From the moment Ferrari took the covers off its much-anticipated 512 BBi replacement, the motoring press and the average petrolhead alike were enthralled with this arresting new 12-cylinder flagship. The brilliant team at Pininfarina took a sharp detour from the curvaceous 512 BBi, eschewing organic curves for an angular, wedge-shaped profile defined by massive air intakes and eye-popping side strakes. Even the name – Testarossa – raised eyebrows among the press and marque loyalists. For many Tifosi, the name was the sacred reserve of Ferrari’s legendary sports racing car, and to see it applied to road-going mid-engined GT came as a surprise. But mutterings of blasphemy were quickly put to rest as the Testarossa’s specs were made public. The 48-valve flat-12 powered supercar made 385 horsepower, could sprint to 60 in five seconds, and go on to a top speed of 180 miles per hour, all while cosseting occupants in an exceptionally refined cabin.
With the Testarossa, US-market eligibility was critical, as the 512 BBi’s Gray Market status undoubtedly hampered sales. Equally critical was occupant comfort and practicality, as Ferrari positioned the Testarossa as a luxurious high-performance grand tourer. While it was more civilized and refined than the 512 BB, the Testarossa’s wild looks and performance ensured its supercar cred. The wide rear track and huge air scoops were necessary to feed the side-mounted radiators, which opened up space for a proper front trunk and eliminated the cockpit heat-soak issues that plagued the BB with its front-mounted radiators. The Testarossa became a sales success and a pop-culture icon, inspiring countless copycats throughout the 80s and 90s.
This 1991 Testarossa is a late-production example, and one of the last batch of cars built before the arrival of the revised 512 TR in late 1991. A European spec model, this car is finished in an appealing and rarely-seen combination of Nero Metallizzato over beautiful red leather upholstery. It has covered 52,000 KM (~32,000 miles) and is in excellent condition throughout.
The metallic black paint is especially attractive, suiting the Testarossa’s angular lines exceptionally well. It is in good condition all around, with consistent finish quality and factory-appropriate panel fit. A few minor touchups and imperfections are noted on close inspection. The cabin is in excellent order, with beautiful red leather covering the seats, door cards, and rear parcel shelf and is complemented by red carpets and a black dash/console. Instrumentation and controls are factory-correct items, with a period-correct Alpine cassette stereo fitted to the dash behind the original flip-up leather cover. A factory jack bag is included.
Lifting the engine cover reveals the 5-liter flat-twelve with its signature cast alloy plenums and red-painted cam covers, which signify the “quattrovalvole” cylinder heads. This car’s engine bay is orderly, clean, and unaltered from standard spec. It is being sold with a fresh, comprehensive service, including cam belts and fuel pumps and accumulators, as well as AC service.
On the road, this Testarossa feels superb, with excellent ride and handling characteristics. Rolling stock consists of correct original flat-face 5-spoke alloy wheels, shod with brand new Pirelli P Zero’s. Despite the wild looks, it is happy to tool around town while the mighty flat-twelve patiently awaits a healthy dollop of throttle. It is a surprisingly practical supercar, thanks to air conditioning, electric windows, a spacious boot, and the refinement of Bosch fuel injection.
As cars of the 80s and 90s rise to the forefront of the collector market, the case can be made for the Ferrari Testarossa being one of the most desirable supercars of the era, balancing 180 mph ability with comfort and practicality for long-distance touring. This fine example represents an excellent opportunity to add an icon of the period to your stable.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7284
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