• Finished in seldom seen Nero
• Factory manuals and books and window sticker
• Recent, comprehensive engine-out service
• Ferrari flagship for almost a decade
4.94 litre DOHC 48-valve flat-12 engine rated at 380 HP, manual five-speed gearbox with transaxle, independent front and rear suspension with unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, front and rear disc brakes; wheelbase: 100.4"
Few cars epitomize the go-go years of the 1980s like the Ferrari Testarossa. Paying homage to the successful 500 and 250 Testarossa series of sports racing cars from the late fifties, the name Testa Rossa is Italian for “Red Head” and refers to the color of the camshaft covers on the racing models. Debuting at the 1984 Paris Auto Salon, the Testarossa was striking in appearance and was a radical departure from the traditional styling of the time. Longtime Ferrari coachbuilder Pininfarina set out to not only design a car that created a bold visual statement, but also improved upon the earlier 512 Berlinetta Boxer. Although the Testarossa retained the basic mid-engine flat-12 cylinder design of the Boxer, the similarities ended there.
Innovative features included repositioning the radiators to the sides on the rear of the car rather than in the nose as in the previous Boxer. This eliminated the buildup of heat in the cabin of the earlier car, but it also necessitated a significantly wider rear track giving the Testarossa its wide hips and iconic “cheese grater” side strakes leading to the radiator openings. The bodywork was mainly aluminum with steel doors and roof built on the traditional tubular frame, but many of the traditional styling features such as the signature round taillights were changed, ushering in a new look for the Ferrari line to come. Having been designed as a world market car from the outset, the Testarossa was available in right or left hand drive form and, more importantly, it was the first 12-cylinder Ferrari produced for the USA market in over a decade.
The Testarossa utilized the same basic flat-12 cylinder engine of its predecessor, but it was the first to incorporate four valve cylinder heads. Producing 380 horsepower, it was the most powerful engine offered on a production sports car at the time of the Testarossa’s launch. Needless to say, performance was very brisk, but the Testarossa was also infinitely more comfortable and practical than its predecessor.
The first Testarossas would not make it to these shores until mid year in 1985, but the car was an instant success with both the press and the public, despite the long waiting list and hefty sticker price. By the time production concluded in 1991, it had established itself as one of Ferrari’s most popular and most successful models ever. Posters of the Testarossa adorned the bedroom walls of many a young man, and it was featured on the cover of Road & Track magazine no less than nine times in just five years.
Ferraris have long been featured in films, but it was TV where the Testarossa became a star. Ferrari famously sued the production company of the hit series ‘Miami Vice’ for their use of a fake Ferrari Daytona in the show. A resolution involved Ferrari of North America providing two new Ferrari Testatrossas for use in the show beginning in season 3. The cars originally delivered were black with tan interiors, but the producers decided that the dark colors washed out when filming at night and the decision was made to repaint the cars white. If not for that fact, the Testarossa offered here would have been identical to the star of the show.
Finished in the beautiful Nero (black), this Testarossa really stand outs from the many typical red examples. Although listed as a 1988 Testarossa, this later production example is often referred to as an “88 1/2 model” due to the many numerous changes made to the design during production. With just over 14,000 careful miles, it is in excellent condition showing almost no wear. More importantly, this car has benefitted from careful maintenance and regular service as required. Of supreme importance to any collector is the fact that a comprehensive service to include the critical replacement of the timing belts has been performed. Additionally, the coolant hoses were replaced with new units, all the fluids were changed, and new tires were installed on the car. This Testarossa retains all of its factory books and manuals as well as its original window sticker. The car comes from a private collection, and the owner states that the car runs and drives beautifully and requires nothing at this time. While the Testarossa was never actually designed as a race car, it is a very capable and much more comfortable grand tourer. With its iconic styling and storied pedigree, a Testarossa such as this is a must-have for any serious Italian collection.
1988 Ferrari Testarossa