RM-Sotheby's

Someone paid $2.9 million for this 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV with a troubled history

This 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV sold for a high sum.

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

This month, two 1970s-era Lamborghinis crossed the block, each achieving a record selling price. But, not all that glitters is gold. Both models have what RM-Sotheby's terms "a troubled history".

The 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV is chassis #4980. It has been certified as one of the 150 models produced. It was set apart from other Miuras by its different cam timing and altered 4x3-barrel Weber carburetors. Its 3.9-liter V-12 engine that was tuned to achieve 380 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. When it was new, it rode on Pirelli Cinturato tires.

The year before the Miura SV debuted, Lamborghini development driver Bob Wallace modified a Miura to comfort to FIA's Appendix J racing regulations. Among the mods was the replacement of the the steel chassis and body panels with aluminum alloy versions. It as given the name "Miura Jota". The '71 Miura up for auction was altered to mimic this model during its life, but has recently been restored it its original trim.

1971 Lamborghini Miura SV

Photo courtesy of RM-Sotheby's

Following its restoration the Miura SV received its certification from Lamborghini Polo Storico.

A 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 with chassis #1120262 underpinning has a similarly troubled history. It was at one time owned by Rod Stewart, but that's not the trouble. It was a victim of multiple transformations (including the roof removal), before being restored to its original specifications.

The Miura SV fetched €2.4 million, the second highest value ever for a Miura SV, second only to one sold by Gooding & Co. in London last September. The Countach LP 400 went for €775,000.

"This is a pleasing but not surprising result, since it confirms a clear trend," says Paolo Gabrielli, Head of Aftersales at Automobili Lamborghini, which oversees the Polo Storico. Historical Lamborghinis are of increasing interest to the world's leading collectors, who are looking for the utmost respect for originality in their cars. The Polo Storico restoration program, alongside supporting top independent specialists through the provision of advice, documents and original spare parts, makes it possible to obtain restorations of the highest level and quality, which are appreciated by collectors and, consequently, by the market."

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Rare V8 roadster

This BMW Z8 is worth its price tag

The BMW Z8 is a modern classic.

Bring a Trailer

We could spend all day bemoaning car auctions' impact on vehicle pricing. Sites like Bring a Trailer and Cars and Bids invite frenzied buyers to offer wild sums of money for cars that might otherwise be considered ordinary. Some vehicles on those sites, however, are worth the coin, and we think this 2001 BMW Z8 is one of them. The 22,000-mile car's auction is almost over at the time of this post, and its sky-high price tag is actually warranted. The BMW Z8 is exceedingly rare to begin with, but this car's color combination of black over tan leather makes it even more of a unicorn, as only 229 were made in that combination.


BMW Z8 The Z8 took inspiration from BMW's classic roadsters.Bring a Trailer


Even the car's designer is noteworthy. Though he may be focusing on his own electric vehicle brand now, Henrik Fisker's 12-year run at BMW was the stuff of legend. Fisker's work included the design for the Z8, as well as contributions of the original X5 SUV, which is now part of an expansive BMW SUV and crossover lineup.

The Z8 reached legend status when it shuttled Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in The World Is Not Enough, but the cars were (and are) worthy of standing on their own. Under the hood, BMW installed a 394-horsepower 4.9-liter V8, which gave the car a claimed 0-62 mph time of just 4.2 seconds. That power reached the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and this car has had maintenance performed to keep the drivetrain purring for years to come.


2001 BMW Z8 This Z8's color combination makes it exceedingly rare.Bring a Trailer


If you're wondering where this Z8's current bid price of $162,500 lands on the car's overall value spectrum, there's some good news, depending on how you view spending six figures on a car. Hagerty estimates that a Z8 in good condition should draw around $155,000, while a car in excellent condition should get $199,000. This car's mileage and condition match up with its price, which falls on the lower end of that range, and should allow it to be an actual driver for the right person. After all, what's the fun of buying a car just for display?

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