Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – Hinckley Classic Show

If you have been following our blog recently, you will be aware that Oliver Winterbottom has been gearing-up to make an appearance at this year's Hinckley Classic Show. To say the event was a roaring success would be an understatement, and Oliver documented his time there, which we now share with you. 


Hinkley, Leicestershire, is a town dating from the earliest times and which was the centre of hosiery manufacturing until recently. As that industry shrank, Hinckley started to decline, but thanks to the efforts of the Business Improvement Development and a team of local volunteers, much is being done to reinvigorate the town. I am sure many would not expect it to have the remains of a medieval castle, a fine parish church standing in parkland, and a traditional Market Square (traditional, as all the Market Squares that I know, are triangular).

Thus it was that I arrived at Hinckley Market Square on the morning of 16 September. There were 800 plus vehicles also filling the town centre, all interesting. Two Lotus Elites graced the middle of the area, with the organisers' gazebo alongside. It was here I set-up to supply and sign my book, A Life in Car Design, to those that requested it. The Steward, Stuart Elliott had cleverly arranged them as the Elites were a past design of mine. It was Stuart who got me into this in the first place!

As my sister lives near Hinckley, I visit her and her local pub, The Heathcote Arms, Croft. Stuart and Sue Elliott also visit occasionally and earlier this year we discussed my presence at the Classic Motorshow. I agreed to bring some of my books, a pen and a cheery smile – not sure about that – and support this massive event. It is possibly the largest town Classic show in the country. In advance, I had contacted various clubs, and Stuart had landlady Hannah's permission to post a poster in the back bar. To the left, myself and poster in The Heathcote Arms.


Many folk assisted me being able to be ready. These included Emma and Kevin Atkins at my publishers Veloce, who not only supplied some books but also a large poster. 

Stuart organised my transport via an original Mini 1000, driven with enthusiasm by Rob Milne, an enthusiastic member of the Leicester Sturgess motor business. 

I had huge moral support from the members of the LotusExcel.net club, with Richard Wollaston bringing his Lotus Elite, resplendent with an emblem incorporating my signature. Embarrassed to proud – well a bit of both!

Another vehicle that was part of my past was the "wedge" TVR and I was happy that Andy Hutcheson ("andytank") had passed on details at the annual meeting, so we had one of those cars present. Unfortunately it was not possible to completely take over Hinckley, so they were parked down streets nearby.

The other members of my book title trio, Jaguar, were surprisingly short in supply. A red E-Type convertible was a couple of car spaces beyond the Lotuses. 

For me, what made the event so interesting was the diversity of the exhibits. They were not parked as a group but scattered around, so one went from say, a Ferrari, to a Triumph TR7 to an Austin 7 to a DeLorean. There were many forms of transport, the steam roller winning Special Vehicle of the show! Prizes were awarded for scooters, motorcycles, classic cars and commercial vehicles. There were pre-war and post-war machines, stock cars, modified saloons, American cars – you name it, it was probably there. As were an awful lot of people!

All the pubs and cafes were open and doing a roaring trade all day as literally thousands of people strolled the streets – all free of charge – enjoying the day. 

My pitch on Hinckley Market Square, alongside a lovely Lotus Elite

The two Lotuses, with the gazebo behind

A TVR 350i enjoying the double yellow lines in Regent Street

This beautiful Rover 3.5 litre Coupé was brought by Coventry Transport Museum

Not only did we have a DeLorean, but also an ex-senior executive of the marque present. The bar across the door opening was to prevent unwanted passengers entering!
This Ford Mustang dated from 1971 – they still look the same!

The two Lotus Elites had an Excel for company. There was also an Eclat elsewhere

Here I am being interviewed live on local radio

Sue and Stuart Elliott on the left, receiving a much deserved award in recognition of their efforts organising this wonderful event

We all retired to the Heathcote for a well deserved pint after a wonderful day. Hinckley hopefully will continue to thrive – it deserves to!

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary!


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Bye Bye Beetle!

Another iconic car is set to become a thing of the past, as it was announced last Thursday that Volkswagen are to stop producing the Beetle in 2019.

The move comes as Volkswagen plans to focus more on what consumers are looking for in a new car, such as electric cars and larger family-orientated vehicles. Although there are no plans to replace it, there is a 'Never Say Never' attitude towards it, just like when the company decided to unveil a revamped Volkswagen Bus last year. 


