The Miura was originally conceived by Lamborghini's engineering team, which designed the car in its spare time against the wishes of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, who preferred powerful yet sedate grand touring cars over the race car-derived machines produced by local rival Ferrari.
The Miura's rolling chassis was presented at the 1965 Turin auto show, and the prototype P400 debuted at the 1966 Geneva show. It received stellar receptions from showgoers and the motoring press alike, each impressed by Marcello Gandini's sleek styling and the car's revolutionary mid-engine design.
Lamborghini's flagship, the Miura received periodic updates and remained in production until 1973. A year later the extreme Countach entered the company's lineup, amid tumultuous financial times for the company.
During 1965, Lamborghini's three top engineers, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and Bob Wallace put their own time into developing a prototype car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree, one which could win on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. The three men worked on its design at night, hoping to convince company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini such a vehicle would neither be too expensive nor distract from the company's focus. When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini gave his engineers a free hand in the belief the P400 was a potentially valuable marketing tool, if nothing more.
The car featured a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from previous Lamborghini cars. The V12 was also unusual in that it was effectively merged with the transmission and differential, reflecting a lack of space in the tightly-wrapped design. The rolling chassis was displayed at the Turin Salon in 1965. Impressed showgoers placed orders for the car despite the lack of a body to go over the chassis.