When Ferrari announced the much-anticipated successor to the 512 BBi at the 1984 Paris Auto Salon, onlookers were immediately struck by the dramatic Pininfarina design, which was backed up by an impressive spec sheet. The new twelve-cylinder flagship was a far cry from the curvaceous 512 BBi, eschewing organic curves for an angular, wedge-shaped profile defined by massive air intakes and those 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 tamped out 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, Ferrari targeted the US market by emphasizing long-distance Grand Touring comfort. 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 – a side-effect of its front-mounted radiators. While the Testarossa was more civilized and refined than the 512 BB, the new car’s wild looks and performance put it squarely in supercar territory. The Testarossa was not only a sales success for Ferrari but also a pop-culture icon, inspiring countless copycats throughout the 80s and 90s and earning its position as an aspirational collector car for an entire generation of motoring enthusiasts.
This outstanding 1990 Testarossa is a documented two-owner car that has covered just over 8,100 miles from new, superbly presented in Rosso Corsa over Beige leather upholstery. This collector-owned example boasts well-documented, comprehensive history, including a recent engine-out belt service, ensuring it is now ready to enjoy on the road. It has original handbooks, ownership history, as well as the factory tool kit with jack.
According to records on hand, this Testarossa came into the care of its first owner, Mr. R. Gallet of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on November 29th, 1990, via Steven Kessler Motor Cars, Inc. of New York, New York. Service records and correspondence show it remained with Mr. Gallet through October 2014, when he traded it to a dealer in Ohio. The most recent owner acquired the car from that dealer in 2015 and has since maintained it in superb condition without regard to cost.
The original red paintwork is in excellent condition, displaying just a few minor imperfections and stone chips consistent for a low-mileage, unrestored example. The accompanying Carfax report shows no history of crash damage. Rolling stock consists of correct original flat-face 5-spoke alloy wheels, shod with Dunlop SP Sports in front and Yokohama tires in the rear, as Testarossa tire sizes were unavailable in matched sets until only recently. The blacked-out exterior trim items such as the rear taillight strakes, engine cover louvers, and rockers are all excellent and display factory-correct finishes.
Inside, the original “tombstone” seats are in outstanding order, with beautiful beige leather offering a pleasing contrast against the dark brown of the dash and door tops. The seats show remarkably little wear, and the dash is free of shrinking or sun damage, further substantiating this car’s low mileage. There is a small area noted on the driver’s seat outer bolster where the stitching has popped due to age, yet the leather remains supple and clean throughout the cabin. Instrumentation and controls are factory-correct items, with a period-correct Sony cassette stereo fitted to the dash behind the original flip-up leather cover.
On the road, this Testarossa feels superb, with excellent ride and handling characteristics. 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. Testarossa values have been on the rise as driving enthusiasts recognize it as one of the best all-around performance cars of the period, balancing 180 mph ability with comfort and practicality for long-distance touring.
The Testarossa was a poster child of the 1980s; its image emblazoned on the bedroom wall of many a budding enthusiast. This superb, collector-quality example is ready to realize that dream, thanks to the attentive care of two passionate owners.
Offers welcome and trades considered