This is a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, often named the most beautiful car ever made. I spent two hours with it, before it went (of course) to Jerry Seinfeld.
Now, Jerry Seinfeld doesn't own this car, and nor has he announced he'll be buying it. It's going to be a feature car in an upcoming episode of his web show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. Having pored over every line on this long, low car, all I can say is: lucky bastard.
So if Jerry doesn't own the car, why is it in the Classic Car Club of Manhattan, and why is it on Ohio plates? The staff at CCC Manhattan let me know that this car came in from Ohio just to be in Seinfeld's show and would only be in town for a few nights. They were just keeping the thing out of the weather, though that didn't stop them from making a particularly cruel April Fool's joke that they'd added it to their rental fleet.
I got to have two hours alone with the car yesterday afternoon and holy crap I may have never seen a more beautiful car in my life.
Modern cars, even the most elegant sports coupes, have big wheels that are set close together for good handling and good grip. This means that when the designers clothe the car in sheetmetal, the curves become sharp, abrupt, and a little exaggerated. They look great up close and in pictures, but out in the real world they end up a little scrunched.
That does not happen with the Miura. Its curves aren't rushed in any way - they take time to develop. The front bumper line wraps around the lights and slowly rises up over the front wheels, then slowly falls back down again. The same line keeps slipping back past the doors and only barely lifts to clear the rear wheels. Then it just tapers off into the wind after that.
You really can't see how beautiful the front fenders are in one picture; you need to see how the light plays across them. Just watch this light pool over the back of the front left fender and you'll see what I mean.
Yes, the paint looks like liquid. Let's have another gander at light playing on the hood, shall we?
The owner has done a very, very good job of keeping this thing up. The interior, for instance, was beyond minty. There's no way this car left the factory with so nice a cabin.
Of course there's an open gated manual. Paddles were not on the options list.
Just behind those headrests is a pane of glass. Just behind that pane of glass is a 3.9 liter V12 mounted sideways and producing something around 370 horsepower. What's completely bonkers is how little space the huge lump takes up in the car. The whole thing fits in this space here.
This makes the whole car rather wide. It's not quite flounder proportions, but it's getting there.
In that shot you can also see how far inset the wheels are from the broad bodywork. Stancenation would not approve.
I think they'd like the wheels, though.
And look at how meaty those tires are. Actually, just behind those rear tires is one of the little quirks of the car. You'll see in the next picture that the exhaust pipes do not meet the exhaust tips.
Another fun little detail is that the lower air intake doesn't really go anywhere.
That Ferrari 458 was starting to look pedestrian as I circled the car over and over.
Oh, and check out the fins on the upper edge of the door. The door handle is down at the bottom of the frame.
That reminds me of the most well-known flaw of the Miura: massive high speed lift at the front. Why? When you open the front hood you see that the only stuff up there is the gas tank and space for your legs.
That all just reminds you that the Miura isn't really a car. It's a low-flying spaceship.
When you pore over it for a few hours, you realize it doesn't even trigger the synapses in your brain that say 'nice car.' It feels like the first time you heard about dinosaurs, or watched a building demolition. The whole thing is just unreal.
I can't imagine driving one. I'd die of joy. Or it would spear off the edge of a cliff at 170 and burst into flame.
Not a bad way to go.
Photo Credits: Raphael Orlove/Jalopnik