Monday, January 15, 2007

Miura: The First Supercar

The silver Miura I ordered from Canada just arrived. Aside from the currency exchange mix-up, the transaction went relatively smoothly. As I stare at my latest purchase, from every which angle, I must say this could be the most beautiful car ever made. Did I mention mine is a 1/43 scale Minichamps die cast model?

Inspired by the Ford GT40, the Miura established the first rule for all supercars: the engine must be in the middle. The idea of positioning the V12 sideways to save space was borrowed from the Mini Cooper. Other than that, the Miura is all original. The styling, by a 22 year old, is jaw dropping, even by today's standards. Just imagine what people thought when it rolled down the boulevard in the mid-60s.

The second rule for supercars was also established by the Miura: it had to be temperamental. The Weber carbs, while idling, often spat gasoline onto the hot engine, causing fires. Placing the gas tank up front meant that as fuel was consumed, the front end became lighter and harder to control. The list of mechanical, structural, and dynamic miscues can go on for a few more pages.

But all is forgiven. The bottom line on the Miura is its sheer exotic, unadulterated beauty. Bertone's lines could not be any more perfect. Even while parked for a photo shoot, it screams outrageous power, exclusivity, and delinquent behavior. As the Piedmontese exclaim when they see a beautiful woman: Countach!


No comments: