stolze 4’500’000 Lire, wurde in British Racing Green lackiert – und «Millechiodi», also: 1000 Nägel genannt. Was vielleicht schon so einiges aussagt. #4302 hatte auch danach noch eine wilde Geschichte, etwa eine mit Brigitte Bardot – und steht jetzt bei Kidston zum Verkauf, nach einer teuren Renovation.
Weil die Story von Kidston aber so schön ist, sei sie hier komplett wiedergegeben: «I remember this car from when it was built, but never had the chance to drive it until recently. Dio bon! [local expletive] The acceleration, the responsiveness, the intense sensations… it’s crazy, an extreme Miura. The restoration has been very well executed. If it needs testing again, I am available.” – Valentino Balboni, Lamborghini factory test driver, 1973-2008
Seeking a replacement for the Jota that was destroyed after he had sold it, Milanese businessman Walter Ronchi turned to former Sant’Agata workers to transform a P400 S into a Jota-inspired Miura hot rod. The result was the Millechiodi, named after its riveted construction in the manner of the factory SVJs and Bob Wallace’s original ‘toy’.
For many years the car was in the Padova collection of Aldo Cudone. Debuting at Paris Rétromobile this year, ‘4302’ has been the subject of an exquisite Italian restoration. The Millechiodi is back. And loud.
The Lamborghini P400 S
The prototype Miura P400 made its debut at the March 1966 Geneva Salon and was the sensation of the week. The orders rolled in for the world’s first mid- engined series production ‘supercar’, but early Miuras were very much ‘works in progress’. The factory found that constant improvements and revisions needed to be made to both productionise the car as well as make it more user-friendly. From 1966 to 1968 Lamborghini delivered a total of 275 P400s, with the bulk of P400 production in 1968.
Late that year Lamborghini offered an updated version, the ‘S’, for spinto, or tuned, which appeared at the ’68 Turin Show. The P400 S addressed the original Miura’s shortcomings, principally those of handling, build quality and cockpit comfort. It had new Pirelli tyres and its engine was further improved, with extensive work on the cylinder heads. The factory quoted an additional 20bhp, to 370bhp. Later in production, the P400 S received ventilated brakes.
Inside, electric windows replaced wind-ups, the carpets and (optional) leather interior were upgraded, some switchgear was redesigned and there was a passenger grab handle and glovebox lid. Simple air-conditioning was available on the last cars. Most Miuras were still delivered with leatherette (‘Skay’) upholstery. A P400 S can be recognised by its chrome window surrounds and ‘S’ badge on the boot.
Production of the P400 S ran to 338 examples, from November 1968 to early 1971.
This Motor Car
Miura P400 S chassis 4302 started life as a regular, early production car with solid discs. Finished in Blu Notte with Pelle Nera, it was delivered on 17 November 1969 to the Turin concessionaire for Lamborghini. Lamborauto, and registered ‘TO B91445’ in the agent’s name. On 21 April 1971, the car was sold to another resident of Turin, Maddalena Camoli, retaining its ‘TO’ plate.
Signora Camoli’s love affair with the dark blue Miura did not last long: on 19 May 1972 it was bought by Armando Borra of nearby Alba, who registered it ‘CN 268510’. Later that year (21 November 1972) Lamborauto sold it to Riccardo Tondolo who registered it in his home town of Andria, Bari, ‘BA 354270’. From Tondolo, via Rome dealer Carpanelli, it passed to a car showroom, Fratelli Tarchini of Milan and from 8 November 1973 it bore the mark ‘MI T41567’.
On 11 March 1975 the car was purchased from Tarchini by Giovanni Sotgiu of La Spezia. So far so (relatively) simple, but at this point the history of ‘4302’ took a dramatic turn. Sotgui was a BMW dealer in Milan and he and Milanese businessman Walter Ronchi would often buy cars together. Most likely with the unofficial help of official Lamborghini agent Achilli Motors of Milan, the pair, with Italian F1 fixer and former racing driver Franco Galli, turned to two former Sant’Agata workers to transform the P400 S into a Jota-inspired Miura hot rod. The cost of the work came to some 4,500,000 lire.
Ronchi had, of course, once owned the legendary one-off Jota, Lamborghini engineer Bob Wallace’s famous ‘toy’. That car was destroyed in an accident in April 1971, after Ronchi sold it but before it was delivered to a new home. The intention with Miura P400 S ‘4302’ was to make a ‘pseudo SVJ’, with a tuned engine, freer-flowing exhausts and body modifications that included a full-width front spoiler and Plexiglas-covered headlamps.
The result was the ‘Millechiodi’ (‘1000 nails’), named after its riveted construction in the manner of the factory SVJs and the long-lost Jota. It was painted British Racing Green and trimmed in black leather. The car was also used by Galli – who might well have owned it at the time – for hair-raising drives on northern Italian Autostrada, visiting Monza and even, as he has said, giving actress Brigitte Bardot a lift… By the late-1970s it was for sale and displayed in the window of Autoelite, the specialist dealer on the Viale Cenisio in Milan.
On 3 April 1979 the car was sold to veteran collector Aldo Cudone of Padova, northern Italy. Cudone was a wealthy collector with an impressive stable of impeccably maintained Ferraris and Lamborghinis which Simon Kidston working at Brooks helped disperse at auction after Cudone passed away in the 1990s. The price paid was 30,000,00 lire and when Ubaldo Sgarzi of Lamborghini inspected it before purchase he declared it to be in “as new’ condition.
‘As new’ or otherwise, some 10 years later Cudone sent the car to local race preparation company of note, Michelotto, for a mechanical rebuild. Working closely with Ferrari, Padova-based Michelotto helped develop the F40 and built the F40 GTE and 333 SP racing cars. Modena region Ferrari experts Autosport handled the bodywork, repainting it red. From then until Cudone’s death the car was stored in Padova, largely unused.
In May 2001, Cudone’s collection was disposed of at auction in Monaco. Registered ‘PD 618000’, the car was bought by a Swiss collector and was in good condition, but not faithful to its iconic transformation in the 1970s. It was returned to Autosport for corrective work, finished in 2003, then delivered to storage in the UK where it was re-registered ‘WRP 180H’.
Our client bought the car via Kidston SA in 2015 when it was despatched to the best-in-the-business craftsmen of the Modena region for a total, nut-and-bolt restoration to as-converted for Walter Ronchi in the mid-1970s. Carrozzeria Cremonini handled the bodywork, the car was retrimmed by Interni Auto and Gatti attended to the electrics. Ex-Lamborghini family concern Top Motors looked after the engine and running gear, rebuilding the V12 to 4,100cc with bigger pistons and valves, more radical camshafts and a Jota-like exhaust. It now feels noticeably faster than a standard car. In total, the work cost in excess of €290,000.
The men responsible for countless concours trophies finished the project in time for this year’s Paris Rétromobile exhibition where the gleaming one-off Miura on Kidston SA’s stand was one of the highlights of the event.
We recently reunited Valentino Balboni with the car for a Kidston video, a shoot-off between the hotted-up Millechiodi and a blueprinted, freshly restored 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ driven by ex-Ferrari factory pilot Arturo Merzario. Both cars were spectacularly fast. Our ears are still ringing…
The subject of such an exquisite Italian restoration, few Miuras apart from the three SVJs built by the factory in period stir the emotions as much as this car. Ready for touring, (very) spirited driving on events or showing at the best concours, the ‘Millechiodi’ is a significant chapter in the rich history of Lamborghini. You won’t be parking next to another one. And everyone will know you’re coming».