"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans." – Heinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group America.


Volkswagen will finish the run by adding a pair of Final Edition models – the Final Edition SE and the Final Edition SEL – to the line up, available in both coupé and convertible body styles. Along with colours such as Pure White, Deep Black Pearl and Platinum Grey, these models will feature two unique colours: Safari Uni, a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a colour from the New Beetle, and Stonewashed Blue, which pays homage to the 1970 Jeans Bug, as well as being more recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Convertible Final Edition SEL models will be available in all colours (expect Safari Uni) with a unique Brown soft top.



A timely publication, Richard Copping's Volkswagen Beetle – A Celebration of the World's Most Popular Car charts every aspect of the original Beetle's lengthy history – from Porsche's design for Hitler to it's successful move to South America. Written by an enthusiast, this tome contains a wealth of archive imagery, including some rarely seen photographs of the Beetle across the decades. What better way to help commemorate the end of an era than with this excellent book.




The third generation Beetle is set to become a collector's item with this latest announcement. It really is a shame to be saying goodbye to such an iconic model. 


Friday, 31 August 2018

An old classic gets a modern makeover

One of Jaguar's most iconic cars, the E-Type, is set to make a comeback with a new electric version approved to go into production, and available to buy from summer 2020. 


No doubt spurred on by the fact that Prince Harry whisked his new bride, Megan Markle,  to their wedding reception in an E-Type Zero back in May, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Jaguar Classic – a unit of the firm that specialises in restoring vintage models – will convert E-Types to electric power at its Classic Works facility in Coventry. 

"We've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-Type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. The E-Type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-Type, and the expertise and craftsmanship of Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover's dedication to creating Zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic."

– Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. 

For those hoping to turn their classic eco-friendly, an EV conversion service for existing E-Type owners will also be offered. To preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle, the EV conversion will be fully reversible.



The concept

The idea behind the Jaguar E-Type Zero is that not only will it drive, handle, ride, brake and look like an E-Type, it will also offer quicker acceleration than the original Series 1 E-Type. Jaguar Classic plans to target a range in excess of 170 miles for all-electric E-Types, helped by the car's low kerb weight and aerodynamics. The concept vehicle is powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours. 

An electric powertrain with single-speed reduction has been specially designed for the E-Type, utilising many Jaguar I-PACE components. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimension, and similar weight, to the standard E-Type's six-cylinder petrol XK engine, and is in the same location.  The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack, in place of the E-Type's gearbox. 

An electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means that the car's structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed. This simplifies the conversion, keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. 

We're still quite a way off from these environmentally friendly E-Types, so to tide you over until then, why not check out our latest book on the model? Jaguar E-Type Factory and Private Competition Cars takes a detailed look at the racing E-Type: an exciting and important aspect of Jaguar's history. And who knows, maybe an E-Type Zero will be seen at races of the future? 


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Monterey Car Week

This weekend sees the start of Monterey Car Week, a special automotive week that is full of exciting events, auto shows, rallies, concours and car auctions that culminates at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on the 26th.


There are two major motoring bodies that will be unveiling new models that piqued our interest, and in today's blog post, we bring you details on these latest cars. 

The new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ will have it's official unveiling during Monterey Car Week. The newest super sports car form the famed Italian marque recently set the lap record for production cars at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, in a time of just 6:44.97 minutes. 

The Aventador SVJ is made of lightweight materials that contribute to the excellent weight-to-power ratio of only 1.98 kg/hp. Furthermore, Lamborghini's patented ALA 2.0 active aerodynamics system with aero vectoring guarantees handling and downforce. 

"Its tenure as the Nürburgring lap time record holder, even before its unveiling [this month], endorses Lamborghini's competence in applying superlative design engineering and ground-breaking technologies. The SVJ is a super sports car at the zenith of performance, while also ensuring unrivalled driving pleasure." – Stefano Domenicali, Automobile Chairman & CEO. 




It may cover an older model, but we have an impressive new tome! Our newest Lamborghini book, due for release in October, is all about the Lamborghini Murciélago. This book, written by Dr Thillainathan Pathmanathan, a lifelong Lamborghini enthusiast, examines the Murciélago in detail, while casting a look back through the marque's troubled history, to understand how the Murciélago came into being. This exceptional work touches on the people and organisation involved in the production of this iconic car, before examining each of the model variants, and discusses the joys and tribulations of ownership. 




