The Restoration of Lamborghini Miura #3982
I recently was feeling nostalgic thinking about past projects and searching a particular car I spent about 1.5 years restoring, a 1969 Lamborghini Miura. Chassis #3982 to be exact. I found the car on various sites, learning it had been sold twice since I had done the work on it, once in the $700,000 range, and again a year after that for $1,265,000. I was pretty enthusiastic that the restoration passed the scrutiny involved with such numbers. In reading the description on RM Auction’s site I was very let down to see they had listed the restoration of the car as being done by DEW Motors in Va. Dew Motors is without doubt an excellent shop that at that time primarily served the Dupont and Marriott families, working on their collections. A body restoration there would have been upwards of 100k. And yes, the car was indeed at Dew Motors, that is where I initially inspected the car with the owner. It was there having the motor/transmission pulled to be rebuilt. They had done some work on the Front bonnet edges as well to correct poor gaps a bit. They stopped there on the body. The car was then taken to Hot Rod Refinishers in Rockville, Md owned by myself, Jeff Yarrington and Bob Letendre. We did restorations, as well as collision work. I want to set the record strait here on the work done. Apparently the seller, or auction house possibly, decided a restoration done by the exclusive Dew Motors sounded better then a small unknown shop like Jeff and Bobs Hot Rod Refinishers.
It was a labor of love for me that was very involved. It was also a constant at the shop as other cars came and went. We rebodied many muscle cars and other projects that body panels were readily available for. The Miura was of course a unicorn car, no parts available, meaning fix and work with what there was.
The gentleman, Dr. Peter Kaivon Saleh, that I did the work for had a very unique history and present (at the time) prominence in Washington DC and the cars history/story fascinated me. We became friends. We spoke weekly almost about progress, parts, funds, etc. I was to say the least disappointed reading the auction houses listing background of the car. That Dew Motors had be credited with everything I had done on the body, paint, and chassis over a 2 year period. I guess it is like the artworld, the more colorful, intriguing, and expensive the history of an object is, the higher price it will command.
The car came to us in the yellow tangerine pearl. Peter wanted the car to be redone in the The white that was the same as the white on a Miura he had owned in Iran in his earlier years, something that he was forced to leave behind (another story in itself) and over the years he had committed his spare time to recreating that white Miura from his youth. In researching Miuras you will see Peter owned the one in Iran decades ago which now sits in the Tehran Museum, and there is this one, that he has owned in America and has changed hands since he had it restored.
The nicer images of the Miura are from RM Auctions page. The images of the work being done are my images from our old shop. I took hundreds of photos to document larger jobs done and communicate work/hours/invoices to customers since many were remote. Below are some of the many photos taken over the time I had the car and restored the engine bay, front chassis, and body and Paint. Afterwards it returned to Dew Motors to have the Drive train reinstalled and made back into a runner. Peter drove the car back to our shop in Rockville when it was completed. Dew Motors had done the motor, trans, ignition, and carbs, as well as separating the oil compartments if memory serves.
The ugly before the beauty.
I am open to sharing any information and more photos with the present owner of course if desired as well. Feel free to contact me.
The original Text from auction can be seen here with a bit more about the cars history. RM Auction had altered their wording around some of the history, but original is here on Sold by Auctions site.
***Update- I would like to thank The Miura Register for correctly showing the details on this cars history. The Register’s list has all the Miuras cataloged with what information they are able to gather. ***