During 1965, the top three Lamborghini engineers — Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace — were secretly working on the P400 prototype car. Called P400 for Posteriore 4 litri to denote its rear-mounted 4.0-liter engine, the goal was to make a road car with racing pedigree that could dominate on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. Development of the car took place at night, as Ferruccio Lamborghini believed that such a vehicle would be too expensive and would distract from the automaker’s focus. The P400 turned into the Lamborghini Miura, a supercar with a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from other Lamborghinis that preceded it. A total of 764 Miuras were made before being succeeded by the Countach in 1974.
For whatever reason, Lamborghini never took the prized Miura racing with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. Bob Wallace had different plans, and created the P400 Jota — a race-ready variant of the Lamborghini Miura. The Jota (just like the “J” in Spanish) utilized the same 3,929 cc V12 motor from the SV tuned to make 418-440 horsepower at a screaming 8,000 RPM thanks to an increased compression ratio, altered cams, electronic ignition, dry-sump lubrication, and less restrictive exhaust system. The car’s chassis was stiffened, the fenders were widened and flared to fit larger tires, and spare parts were scrapped in favor of weight reduction, with the car tipping the scales at a lightweight 1,784.5 pounds (809.5 kilos).
Once development of the car was complete, however, it was already planned on being scrapped. In 1971, Ferruccio Lamborghini reportedly found the Miura SV — the successor to the Miura S — superior than Wallace’s Jota. By the skin of its sheetmetal, the single example of the Jota survived. It was sold to a millionaire in Italy, where a formal invoice was needed to complete the transaction. To do this, the Jota received an official production certificate.
Alas, the story ends of the original Jota ends shortly after, as the car crashed and burned to the ground on the yet-unopened ring road around the city of Brescia in Northern Italy. The good news is that word of the impeccable performance car Wallace had created was spreading, so Lamborghini commissioned five (or seven, depending on various sources) follow-ups. These ended up being known as the Miura SV/J. Unlike the original Jota, the SV/J retained various creature comforts while still received the same hardcore tweaks seen on the Jota. One of these creations sold for a cool $1,897,500 at RM Auctions on January 15th.
This particular Lamborghini Miura SV/J has been inspected by Claudi Zampolli, a former Lamborghini employee who was in charge of special projects during the time the SVJ was being built. After inspection, he did indeed verify its authenticity as a true Bob Wallace creation. In fact, Wallace himself also verified this particular Lamborghini Miura was converted to Jota specifications at the factory.
The car was completely restored and repainted to factory specifications, and employs its original 385-horsepower V12 engine, four Weber three-barrel carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, independent front and rear suspension with coil springs and unequal length wishbones, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. The car was acquired by its current owner in 2010, and has since then been driven sparingly and kept in pristine condition. As a $1.9 million nod to what could have happened if Lamborghini would have taken Miura racing, the Miura SV/J will make a perfect conversation piece at concours and track events anywhere it goes.