Leading Car Care

Car Reviews: Miura Lamborghini

Miura Lamborghini Spider was an advertisement car or better to say a dream car for many people with an abstract concept. There were many world introductions and novelties at the Brussels Autosalon in 1968. But the most important news this time came from Carrozzeria Bertone.

Miura cabriolet-the undercarriage, sent by Ferruccio Lamborghini especially for this exhibition, had many holes in order to lower the weight. TheV12 engine was positioned sideways in front of the rear axle. Lamborghini did not know that his technicians Gianpaolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace built the rolling chassis in their free time.The question was: Was it a race car? Lamborghini claimed it was not. He himself had driven a boosted Fiat 500Topolino in de Mille Miglia, but he had refused to build any more race vehicles since then. So did he change his mind? No, because when the chassis stood at the show in Geneva a few months later in March 1966, it seemed to be designed as an "ordina!

ry" passenger car.

Marcello Gandini, the chief designer of Bertone, designed the bodywork for the two-seater. The design had a certain surreal touch. The idea was to overshadow Ferrari and Maserati in Geneva.There were lots of orders. Gandini had designed an open model of his Miura for the Brussels exhibition. Bertone planned to produce the car in a series, but when Ferruccio Lamborghini heard about the cost, he lost interest. The Miura Spider went to Belgium, therefore, as a dream car and abstract concept. Bertone had modified the bodywork of the Miura, strengthened the roll bar and installed it three centimeters lower than in the coupe. The front window was designed to be more flat than in the closed version, in order to reduce turbulence in the car. The switches, located on the roof, were now positioned in the console between the front seats. The car had a light-blue metallic color and the interior was furnished with white leather.

The Miura Spider was the most beautiful car at the Brussels exhibition. The model was already sold within a few minutes! The American company International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO) decided to present its materials: zinc and lead by building an unusual car. So, the President of ILZRO, Radtke heard about Bertone's Spider in the beginning of 1968. He went to the exhibition in Brussels and bought the model. The only one condition was clear: Bertone had to completely disassemble the car and rebuild it with the new material of ILZRO.

The project included hundreds of components: for example: the six carburetors with "velocity stags"and an induction manifold, as well as a complete exhaust system. Even theV12 engine received a plate of zinc on the outside and the new ZN-75 was used to produce a new gear cover, an oil sump, water tubes, a cylinder-head cover and the casing for the water and oil pump. The steering wheel, the ashtray and the gear lever were to be made of zinc. All the instruments were taken apart and the visible parts were reproduced. Finally, they also duplicated the bumpers, the grill, the ornamental edges, the wheel nuts, the window frames, the rings of the headlights and the edges around the license plate. The doors and the floor were insulated with lead alloy to be shown that lead could also be used for other purposes than batteries. The brake and gasoline pipes were produced of the new material. After the ZN-75, as it was now being called, was painted over with a special color of metallic golden green on a black base, it was sent by airplane to Detroit, where it was meant to be presented to a number of invited people.

The ordinary people saw the car for the first time in 1970 at the Montreal Motor Show. Just as in Brussels, the vehicle was chosen as the most beautiful automobile of the show. The model traveled around the world where car manufacturers were given the opportunity to take a look at the car and the new material. When the car fulfilled its duty as an advertisement car Schrade Radtke, still president of ILZRO, bought the car for a daily use. Today the car is in the Boston Museum of Transport.