BMW are another marque set to reveal a new car this week – rumour has it, it's a redesigned Z4. Monterey would be a meaningful venue, as BMW has a pattern of revealing concepts and production cars at this event; last year they showed 8-series and Z4 concept cars. 

So far as is known, the new Z4 will pull plenty of its design from the concept cars displayed last year, with a more forward face, and sweeping lines at the rear. As for power, BMW confirmed that a Z4 M40i will use the company's 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-6. Engineers also focused on reducing the car's mass; despite the car being nearly 3 inches wider than its predecessor, the new Z4 will weigh nearly 50kg less. 

BMW's mystery reveal is set for August 23. In the meantime, if you are interested in owning a Z4, then you should first invest in our newest Essential Buyers Guide, which covers the Z4 E85 Roadster and E86 Coupe 2003-2009 – including the M and Alpina Roadster models. Packed full with loads of good advice from marque expert David Smitheram, and described as a "must have" by the Z4-forum and the BMW Car Club GB, this is the complete guide to choosing, assessing and buying the original BMW Z4. 




Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – May, June and July

With the summer show season just beginning, things are picking up for Oliver Winterbottom. In today's blog post, we'll get you right up to speed with what he's been up to of late. 

2 May – Amazon UK now have six books (more coming), so thats four gone since 19 April.

4 May – I attend the dignified Service of Thanksgiving for John Miles at Hingham Church, Norfolk. Very sadly missed. A privilege to have known and worked with him. He had the unusual trait of being totally non-political. This was a chance to say farewell and to catch up with many old Lotus faces.

5 May – Complete the slides and text notes for talks for the Bourne Motor Racing Club and the North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club. No dates yet, but at least they are done!

7 May – Rob Ford from Club Lotus Avon opens discussion on my giving the club a talk in 2019. Happy to do so! Date being planned.

8 May – Meet an ex-Jaguar apprentice (10 years after me!), in my sister's local pub. He brought up so many names from those days that I had long forgotten. He was with an acquaintance who would bring his copy of my book for signature the following evening.

9 May – After a fascinating visit to Bletchley Park with my sister, I am myself with a signing pen. The gentleman arrived in the pub, but the book did not – it was elsewhere! OK, next time perhaps.

10 May – Arrange to give Club Lotus Avon a talk next year. Tuesday, 5 March 2019 date agreed.

11 May – The first edition of Absolute Lotus magazine arrives through my postbox. Richard Heseltine has done me (and Veloce) proud! A mention on the front cover, then in the Editorial, availability of the book in the "book & model" section, and then four pages with pictures of an in-depth interview. I wish this beautifully produced publication the very best acceptance.

Amazon UK have now re-priced the book again. It's gone down to £24.37.

15 May – Veloce monthly newsletter On The Grid informs that there are two new Jaguar books. Jaguar from the shop floor – Foleshill Road and Browns Lane 1949 to 1978 by Brian James Martin, and Jaguar E-type Factory and Private Competition Cars by Peter Griffiths. Both are of great interest to me. I don't seem to remember Brian Martin although we were in the same place at the same time! I plan to acquire these in due course.

18 May – An old colleague and friend, John, who lives in France, tells me he is buying the book. I await any (useful!) comments.

21 May – Another "free read" advertised on the internet by a different website to the two previous offers. I alert Veloce. Kevin Atkins at Veloce responds (edited below):
"The download doesn't contain a PDF, but a file in Apple Pages format, with a load of blurb and buttons to lure you into clicking. As is usual in these instances, I've submitted a DMCA take-down request, both to the WordPress site's author, and to WordPress themselves."

24 May – I like having an internet search for my book as it turns up all over the world. Today I have found it in Windsor (UK) Public Library and Toronto Public Library. On sale in Sydney Australia, New Zealand, Hamburg Germany, Singapore, and Galway Ireland. I do hope everyone enjoys it around the world. Amazon UK have sold another one, so that's five in stock.

29 May – My daughter Jane tells me she met two gentlemen last weekend who would like me to sign copies of the book for them. While not telling me who they are, she is organising it.

Stacey at the Barnham Broom Bell pub intends to buy the book. She says that Amazon have it at £24.37, but want money for shipping. Seems one needs to be lucky when using this source, as the price seems variable.

