Ex-Shah of Iran, Miura SV, #4870 | LamborghiniChat

Ex-Shah of Iran, Miura SV, #4870

Discussion in 'Lamborghini Discussion (not model specific)' started by johnhoughtaling, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. #1 johnhoughtaling, Mar 5, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
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  3. Has the car sold? I recall it was up for sale for a while at (what for Miuras) was an very high price.

    But it was one of those cases that the price reflected in the insane level of quality that went into restoring what if I am not mistaken is the fastest Factory Miura.
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  5. I purchased the car earlier this year.

    Here is the full history as told by its former owner, miura enthusiast Joe Sackey:

    Chassis #4870
    Engine #30622
    Prod. #635

    by Joe Sackey

    Miura SV #4870 was special ordered by His Imperial Highness Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the most prominent person ever to order a new Lamborghini. #4870's famous first owner is confirmed in the Factory's own current certification letter dated 9th February 2000 which simply states that #4870 was built "for supply to the Shah of Iran." It is worth noting that the Lamborghini factory rarely ever issues a certification letter confirming the historical provenance of any Miura, therefore 4870 has an unusualy well-established provenance. The celebrated Lamborghini historian Stefano Pasini wrote of 4870 in his 'Lamborghini Revisita' book: "In fact it is practically impossible to find a first owner who can give such importance to a car. Neither the Pope, nor the President of the United States, nor the President of the Soviet Union have ever owned a Miura. Therefore no other P400 can claim to have a more famous. . . owner"

    This most historic Miura SV was completed on the second of July 1971, finished in 'bleu notte' (PPG paint code no. 2.443.681) and fitted with the factory's air-conditioning option. The build sheet shows that Carozzeria Bertone had initially finished the body in a slightly lighter 'bleu ischia', but as always, the Shah had this changed by the factory to exactly what he wanted: a stunning dark metallic blue. One of our period factory sources states that the Shah personally visited the factory briefly in early 1971, accompanied by his wife Queen Farah Diba, en route from his winter home in St Moritz, Switzerland to the Royal Palace in Teheran.

    The enthusiast Shah was renowned for his special relationship with Italian car factories (His Imperial Highness had Maserati create the 5000GT just for him. They went on to build 34 unique examples naming the first two 'Maserati 5000GT Shah of Persia' in his honor) and Lamborghini was no exception. The Shah's VIP standing with the main Italian Sportscar factories ensured that a special or uprated version of the model he desired was afforded him, as cost was no object. The Factory build sheet for #4870 clearly shows that engine #30622 was of a very special specification relative to standard SVs. Bench-tested to 8000rpm, the engine is noted to develop 47.6mkg (337ftlbs) of torque @ 5750rpm, instead of the standard spec of 40.7mkg (289ftlbs) of torque at 5750rpm. This puts its power output at closer to 450bhp, relative to the standard output of 385bhp. According a factory engineer who helped build the car, components for 4870's highly tuned engine came from the original factory Jota's spare parts box. #4870 thus shared some original parts (high-compression pistons etc) with the Jota. The Shah's special-order SV also has the unique distinction of being the first SV 'speciale' built by the factory. The Shah was of such stature that it was quite normal for him to receive the very first example of any production one-off. In keeping with this, he also received the first factory SVJ, later in 1971.

    The Shah's Lamborghini's were delivered via S.E.A Automobili in Rome, as was #4870. After security clearance, this SV was flown to Teheran, Iran, and stored under armed guard at the Royal Niavaran Palace with the Shah's collection of several hundred cars.

    By account of both the Shah's family and the caretaker of his collection, the Shah adored this Miura SV and often drove it, with armed SAVAK security guards in tow in a Mercedes 600. In the mid-70s the car was shipped back to the Factory to perform some service work and a few modifications. In 1976, His Majesty had this Miura shipped back to the factory for maintenance. The factory installed a Jota front end and retrimmed the interior in dark blue leather (see Pasini's Lamborghini Revisita no.5 book). Unlike the Shah's other Miura (no.4934), this Miura was actually driven regularly (as its mileage attests) not only by the Shah, but by his brother, other members of the Royal family and the Shah's car collection manager. Perhaps this was the reason that the original impractical white leather was thankfully replaced by something more fitting for a thoroughbred sports car. . . . . The factory's 1976 work order was signed off by an R.Vecchi.

