Cars

The Ferrari That Defined 1980s Excess Is For Sale

​It wasn’t the fastest car Ferarri produced in the 1980s (that’d be the F40), but the Testarossa was a 400 hp masterclass that embodies everything great about this company. Including its later variants, Ferrari built nearly 10,000 of them, despite a price tag of over $200,000. 

It’s likely that none of those are as pristine as the one you’re looking at, which is going under the hammer at RM’s Monterey auction with just 95 miles on the clock.

Those slats in front of the cooling vents on the door and quarter panel became so classic that they’ve been copied a million times—they’re almost always referred to as Testarossa slats. The low-slung nose and the sloping lines combined for just the right amount of hard angles to create a car that never quite settled down...much like a plot for Miami Vice, which featured a white Testarossa.

Just look at the way the side slats feed in thematically to the hood and the rear lights. Someone must have had a lot of fun with a ruler during the design. 

As with most Ferraris, the Testarossa name is taken from the engine itself. Taking a pointer from the legendary 250 Testa Rossa of the 1950s, the 4.9 L flat 12 engine’s cylinder heads are topped with red covers, hence the name Testarossa—Italian for redhead.

Inside, the car is everything you’d expect from a proper Italian grand touring machine: plenty of leather and Ferrari’s iconic gated shifter. All you need in life, really. 

Bonus Round: you could get your very own Testarossa luggage. Supposedly it fits in the car, too, successfully rounding off that whole grand tourer theme.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. His very first model car was a 1:18 scale Bburago Testarossa.