30 May – I visit Ketteringham Hall, the scene of happy days years ago in my early time at Lotus. These days, there is a tearoom overlooking the lake. I met someone whom I didn't remember but remembered me (this happens far too often). We had a good chat about old times, and he says he will get my book.

31 May – Amazon UK now have the price back at £37.50. I hope Stacey has brought hers at the price advertised on 29 May.

1 June – Daughter Jane identifies her two gentlemen as the chaps we met at Snetterton last September (see May 29).

4 June – Set out to drive to Dijon Prenois for the Grand Prix De L'Age D'Or historic races. Take a couple of new books but do not find any buyers.

8 June – Nice to meet up with an old favourite – Lotus Europa Twin Cam special, outside Chateauneuf en Auxois Chateau. I had forgotten how low slung they are! Photo courtesy of my sister.



9 June – Meet Tony Poll, British Lotus owner at the Club Lotus France classic car stand at Dijon. Sadly, I failed to meet up with Venice Thiebolt from the club. I signed a copy of my book for him last year. Although I had a couple of new copies with me, I did not get to sell them.

12 June – Met up with John Elwin in Montreal sur Mer. He is now a French resident, but ex-Lotus Cars and Team Lotus. He brings his copy of my book for signature, happily given! He gives me the news that the Lotus CEO has moved on.

13 June – Met up with Stuart Elliott at the Heathcote Arms for more information on the Hinckley Classic Motorshow (16 September) at which I may have a booth to sign books. Lotus and TVR most welcome.

16 June – My daughter Anne tells me that a 1970s Lotus Elite starred at the Sheringham Classic Car & Bike show. Seen here outside The Lobster pub.



18 June – Amazon UK have changed the book price again, its now down to £24.37. They say they have three left in stock, so thats at least three gone in the last month. Keep it up, chaps!

20 June – Contact various Lotus and TVR Clubs to judge support for the Hinckley Classic Motorshow. LotusExcel.net post it on the web, immediately.

22 June – Amazon UK £24.37 and have six in stock (so assume they have restocked since 18 June). Amazon USA $41.19 with two in stock. Amazon Japan Yen 3368, it was Yen 3459 on 13 February.

24 June – Club Lotus have listed the Hinckley Motorshow on their website; thank you. Nothing on the forthcoming events page of the TVR Car Club as yet.

25 June – I am a guest at the East Anglian Lotus Club barbecue at the White Hart Inn, Roydon near Diss, Norfolk. I enjoy picking the winner of "The Car I Wish to Take Home." It was very difficult, as the quality of cars attending was very high. I selected a beautiful red Lotus Esprit S4S. I was delighted to sign three books and had good feedback from those who had read it. Thank you Ben Needham and the EALC.



3 July – My publisher, Veloce creates a monthly newsletter On The Grid. This is primarily to notify subscribers of the latest releases. They also publish my Book Diaries, and this month's edition celebrates thus:



4 July – I receive a number of warm messages regarding my book's first birthday. Thanks, appreciated.

"Young" Ken Evans, ex-Lotus visits for a book signature. He also brings a copy belonging to John Freeman, also ex-Lotus and Topelec for signature. Had a good chat catching up on past times.

I was unhappy to hear that Ken had visited the local bookstore who did not have or recognise the book. I had spent an afternoon there, less than a year ago, to promote and sign books. I am a local author, after all. I will speak to them upon my return from the TVR weekend.

6 July – I arrive at Unchurch as a guest of the TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest 2018. This is an annual gathering of TVRs that I designed, and it is a great privilege for me to be invited.

7 July – A great convoy of TVRs drive to Rockingham Motor Speedway at Corby. They are there to support The Children's Trust, a leading charity for children with brain injuries. All the cars enter the paddock and park in the centre. The day is supported by many families with children, who can pay to have track rides. I take a number of book advertising flyers which get circulated. In the evening, I start circulating flyers for the Hinckley Classic Motorshow. I was pleased to hear some folk had already heard of it.

The green coupe was a stunning colour, in my humble opinion.


8 July – The TVR's gather at the Church End Brewery, Nuneaton. This ex-Village Hall emerged as a venue in which my late wife and I had catered for a wedding in 1969! Now a fine microbrewery, we had a good lunch and fascinating factory tour. Some kind ladies distributed all the remaining Hinckley adverts to the attending cars. The brewery honoured my presence with a beer named Winterbottom's Revenge! Thanks to all at the TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest!

