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Onassis Lamborghini Miura S barn find going to auction

A Greek shipping magnate gives a rare sports car to his favorite singer who then parks it for decades.  While this may sound like the beginnings of a subplot in a mystery novel, it is really just the story of a Lamborghini Miura S going to auction next week.

Stamatis Kokotas is Greece’s Elvis Presley (except Kokotas is still alive.)  He was so popular in the 1960s and 70s that the pop singer even became the favorite of Aristotle Onassis.  The shipping mogul was so impressed with Kokotas that he gave the recording artist and accomplished rally driver the keys to his personalized 1969 Lamborghini Miura S.

While this early-1970s gift meant Onassis couldn’t have put many miles on the car, Kokotas would spend even less time with it.  As was the case with many Miuras during that time, the metallic brown Lambo suffered a significant engine problem in 1972.  The V12 was removed and returned to the Lamborghini factory for repair.    The car was parked in the underground garage of the Athens Hilton, and engineless body remained there for over three decades.

The only thing that disturbed the Miura’s slumber was the hotel getting a major renovation in 2003 to prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.  Although the Miura S had already appreciated into quite a valuable car, it was simply moved to another underground storage facility.  The Lambo remained in this garage until it was recently unearthed in preparation for the COYS “True Greats” December 4th auction in London.

Of course, no car is complete without the engine, and as it turns out this Miura’s was not hard to find.  While the car’s body was hidden from view for decades, the engine was on display at Lamborghini’s factory museum until earlier this month (see the museum here).  The motor has since been reunited with the car but not installed.

Now that this Miura S is finally back in the sunlight, it reveals some of the personalized details of a one of 140 car that was built for one of the richest men in the world.  The Onassis Lamborghini was built with luxury items available from the factory, like air conditioning, but the individual touches went well beyond that.  Inside the air vents, passenger grab handle, gearshift, electric window switches, ignition switch surrounds, and horn all have unique engraved alloy elements.  Outside the eyelashes surrounding the headlights have the alloy touch as well as a unique lower front clip with four extra driving lights mounted centrally below the grille.

A rare car in very original condition with a famous owner and a great barn find story.  This kind of history makes us think the car will break its top estimate of £370,000 (currently about $593k) when it crosses the block next week.

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