The Bertone Miura Roadster

The Roadster started life as a one-off show car, produced by Bertone for the 1968 Brussels auto show.

As many know, after it finished the show circut that year it was purchased by the International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO) who wanted to showcase the use of zinc in automotive applications. Renamed the ZN-75, the car spent almost 40 years in this configuation.

I got to ride in the ZN-75 in its last public appearance, at Monterey in 2007. While it was a treat to ride in such a rare car, I can tell you that the performance was... not good. Zinc is very heavy (7.14 g/cm3 compared to aluminum at 2.70 g/cm3 - zinc is closer to lead 11.34 g/cm3). The car had so many parts replaced with zinc that it probably weighed an extra 1500 lbs!

It was converted back to its original show form in time for the August 2008 Pebble Beach show. I was privileged to watch the progress at Bobileff's, and provide some minor consulting on the restoration. For example, I noticed that the headlight trim and windscreen trim were polished as the car got close to being ready and pointed out that they should be matt black.
I was also able to find the original taillights the for car, although not soon enough to save the owner from having approximations fabricated. I still have originals, so perhaps one day they they'll be returned to the car.

TOP: Current reproductions
BOTTOM: Original taillights

The finished product is beautiful, and the photos don't quite do it justice.

I could dedicate several web pages to this car. The are many differences from a stock Miura that don't show up in the photos. It is probably the most beautiful Miura of all. And yes, the metallic blue is correct!