11 July – I visit Ketts Books in Wymondham to understand why Ken Evans (see 4 July) was unable to get my book. The staff were most apologetic, explaining it was probably one new recruit who did not know of the book. They have assured me they have good relations with Veloce and can get the book rapidly when requested.

A quick search on the internet shows that Amazon UK have the book at £31.68 with four left in stock – more coming. Among their foreign outlets, Amazon France have it at €33.80, Amazon Germany €34.01, Italy €38.90, Amazon Japan 4695 Yen (it was 3470 Yen on 23 March!) and Amazon Brazil R$136.69.

Amazon UK have another customer review. It criticises the lack of DeLorean information. As the book explains on page 98, "I was not involved in the DeLorean project" and, indeed, not even at Lotus when most of it was done. It also suggests there are too many persons' names used, but I don't know how to avoid that.

14 July – Enjoying dinner with my family, at the Wrenningham Bird in Hand, when the conversation turns to the author Sir Ryder Haggard, a Norfolk domiciled man. A lady, dining on her own, comes over to tell us she has a number of his (very valuable) first editions, which she will leave to Norwich Library. I tell her I have my own first edition of my book and that a copy is in Norwich Library. After giving her details, she tells me she knows Sir John Egan. I explained that I left Jaguar, a company that Sir John saved from closure, 10 years before he became its Chief Executive. Naturally, I recommend my book to him – now I must read his book, Saving Jaguar.

Interestingly, Amazon UK has now put the price up to the publishers price of £37.50. It seems to vary considerably, making purchases from them a bit of a lottery!

17 July – Phil "Nobby" Clarke (Barnham Broom Bell customer), who restores old caravans, bought my book and brought it for signature on 23 February. He tells me he has read just enough to leave it open under his dining table leg to stop it wobbling. Thanks Nobby!

18 July – I get to hear that there is to be a 70th Anniversary Festival at Lotus, Hethel on 29 September. I can get no details; nothing on the company website at this stage. I contact Lotus for details.

Message from Richard Wollaston, a Lotus Elite owner who wishes to put my name on his car! On a trip to the Austrian Grand Prix:
"PS I should have mentioned in my email of yesterday that there was a lot of interes on the Elite, and admiration for its design during my trip. I bumped into a retired airline pilot in Luxembourg who said it embodied the futuristic spirit of the 70s – I think he got it spot on. There certainly seems to be growing admiration for the wedge designs these days, even amongst Lotus traditionalists." 
Thanks Richard, its great to get recognition.

19 July – Angus Marshall of LotusExcel.net suggest the NEC Classic Car Show in November should be an opportunity to celebrate Lotus First 70 Years. Mike Kimberly and I agree and consider supporting it.

22 July – Walk into the Barnham Broom Bell to find an elderly couple relaxing in the bar. The gentleman used to work at Lotus in Powertrain and Quality, but retired a long time ago. Using my advertisement still on display, I could explain my book and confirm that Jerrold's bookshop in Norwich should have a copy.

23 July – Lotus PR Dept tell me that the details for the Lotus Festival are not yet formally announced, but they will let me know when they are.

25 July – Emailed the TVR Car Club advising them of the Hinckley Classic Car Show and my book. It would be nice if they could put my book in the online club shop.

28 July – Weekend spent with my sister near Hinckley, so took the opportunity of checking out the location for the September Classic Car Show. Saw Stuart Elliot and discussed the car show. He will provide a kiosk and can store books for sale in the boot of his MG at the display. I must get final plans in place!

30 July – Contacted Jaguar ex-apprentice and a JDC contact about the Hinckley Show.

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary!


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Summer Tyre Safety Checks

In our little tourist trap corner of Dorset, we are very accustomed to heavier traffic on the roads at this time of year. Coupled with the current heatwave, checking your tyres before setting off is even more important. 


As the summer holidays commence and multiple road user groups take to setting off on planned travels, Continental is urging motorists to be prepared for trips abroad or as part of the staycation trend, stressing the importance of tyre safety for all motorists.

As a corporate partner of TyreSafe, the UK road safety charity, Continental is supporting its summer campaign to raise awareness of the need for driver diligence over the summer. In the UK, a third of all tyre related incidents happen during the summer. With 57% of Britons 'staycationing' in the UK this year, TyreSafe aims to minimise tyre caused accidents – helping the UK public enjoy the sunshine this summer. Department for Transport data shows in the month of July tyre-related incidents are at their highest.

