If you had to pinpoint one special Miura, it would be the Jota. The Jota was the brainchild of Bob Wallace, the race car engineer responsible for many of the mechanical aspects of the Miura. As with the better automotive engineers, racing was what got him excited and the Jota was his pet project. He worked on it nights and weekends late in 1970.
Although at first glance it might look like a beefier Miura, there was a lot more to the Jota. It was designed from the beginning for the race track and under the sleek skin there was a genuine race car. The wheels, 12 inches at the rear, were three inches wider than the street car and larger fenders accomodated them. Weight distribution was improved with sill mounted fuel tanks and a spare tire mounted behind the engine. The chassis had a floor made of Avional (aircraft aluminum) which was used extensively throughout the car and the body had other weight saving features. These included recessed lights which replaced the heavy pop-up mechanisms, fixed perspex as door windows and so on. When finished, the Jota, at 1944 lbs., weighed 800 lbs. less than a Miura.
The engine also was extensively modified, with a 11.5:1 compression ratio, radical camshafts, a split sump (which allowed the use of a ZF limited slip) and dry sump lubrication. The exhaust did not feature any muffling, so the sounds it made must have been glorious.
But not for long. The factory, always operating under the strains of financial hardship, succumbed to an offer they should have refused and sold the car to a dealer. It was soon totaled by the irresponsible act of a mechanic. The occupants recovered from their injuries, but the automotive world was deprived of one of its most fascinating creations.
The Jota's reputation survived however and customers started to ask the factory for Jota modifications. They obliged, and a total of five SVJs were made, with a number of other Miuras receiving Jota mods by the factory after they were delivered. They only featured body modifications however; none were equipped with the engine or chassis upgrades of the orginal Jota. They are often referred to as Jota "replicas" with the distinct advantage that they have factory endorsement.