    In January 1979, the Shah went into exile fleeing the fierce Islamic ruler Ayatollah Khomeini. The SV, together with the rest of the collection was seized, becoming government property and was poorly stored thereafter.

    On January 24th 1991, #4870 was imported into Italy after being 'rescued' from Iran. This was reported in the August 1991 issue of Classic and Sportscar, in which the magazine stated: "Despatched from Sant Agata in July 1971, it formerly belonged to the Shah of Iran, being part of his extensive stable of fine motor cars. . . .The Shah's cars - hundreds, the word is - were kept in vast garages at the Royal Palace, and after the revolution, most were left untouched by the new regime." It was taken to Italy where it was refurbished in 1991 to 1993. Unfortunately, the project was completed with many items missing or simply incorrectly done, relative to the car's original specification. Sadly, this typifies many Italian restorations and the refurbishment was performed poorly, without careful research and thorough completion. The Italian owner kept the car until 1998, when he sold it privately to current owners Joe and Margaret Sackey via a European Broker. #4870 was extensively road-tested and found to need mechanical attention, so it was decided to embark on a thorough restoration. The goal of the project was to return the car to its original specification as used by the Shah, based on factory documentation, information by the very individuals who built it and information from the gentleman responsible for looking after the Shah's collection whilst #4870 lived in Teheran.

    In 2000, the engine block was shipped to Bob Wallace himself, where it was completely 'blueprinted' with many additional factory reccomended upgrades performed (split-sump, transfer gear oilers, Jota-spec deep sump with oil-counteraction baffles, competition steel nitride crankshaft, electronic ignition etc). Body, interior, chassis and further engine work and installation were performed very capably by Gary Bobileff, all to Pebble Beach standards. Work was finally completed in May 2002. It is worth noting that any Miura with the provenence of a documented 'Bob Wallace engine block blueprint with upgrades' indeed has the best possible scenario as Bob is simply the most experienced person around when it comes to Miura engines, and he has become renowned in America as the most respected engine builder of historic/racing engines.

    Miura SV #4870 is perhaps the most published Miura SV as it has been featured in the magazines Classic & Sportscar, Road & Track, Thoroughbred & Classic Cars, Auto Italia and in the Lamborghini Revisita book #5. In C&SCs July 1994 issue, the magazine boldly declared on its front cover; "We Drive The Best Miura in the World", and featured it in a major article entitled 'Magical Miura'. In the late 90s, 4870 was featured in the book entitled "Dream Cars - the best cars in the world", with a chapter featuring it extensively.

    At the factory's 1993, 30th Anniversary, international event in Italy, #4870 was the undisputed star, winning not only a trophy for "The Best Miura", but also one for being the best Lamborghini present at the event of over 100 cars. In 1999, #4870 won First Place in Class at the Newport Beach Concours D'Elegance, from a field of Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfas and other Lamborghinis (including the Ex-Shah of Persia Miura SVJ; the two cars, previous stablemates at the Royal Palace in Teheran, were reunited at this event).

    #4870 still has all its original equipment including books, tools, original Pirelli CN12 tires and its original license plate TEH-88540 as registered in Teheran to the man known as 'Shahanshah' (King of Kings).

    #4870 is registered as an Historical Vehicle in California with the registration 998J. The car also has its original Teheran Government licence plates TEH-88540 (fully restored in green on white) as came with the car. Sometimes for Concours and show purposes only, the car carries period black Italian export plate EE ('Escursionisti Esteri') 21684.

    In October 2002, #4870 won First Place in Class and Best Closed Car of the Newport Coast Concours D'Elegance.

    It is worth noting that this SV's original low mileage of approximately 12,500 miles is attested to by the relatively good condition of the car's original Pirelli CN12 tires (which are still on the car today!).

