Over thirty-five years after its introduction, the Testarossa remains a visually stunning expression of Ferrari. Its shocking proportions, particularly the width of the rear track, were driven by the decision to move the radiators from the front of the car to the sides to reduce cabin heat, necessitating what became the car’s visual calling card: the long strakes on the doors and rear fenders. Much of the car’s development was aimed at making the Testarossa more civilized than its Boxer predecessor, addressing contemporary complaints that the Boxer was too raw and insufficiently usable. By that measure, the Testarossa was a success: it was exceptionally high performance but also refined and comfortable. It was a blend that struck a chord with buyers, and over 7,200 examples were built, making it one of Ferrari’s most successful cars of all time.
The Testarossa received minor updates throughout its relatively long production run, and then a major update for the 1992 model year to turn it into the 512 TR. Virtually every system of the car was substantially re-engineered, largely with the goal of addressing complaints that the original Testarossa had forgone a little too much of the visceral excitement that should define a Ferrari. The engine was changed from Bosch CIS to Motronic, the valves enlarged, and the compression ratio increased. The exhaust system was also redesigned and the resulting engine gained approximately 50hp and a broader power curve while also becoming dramatically more responsive and sounding much better. The engine was also moved forward and down in the car, a significant enough change to improve the weight distribution by one percentage point at each axle. The suspension was also revised, the steering ratio quickened, and lower profile tires fitted to go with new 18 inch wheels, an increase of two inches. The brakes were also enlarged and fitted with cross drilled rotors.
The resulting car feels dramatically different before the clutch is even out: its powertrain is much more urgent, and there is a tautness to its responses in all respects which transforms the quiet, civilized feel of the Testarossa into something with genuine sporting urgency.
This particular car is a US car which spent its life in various states, including with its current owner in California for the last 11 years. It has covered 20,000 miles and presents nicely. It has two sets of aftermarket wheels: vintage silver Speedline modular wheels as well as more contemporary black HREs. The car also has a Tubi muffler and a period aftermarket stereo. These changes are easily reversible but collectively give the car a sort of time-warp feeling because the modifications are consistent with how this car would have been modified when new. Included with the car are the HRE wheels as well as the books and partially complete tool set.
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