1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 (Topo)
Total restoration
Restoration log by Dan Mooney



1967 Lamborghini Miura - Chassis # 3051

This Lamborghini P400 (production # 36) has been languishing in its current disassembled state for almost 40 years. Affectionately named 'Topo' by its longtime owners, the car is currently undergoing a total restoration in the Team CJ Workshops.

Purchased new by renowned gentleman racer, oil heir and sportscar personality Toly Arutunoff, 3051 has a fascinating history. Toly ordered the car while visiting the Lamborghini stand at the 1965 Torino Motor Show, believing it to be just the seventh Miura order placed. Toly raced the car several times shortly after taking delivery in the summer of 1967, and also used it as his daily driver for several years.


Update report - July 20, 2019
Lamborghini Miura bonnets (and rear engine covers) are extremely susceptible to galvanic corrosion because of the way the aluminum outer skin is fitted over the top of a lightweight steel subframe. The following sequence of photographs show the removal of the bonnet outer skin revealing significant corrosion in the outer flanges of the aluminum panel.

Preparing to de-skin the Miura bonnet

Rivets are first drilled out

Folding back the alloy out flanges reveals
significant corrosion

Galvanic corrosion is present wherever steel meets

Lifting away the outer alloy skin

Extremely lightweight steel bonnet skeleton
The alloy bonnet skin weighs 32 lbs

Interesting to note that the chassis black paint was
applied AFTER the subframe and outer skin
were assembled together
The front wheel arches must have been installed
prior to any black paint being applied

De-skinning the engine cover has revealed a fair amount of galvanic corrosion everywhere that the aluminum skin came into contact with the steel frame.

Rarely seen steel structure that supports the
aluminum outer skin

The rear cover skin weighs a mere 21 lbs

Removing the steel wire from the bottom edge of
the allow panel

Removing the aluminum boot floor assembly and corresponding inner wheel arch panels. The boot floor was held in place with 132 rivets.

Yesterday we were delighted to receive a visit from Topo's owners. Rob and Jan visited the Team CJ Workshop to deliver a van load of spare parts and to check in on progress with the Miura. Among the many boxes of parts were Topo's original seats which had been restored and re-trimmed in Michigan in 1984. Interestingly, there was also a spare (third) Miura seat still in its original hide cover, so we were able to compare the untouched original seat with the restored seats. The Michigan trimmer did an outstanding job and replicated the original factory padding and stitching extremely well indeed. Thankfully, Rob and Jan also did a great job of protecting and storing the restored seats in the ensuing 35 years, so they remain in perfect condition to this day!

The first few photographs in the sequence below show Francis stripping the bonnet back to bare aluminum. The fourth image shows galvanic corrosion at the right/rear edge of the bonnet.

Francis stripping the paint and primer from
the bonnet

The green layer is an etching primer that adheres
extremely well to the aluminum
Typical galvanic corrosion where aluminum
meets steel

Bonnet is now stripped to bare aluminum
Rob and Jan checking in on Topo

An original factory Miura bucket street
Interesting to observe the original factory trimwork

Note how the factory finished the trimming beneath
the seat base
Topo's seats were restored in 1984

Comparing Topo's restored seats with the original
I'd say the trimmer did a superb job back in 1984!

The following sequence of photos show Francis stripping the paint, primer and filler from the rear clip. The rear wings and boot compartment are aluminum, whereas the transverse braces running across the body are steel.

Francis using 'aircraft stripper' to remove paint
and primer by hand
It looks very much like factory primer and one
coat of paint

The aluminum panels that form the rear clip have
suffered only very minor damage

Note magnet attached to the steel brace panels

The panel behind the rear window is also steel
Time to strip the bonnet!

Rear bumper grille appears to be in its original finish
Interesting that it does not have the hardwood insert
noted in chassis # 3186 (also a 1967 P400)

Comparing the original 'satin' finish to a
traditional 'chassis black'

Fuel tank is not in great condition and will
be replaced

Insulating panels

Off the road since 1980, this 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400, affectionately known as 'Topo', is about to undergo a total restoration in the Team CJ Works.

The first owner of this special car was legendary racer, collector, raconteur, author and car guy extraordinaire, Toly Arutunoff. Mr. Arutunoff bought the car new in 1967 and immediately took it racing - because that's the type of thing he did!

Toly Arutunoff with Topo in 1967
Only Toly Arutunoff would buy a brand new Miura
and take it straight to the track!

Toly racing in Montgomery, Alabama in 1968

In the owner's garage, awaiting restoration

Loaded up and bound for the Team CJ Works
Bye for now!

Safely in the Team CJ Works

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