    Identification markings on the Shah's Miura SV are as follows:
    4870 on the chassis ID plate in standard location, and on the front chassis cross frame member within a red-painted rectangular strip. 735 stamped on the doors and body sections throughout. 30622 stamped on the original engine block between the cylinder heads in the standard location. The forward-facing cylinder head is stamped S3252, the cylinder block itself is stamped MZ006 and the rearward-facing cylinder block is stamped D8260. Needless to say, #4870 is a matching numbers car throughout.

    At the June 1st, 2003 California Concours D'Automobile, #4870 won First Place in Class (Lamborghinis of all years 1964 onwards) and Best Of Show (Ferraris, Maseratis & Lamborghinis of all vintages). Apparently, the experienced judging team appreciated this historic Miura SV in its restored-to-original specification as used by the Shah. Marcello Gandini was the honorary judge/esteemed guest, and was heard to utter "bello, molto bello. . . " upon encountering #4870 on the concours field. Gandini graciously autographed the car's original owners manual, and several photos were taken with the Miura's designer in appreciation of this particular example."
  6. John Congrads! I was eyeing her myself, but just cannot make that kind of commitment at this time. If there ever was THE Miura to own, you have her!
  7. Beyond cool, John. You gonna bring her to the FFQC?

  8. Dale, if you remember the car was at the event last year. Hopefully it comes back again next year!! :D

    Here are two pics I took last year. Enjoy!
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  10. Crap! I missed it. Well, just one mo reason to block out November on my calendar.

  11. The best looking car ever.
  12. wow john. so you have gandini's signiture? awsome. congrats.
  13. congratulations.....I have just no words to say hom much I like your car ;)
  14. I have read a few articles about this car recently in print and online and am pleased to find out that it's owned by a fellow F-chatter.

    It's beautiful !!!
  15. Love that car!

  16. Unbelievable! It's good to see the car is well. Thanks for the wonderful post!
  17. Thanks for the kind words.

    I have the build sheets on the car. Its kind of neat, the car and I are exactly the same age. The special engine was bench tested by the factory 3 days after I was born!

    I can promise you it is not going to sit and rot. I'm a driver. I am being careful, but am driving the car (which I think is very good for the car). The car is outside my office today.

    At first I was very intimidated by the car. Not just because of its condition and value, but because I've always read as a kid that these cars were so fragile. This may be a myth, born by the fact that nobody seems to drive these cars. But, 'm getting slightly braver with the car, and it seems the harder you drive it the better it runs and responds!
  18. wow! i have been glued to the pc reading this tread... i read your history post like 4 times just to absorb it all in..... this is a great car, sounds like it has a great owner as well. thanks for sharing this with the community! michael
  19. That is the most amazing car I have ever seen. Period.

    Congratulations, be sure to drive it lots!
  20. Perfection- THE reason I love the automobile...
  21. hey John ever since I found out that you own a Miura (from a previous thread) I'm a big fan of you! the Miura has always been by far my favorite car the most beautiful ,sexy and the one with more mystic magic around it. even yet my daughter will be called MIURA . so I beg you post more pic of her. preferably pictures of a common day driving situation just tu see how otherwordly it is in the real world , BTW I have some Miura scalemodels but they don't do justice to it's original beauty.
  22. #23 urraco, Mar 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  23. #24 urraco, Mar 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    -it's been several times ...at night I dream that I find a MIURA in very bad shape rust even rotten in somebody's back yard or a farm then I get it and religiously restore it, Man! there's no other car in the world that I'd prefer not even Enzo has that feeling. somewhere I read that when it was first launched then journalists wrote : Lamborghini has out-ferraried F. itself
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  24. Hello John,I remember driving a S in the early 70 in Belgium...What a car at that time !!! I saw yours last year in New Orleans and knew that you bought it .. It's in good hands with you. I know that you'll enjoy that car.
    It's your time to give me a ride...be ready to see me again in a few month.
    Enjoy your new "toy".
    your pal Roland

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