Cue the Jan Hammer-tune and think back of the 80s action series Miami Vice.
What is the first thing you remember? …. Indeed, a white Ferrari Testarossa or a black 365 GTS/4.
The black 365 GTS/4 were Corvette-based replica’s, because initially Ferrari didn’t want to collaborate. Luckily, in the 3rd season Ferrari delivered two Testarossas in exchange for the 365 GTS/4 replicas to be demolished.
Originally black, they were repainted in white, presumably to stand out better in the night scenes.
The Ferrari Testarossa was revealed at the 1984 Paris Motor Show. Testarossa was Italian for “Red head” and referred to the red painted cylinder heads. And its task was to improve the flaws of the 512 BBi.
In the 512 BBi the cabin became very hot due to the conduits running from the front radiator to the engine in the back. And luggage space was very limited.
The Testarossa solved these issues with a longer wheelbase, resulting in a larger storage compartment beneath the hood and extra luggage space behind the front seats. While a higher roofline resulted in more head room.
The heat problem was solved by mounting two radiators on each side of the rear mid-engine, which drew air from the large side intakes. Due to regulations regarding large holes in cars, the iconic strakes were added. They’re also known as “egg slicers” or “cheese graters”. This twin radiator setup resulted in a very wide rear, which was even more emphasised by the horizontal fins covering the entire back.
No rear spoiler was needed (unlike the Countach), because the air, sucked in at the sides, ran through the radiators, went up and left the car through the ventilation holes in the engine lid and tail. Resulting in zero lift at the rear axle.
The early models (1984-1986) featured a single side rear view mirror, mounted high on the A-pillar at the driver’s side. On later models a passenger side rear view mirror was added and both were located at the regular position.
The 4.9 litre flat-12 engine produced 390 hp and launched the Testarossa from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds with a top speed of 290 km/h (180 mph). The transmission was always a five-speed manual.
7177 Testarossas were built from 1984 to 1991 until the 512 TR replaced it.
This 1998 Testarossa is originally white (100 Bianco Fer), which makes it certainly stand out besides the obligate red and black ones. The car is from Monaco, has only 41,000 km mileage and features a black leather interior with red carpets.
For me the Testarossa has three distinct characteristics:
1. The popup head lamps embedded in the low nose with the black front spoiler.
2. The side crates which transform into the wide rear wheel arches.
3. The horizontal styled rear end with the black louvres.
Of course the engine and handling are also impressive but purely from a visual point of view these features make up such an impressive super car which even today attracts many admiring looks. And the white paint gives such extra contrast with the black front spoiler and dark rear, that I’m reconsidering red as my favourite Testarossa colour. As you can see from the pictures, the car looks fantastic from each angle and is in my opinion much better looking than its direct successors (the 512 TR and F512 M).
The price (€ 170,000) is in sync with the current market prices (especially if you look at the pristine condition). And it is also a lot cheaper than the Miami Vice Testarossas of which one was up for sale last year for $ 1.75 million. And this one is original white, not a black one painted white!
This Ferrari Testarossa is being offered by Auto Leitner (NL).