A combination of factors, from unexpected bad weather and drivers unfamiliar with country roads, to long journeys with fully-laden cars, means that summer driving carries with it a number of additional risks.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said:

"As part of our Vision Zero initiative which aims for zero accidents, injuries or fatalities on our roads – we are keen to make motorists aware of the small steps they can take to make their journey safer this summer.
"With a spell of good weather, it is easy to get a little complaisant in a way motorists might not be in the winter when they are braced for rain, snow and ice.
"It is vital that, whatever the season, people remain alert to changes in conditions and ensure that their tyres are in top condition.
"With school's now broken up for the holidays, and more than half of Britons planning on taking their 2018 summer holiday in the UK, these simple checks can help reduce the risk of an unwanted disruption."

While temperature records have been broken this year, in the UK it rains an average 156.2 days of the year, meaning drivers risk being caught off-guard when braking in a critical situation. On summer tyres, braking distances on wet roads at 60mph increase by as much as 15m – making it vital that drivers remain vigilant, checking they have adequate tread depth and correct inflation.




Thursday, 26 July 2018

Lamborghini Miura Restoration

There seems to be a motoring anniversary for most every marque this year, and Lamborghini is no exception! The first model was launched 55 years ago, and there have been many models since. In today's post, we bring you all the details of a recent restoration project, as well as details of a new book ... 


Lamborghini Polo Storico has completed restoration of one of the most famous Miuras ever built: the Miura SVR. On the occasion of its delivery to Japan, the car was exhibited at the Nakayama Circuit.

As is well-documented, only 763 Lamborghini Miuras were produced, between 1966 and 1972, at the company's plant in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. The number of Miuras built outside of Sant'Agata, however, is much greater, as numerous car manufacturers have created scale versions of what is one of the most iconic vehicles in automobile history.

Among these was Japan's Kyosho, which produced 1:18 scale models of both the Miura SV and Miura SVR. The Kyosho SVR, in particular, has achieved legendary status among collectors, since it depicts one of the most astonishing Lamborghinis ever built: a race car evolution of the fabled Jota developed by Lamborghini test driver Bob Wallace, which was even featured in the Japanese manga "Circuit Wolf."

After Wallace's Jota was lost in an accident, unrelenting customer demand in the years following led Automobile Lamborghini to build a few Miura SVJ models and – remarkably – a single Miura SVR. The latter was eventually sold in Japan, where it served as the 'model' for both the vehicle used in the comic book and the Kyosho toy version. The car is Miura SVR chassis number #3781, which has been returned to its former splendour by the Polo Storico specialist, and exhibited during an event organised in its honour at Nakayama Circuit in Japan.

This Miura, with engine number 2511 and body number 383, was born as an S version painted in trademark Verde Miura with black interior. It was originally delivered to the Lamborauto dealership in Turin, Italy, on 30 November 1968, following its display at the 50th Turin Motor Show.

After changing hands eight times in Italy, the vehicle was bought in 1974 by German Heinz Straber, who took it back to Sant'Agata in order to have it transformed into an SVR – a job that required 18 months of work. In 1976 the car was sold to Hiromitsu Ito and made its way to Japan, where it caused quite a sensation, not least as the inspiration for the 'Circuit Wolf' comic book series.

The vehicle's legend was further cemented when it was chosen by Kyosho as the base for its renowned scale model, whose lines and colours made this SVR an indelible part of model car lore.

Paolo Gabrielli, Lamborghini Head of After Sales and Director of the Polo Storico, said:

"The full restoration took 19 months and required a different approach to the way we normally work. The original production sheet wasn't of much help, as we relied mostly on the specifications from the 1974 modifications. The challenge for the Polo Storico team was even more daunting as the car arrived in Sant'Agata in pieces, although the parts were all here, and with considerable modifications. The only variations on the original specifications were the addition of 4-point safety belts, more supportive seats and a removable roll bar. These were expressly requested by the customer and are intended to improve safety during the car's racetrack exhibitions."

Later this year, we'll be publishing our new book on the Lamborghini Murciélago. This will be the first book solely on the model, and is a unique dedication to the marque's flagship. With it's V12 Bizzarrini-engine, space frame chassis, and scissor doors, this car is magnificent, and you won't want to miss a chance to get your copy! Sign up to be notified of it's release on our website