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Exotic Italian Beauty

By Tom Olsen

You first spot it by the stunning green color! How can you miss that? The color lures you in and then you begin to notice the curves. Then the magnesium alloy wheels catch your eye…and it’s so low…and sleek! And if the hood is open, there’s so much to absorb on the mid-engine V12. After all that, if you’re lucky enough to hear it run, well, that’s just music to your ears! The more you look at this 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400, the more intriguing it becomes!

We’ve featured Clint Brunner and his collection of cool cars in previous issues of the Motor Market. Clint has a variety of high performance cars that he and his sons regularly bring to local car shows and cruise nights. There are several beefy Mopars, a Shelby continuation 427 Cobra, a Ford GT, a McLaren, and a variety of others to choose from on any given day. But the newest addition, the Miura, is the current star of the show!

Over the years Clint has been, primarily, an American muscle car guy. A Lamborghini was never on his radar until his son, Ryan, got him interested. While studying cars on the internet, Ryan researched all there was to know about how the Lamborghini Miura came to be; why these cars are special, the styling cues, and the performance figures. As Clint and Ryan discussed these, Clint became intrigued, and the search was on. 


As luck would have it, Clint knew that a Ford GT friend of his just happened to have a Miura. Clint visited with him periodically about the car and let him know that if he was to ever consider selling it, Clint would be interested. In late 2019 that fellow contacted Clint. He had purchased a very exclusive car and was prepared to sell the Miura to make room in his collection. In early 2020, Clint and Ryan flew to Fort Worth, TX, to view and potentially buy the car. By this time Clint had thoroughly researched the car and knew that, if everything was right, he wanted to own it. The Miura was given a thorough examination and a test drive, extensive documentation was reviewed, negotiations ensued, and Clint was soon the new owner. 


Here are some facts about the car:

1967 is the first production year for the Lamborghini Miura, although there were two prototypes built in 1966. This is a P400, the first generation of Miura. (Second and third generations are the P400S and P400SV respectively.) This car is number 54 of 275 P400s (first gen) built. It was built in September of 1967 and was painted in the highly-desirable, iconic lime-green hue known as “Verde Miura”. The total number of all Miuras built is 762. It is estimated that approximately 650-700 of these may still exist worldwide with about 150+ in the United States.


As the story goes, Lamborghini looked to the Ford GT40 for styling cues for the Miura. As one looks at photos of the two cars, the similarities are apparent. The Miura is often referred to as an “Italian GT40 for the street”. Many automotive authorities consider the Miura to be the first mass produced “Supercar”.


The all-aluminum engine is a V12 which is cast as one item with the 5-speed transaxle. In order to shorten the overall length of the car, the engine and transaxle are mounted transversely. The engine has dual overhead cams and 2-valve per cylinder hemispherical heads. Four Weber three-barrel downdraft carburetors fuel the engine, producing 350 horsepower. 


The body is built by Bertone; the front and rear “clamshell” is aluminum, while the doors and monocoque frame are steel. Holes drilled in components for weight savings are visible throughout; it weighs 2848 lbs. The chassis features 4-wheel independent suspension and Girling disc brakes all around. This all rides on magnesium alloy wheels manufactured by Campagnolo.  Clint’s Miura currently has 15” x 7.5” rims from a Miura SV, but he recently acquired a correct set of 15”x 7” P400 originals and restored them completely with expert assistance from Kustom Joe’s, Inc. Auto Body Shop. He will use these valuable original wheels when taking the Miura to Concours-level shows.  Joe Foster and his crew have been instrumental in always providing the exact-spec materials and advice for various touchups and other projects for Clint, who enjoys putting his own perfectionist OCD qualities to use while working on his cars.

The interior bucket seats are upholstered in black leather. A large tachometer and speedometer dominate the aircraft style dash and are complimented by the other necessary gauges and switches. A gated shifter for the 5-speed transaxle protrudes from the center console.


Some of the early history of the car is rather vague, but Clint is believed to be the 8th owner. Although it was first shipped to the Lamborghini vendor in London, England, it was immediately purchased by a sheik and spent the first two years of its life in the Middle East desert. It was then shipped back to London where a local gentleman purchased it. Eventually the Miura was shipped to the US in 1974. In 2001, Paul Hoey, owner of Hoey Auto Body in Olympia, WA, bought the car. He is known as a master paint and body craftsman. He performed a much-needed full restoration. Since the restoration, the car has been shown at exclusive shows and has graced several magazine covers. The biggest win for the car was in 2003 at the “Concorso Italiano” in Monterey, CA, where it won Best of Show, People’s Choice, and Best Lamborghini. Very impressive!


Clint’s Miura is currently the subject of extensive research by Lamborghini historians. It is believed to quite possibly be the very Miura that famed British motor journalist L.J.K. Setright drove from Italy to France for his landmark article “1000 Miles in a Lamborghini Miura”. Setright was later credited for recognizing the Miura as the first true modern supercar, which would make this Lamborghini “THE first supercar!” 


It’s interesting talking to Clint about his driving impressions of the car. A few comments from Clint: “It reminds me of a motorcycle with a wide power band. At 4000RPM and above, when the 12 barrels open up, it’s almost like a turbo when it comes on. 4000-8000RPM is a lot of fun!” (The redline is 8000.) “Due to the convoluted path of the shift linkage through the engine block to the rear transaxle, it shifts differently than the American muscle car transmissions I’m used to.” “Top speed is right at 170mph, which is fast for bone stock in 1967.” “The fuel tank is in the front so the steering is light if it’s below 1/4 tank of fuel. The car feels tight, there is no wind noise, and it tracks straight. By 1967 standards it handles like it’s from another planet!” 


Clint’s future plans for the car are to “drive it and enjoy it!” It will be at local shows, and cruise nights, and has already been at the Ace Hot Classics Night show in Sioux Falls. He’s considering taking it to Supercar Sunday in Omaha
this summer.


This is definitely a car to watch for if you’re at an area automotive event. Do yourself a favor and take the time to look it over closely; take a look at all the unique features. This is one car that you will appreciate more with each additional look.


After adding a Lamborghini Miura, what do you suppose the future holds for Clint’s eclectic collection? Be patient…there is more excitement on the horizon! 


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