The Story of Lamborghini Miura S s/n 3850

This is the (abbreviated) story of Lamborghini Miura S s/n 3850. Delivered on the 31st of October 1968 with production number 308, this car was originally painted deep green with a mustard interior. The car was returned to the factory at least once where it was updated. It was rebuilt with production number 514 and delivered (again) on the 30th of July 1970 painted yellow and fitted with new motor number 30316 (not 30516 as noted by Marchet and Coltrin). At some later date, the car was updated to partial SV spec with the fitment an SV front clip, cylinder head modifications, SV rear A-arms, and SV badging.

It was in this configuration that my father bought this car while visiting Italy in 1973. He imported it to the Chicago where he kept and drove the car regularly. He tells many colorful stories about how the general public responded to the car, leaving notes on it, asking him for rides, and even waiting for hours on street corners for him to drive back home after he had passed by on his way out. During this period, the car had no less than three of the Miura’s famous carburettor fires. The last two happened in such close succession that the fire extinguisher had not yet been recharged, and the damage was quite comprehensive. The venturis of the carburettors melted and fell into the motor and it was clear that the car would need to be thoroughly rebuilt. It was approximately 1976 at this point. The car also had some rust to the floors and what started as a “whatever’s needed” effort soon developed into a full-fledged restoration. Unfortunately, the shop that the car was with was involved in less than legal activities with the mafia, and the car was siezed by the mafia as part of some sort of dispute settlement. My father was obligated to pay the mafia to liberate the car and it was sent on to another shop.

This shop also encountered trouble and the car was then sent to Texas, first to Exotic Engineering, and then to Auto Italia. While it was there, Bob Wallace separated the sump, a state in which the motor still exists. Exotic Engineering went out of business and my father was placed on the creditor list, alas so low that he never saw any compensation. By this time, it was 1990, and my father had moved to California. Much work had already been performed, including the renewal of the floors, bodywork, motor, brakes, suspension, and drivetrain.

The car was relocated to a Lamborghini shop in Northern California, Milano Imports, and was provided with an estimate of $30,000 from being completed. Between 1990 and 1995, my father provided approximately $36,000 and the car was still claimed to be quite some time and money from being finished. At this point, he was also going through a divorce and custody battle. In any event, at the point of last communication, he was $2900 ahead and work was supposedly continuing. My father then fell quite ill and underwent a series of surgeries. We were not able to see the car again until 2001, and were shocked to find out that it had been left outdoors and had deteriorated markedly. We attempted to remove the car from the premises, but were shocked to instead be presented with bill for no less than $23,000 in storage charges, despite the quality of “storage” and the fact that we never agreed to pay storage. The photos below show the car’s condition when we discovered it. Compare to these photos to see car’s condition when it arrived at Milano Imports in 1990. We contacted the Bureau of Automotive Repair to aid us in the extraction, but they claimed that no wrong had been done and that they were unable to help. Thus, we retained attorneys and after two years of legal proceedings, we chose to settle the case. On the 28th of February 2007, the car was moved for the first time since 1990. Special thanks to our law firm, Musacchio, Montanari & Lucia (whose partners are themseleves car enthusiasts, even if they seem to prefer Ferraris) for making it all happen. The car is currently undergoing restoration.

Click here to read about the restoration.

These pictures depict the car as we discovered it in November of 2006.

It looks as though serious rust has developed, not surprisingly since the car was left under a tarp that was found to be wet, despite it not having rained for several days before our arrival. This is especially disappointing to us because the car had been made rust free and freshly repainted when it arrived in 1990.

The engine was fortunately kept inside, though mysteriously disassembled between when we saw the car in 2001 and when these pictures were taken in November of 2006.

Read about the restoration