A few days ago, this 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV was brought to my attention. What made the car remarkable wasn’t the fact that Lamborghini made so few Miuras and seeing one in this beautiful color scheme was an absolute treat. No, it was that the seller, Kulu Motorcar Inc., wrote on its listing that it only had 150 miles on the clock.
One-hundred and fifty miles. On a car from 1972. The listing is very light on the details, but for something like this, the mileage is usually that low either because it was only factory-driven up until this point or that its owners just never drove it. I’m not going to pretend to know anything about this Lamborghini or its backstory, but I really hope it isn’t the latter. Because if you don’t drive a car, you are effectively wasting it.
This kind of story isn’t new or really unique in our industry, especially when it concerns instantly special cars like a Miura or a McLaren F1. But, even as I went to visit that incredibly low-miles 1997 Nissan 240SX, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of ruefulness.
It doesn’t matter if the car is a 240SX or an F1, it should be driven. That is literally what they are made to do. That is what they are for. Engineers and designers alike spent countless hours creating a car to be the best that they could make it in the hopes that it would bring somebody happiness when they drove it.
I’m not talking about people who baby their cars on crappy-weather days, either. I’m talking about the people who acquire cars and then put them away for years and years until they’re ready to auction them off and grab headlines with three-digit mileage numbers. If you buy a car and don’t want anything out of it other than a huge profit when you finally do sell it after not driving it, do the people who actually want to drive a favor and buy a painting instead.
I don’t know how much these ultra-low miles cars sell for, but I’m worried that it does nothing but continue the vicious cycle. You buy a low-miles McLaren F1 for millions of dollars over a driven F1 and you don’t want to mess with that, so you don’t drive it, either, I feel like is the mindset behind some of these purchases. Am I wrong?
That’s why it’s always such an experience to see priceless vintage cars raced and tracked from time to time. Sure, the risks as astronomical, but, my God, at least they are out doing what they are supposed to be doing. When a car isn’t being driven, it is a glorified piece of furniture.
Oh, and also keep in mind that sometimes the stuff inside the car rots if kept sitting for too long.
(h/t to Mark!)