Ferrari’s flagship model of the 1980s, the Testarossa, revived a famous name from the Italian manufacturer’s past when it arrived in 1984. A car of abnormal design and performance, the new Testarossa was born to stupefy, as was clear from the day of its unveiling: instead of one of the traditional motor shows, Ferrari chose the stage of the famous Paris Lido nightclub for the new model’s launch. A ‘next generation’ Berlinetta Boxer, the Testarossa retained its predecessor’s amidships-mounted, 5.0-liter, flat-12 cylinder engine, which now boasted a maximum power output raised to 390bhp at 6,300rpm, courtesy of four-valve cylinder heads. Despite the power increase, smoothness and drivability were enhanced, the car possessing excellent top gear flexibility allowing for a maximum speed in excess of 180mph.
Rivaling Lamborghini’s Countach for presence, the Pininfarina-designed Testarossa succeeded brilliantly. Its side gill slats, which fed air to its side-mounted radiators, instantly became one of the modern era’s most recognizable styling devices. A larger car than the 512BB – the increase in width being necessary to accommodate wider tires – the Testarossa managed the trick of combining high downforce with a low co-efficient of drag, its body design being notable for the absence of extraneous spoilers and other devices. Luxury touches in the well-equipped cabin included air conditioning, electrically adjustable seats, tilting steering wheel and plentiful leather. Detail improvements were made regularly throughout the Testarossa’s seven-year production run, one of the first being the adoption of dual door mirrors. One of the most recognizable and iconic models from the Italian company, the Testarossa would grace many young car enthusiasts’ bedroom walls in poster form during the late 1980s.
Finished at the Maranello Ferrari works in October of 1989, the penultimate but one year of Testarossa production. Having covered a modest 55,000km form new this wonderful example is typically styled as it should be in Rosso Corsa.