Some cars are lauded for their timeless design- a shape that transcends eras and looks modern and fresh after many decades. The Ferrari Testarossa’s shape would not be considered timeless-instead, it is entirely emblematic of the flamboyant, decadent 1980s and Ferrari’s shot at out-crazying the Lamborghini Countach. When the Testarossa debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 1984, it was a sensation- between its wedge styling and the exaggerated side strakes up the side of the vehicle, it looked like nothing else on the road and made the outgoing 512BBi look instantly outdated. Quickly, the Testarossa became the car of the decade-featured in countless movies and TV shows and was owned and driven by nearly every celebrity at the time. Nearly 10,000 Testarossas were produced between 1984 and 1996, making it one of the most popular Ferraris produced to that point.
Built in 1990, this Ferrari Testarossa is from the final year of Testarossa production before the company moved to the updated 512TR. Finished in the quintessential Ferrari color scheme of Rosso Corsa over tan leather, it is the ultimate vision of the legendary 1980s poster car. Although the overall design of the car stayed the same between 1984 and 1990, a few notable changes were carried out that ultimately made the cars easier to drive and live with. When the car was first on sale in 1984, they were known as the “flying mirror” variant due to its single side view mirror placed high on the driver’s side A-pillar. This looked absolutely stunning and gave it a real concept car for the road feel, but was not especially useful around town- especially considering the Testarossa’s body got so much wider at the rear, fitting into tight spaces was not a simple task. By 1987, the car gained a second mirror and both were put in the standard location at the front corner of the door glass and A-pillar. Additionally, the early cars all featured motorsport style single bolt, center-lock wheels- they looked fantastic but required an extreme amount of torque to remove and replace and made tire changes exceptionally difficult. In 1988, Ferrari put a more standard 5-lug hub on the car with a similar wheel design which is exhibited on this car.
The interior of this Testarossa is optioned with tan and dark brown leather and carpeting throughout. Largely unchanged from the interior of the 1984 car, the cabin is wonderfully airy and open with a large windshield in front of you and small pillars that don’t impede forward visibility. The low slung seats offer plenty of bolstering but are exceptionally comfortable for long drives and hint at the car's grand touring nature.
Mechanically, the Testarossa is powered by Ferrari’s famous horizontally-opposed 12-cylinder engine- first experimented with in Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars, it was then developed for road use starting with the 365 GT4 BB in 1973. In Testarossa specification, the engine displaced 5 liters and utilized a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system which provided smooth, linear acceleration throughout the powerband. Producing 385 horsepower at 6,300 rpm, the Testarossa was easily capable of speeds over 180 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. Showing 13,979 miles at the time of cataloging, this car was the recipient of a belt service less than 1,000 miles ago and has also been treated to an upgraded Scuderia Rampante fuse box replacement which gives the car far greater reliability and does away with one of the Testarossa’s most well known issues.
Thanks to the updates carried out on this example both by Ferrari at the factory and by previous owners, this is the pinnacle of a user-friendly Testarossa. People make many claims about Testarossas being better to look at than they are to drive, but all it takes is one run through the gears with the flat-12 behind you to realize that is not the case. The car has clearly been well kept and the miles are low, but not so low that you will be afraid to drive the value out of it which makes it a perfect vehicle for a road trip down the coast or to run on your favorite road full of wide-open sweeping corners.