North American Int’l Auto ShowDETROIT – A spattering of applause mixed with a few quiet “oohs” and “ahs” welcomes the Miura back to the automotive world stage as Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelman officially takes the wraps off the legendary sports car at the North American International Auto Show here.

The newest interpretation of the Miura, originally built from 1966 to 1972, is being shown only as a concept as part of the vehicle’s 40th anniversary.

Lamborghini Miura Concept

The Italian auto maker also held a special preview at an elite event at the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, CA., during this month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.(See related story: Lamborghini Shows Miura Concept)

The car debuted in 1965 at the Turin auto show only as a naked chassis. The complete version was unveiled four months later in 1966 at the Geneva auto show.

While company officials say there are no plans to put the supercar into production, Lamborghini afficianados, blogging about the Miura, estimate a street version could cost as much as $700,000.

Alongside the Miura, Lamborghini also is showing its Murcielago Roadster and the all-new Gallardo Spyder at this year’s show.

Lamborghini is shipping 350 Spyders to U.S. dealerships this spring. Would-be customers need not waste their time, as orders already have been placed for all 350 production vehicles.

Volkswagen AG’s Italian supercar division experienced revved up growth in 2005 with 1,600 sales, (700 U.S.) after averaging 250 sales annually over its entire 41-year existence. However, the auto maker has no plans to expand, company officials say.

To accommodate the increased growth, Lamborghini expanded its worldwide dealer base from 65 in 2004, to 85 by the end of 2005. That includes adding U.S. dealer points in the Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Seattle markets, for a total of 25.

cbanks@primediabusiness.com