King of the Road – Ferrari Testarossa

Ferrari TestarossaWords by Raj Hunjan with contributions by Joseph Zaffarese

Logo for Issue 7

The Ferrari Testarossa was unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show, as the successor to the Berlinetta Boxer. It was a necessary replacement that solved two major issues with the BB, excessive cabin heating and compliance with US safety and emissions regulations. The Testarossa was a completely new car designed by Pininfarina. Testarossa means ‘red head’ and it was named this because of its red cam covers. It wasn’t the first time a Ferrari used this name for their sportscars. The 1956 500 Testa Rossa and the 1958 250 Testa Rossa were successful racing cars that are now in the top echelons of the collectors car market. So even the name puts the 80’s Testarossa in good company. The Testarossa is the epitome of 80’s excess, the poster car of choice, alongside the Lamborghini Countach. To own a Testarossa was the dream of many a petrol head in the 80’s. The Testarossa was fitted with a flat-12 engine 5 litre engine which not only sounds glorious but also produces around 390 bhp.

I’ve owned my Testarossa for three years now, a 1986 US specification model painted in Rossa Corsa with a Crema leather interior. These early cars are known colloquially as “the flying mirror” for their unique single wing mirror mounted on the windscreen pillar. This was only present on earlier cars, in 1987 they relocated the drivers wing mirror to the top of the door, like most other cars and also fitted a matching passenger side mirror too. The single mirror models are more collectable and really make the car stand out from other Ferrari models.

Ferrari Testarossa Investment Car-3Unequivocally, the car’s design drew me in. Being a teenager in the 1980’s, the Testarossa left an indelible image on my mind. It is one of the most beautiful cars ever designed and certainly one of Ferrari’s boldest efforts. It is an icon and will remain so in my opinion. I also considered the Lamborghini Countach. It’s the only car you can compare the Testarossa too! Like the Countach, the Testarossa was the supercar that defined a generation. I always wanted a Testarossa and when the opportunity came to buy one in exquisite original condition – I didn’t hesitate at snapping it up.

The general buzz is that these cars are about to take off in terms of value and auction results seem to bear this out. The generation that adored these cars is reaching an age where they can afford them. The Testarossa is also enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the print media over the last year, with various publications predicting a rise in values. Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.

Why buy one?

★Flat-12 engine is a masterpiece, a true Ferrari great.
★Pre’87 cars are sought after for their unique single mirror setup.
★Poster car for many children and adults in the 80’s.

Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.

Ferrari Testarossa Investment Car-2Model History

Full production history of the car can be found in the magazine.

Ideal Specification

Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.

Buying one

Prices for the Testarossa are extremely varied, with mileage and number of owners being the biggest factors. Our recommendation is to buy a early single wing mirror Testarossa with a comprehensive service history. Most cars that come up for sale are later models, but occasionally early models are advertised. Full valuation details and examples on the market found in the magazine.

Parts Analysis

Prices for the Testarossa are extremely varied, with mileage and number of owners being the biggest factors. Our recommendation is to buy a early single wing mirror Testarossa with a comprehensive service history. Most cars that come up for sale are later models, but occasionally early models are advertised. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.

Buying Checkpoints

The flat 12 engine needs to be regularly maintained and run on a regular basis. White smoke on start up is fine as long as it disappears quickly. On the test drive the car should feel extremely powerful. Check the condition of the radiators and if they have recently been recored, as this is a costly job if required. Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.

To view an example full feature article click here.

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