Thank goodness Ferrari isn’t British then, as the “Ferrari Ginger” doesn’t have nearly the same ring to it…I’ve gotten quite adept over the years at spotting cars out of the corner of my eye while sitting at a light, snapping my hand down, grabbing the phone, pulling it up, turning it on and snapping off a couple of shots while barely aiming it between the other cars in the way, all before my wife often even has an inkling as to what is going on. And so it was a few days ago on a hot summer morning as I spotted a great example of every 1980’s schoolboy’s fantasy car turning left in front of me.
The above shot is my first one, of course the Ferrari somehow gets lost between the two other coincidentally red cars framing it but still manages to look exciting and different from everything else. The lead shot is a crop of my second shot, seen in full below.
Released in 1984, the Testarossa (resurrecting the 1950’s Testa Rossa’s name) was released sporting the red cylinder heads that gave both their name. The Testarossa basically replaced the Berlinetta Boxer in the lineup and with its flat-12 engine that produced 385hp and 354lb-ft of torque went to the top of the supercar charts as back in 1984 these were astounding numbers. Of course the car’s calling cards didn’t stop at the engine, those side strakes were instantly the talk of the automotive world and the rear end (‘dat ass) was wider than anything else in recent memory. Two years after introduction, anyone who hadn’t seen it so far became familiar with it when “Miami Vice” got a white one starting with the 1986 season. Only in Miami would a white Testarossa somehow work.
I can’t pin down the exact year of this red one, but the 1986-on US-market CHMSL is visible recessed into the engine cover, during the 1988 model year is when they received 5-lug wheels as opposed to the knockoffs, and by 1992 the black bits around the bottom became body color. So I’ll call it an ’89 unless someone else knows something I don’t (always possible).
With around 10,000 built (if including the renamed and somewhat re-engineered 512TR and F512M versions from 1992-1996) it still ranks as one of Ferrari’s highest production models. Perhaps seen as a little gauche by the mid 2000’s, they’ve been making a comeback over the last few years as a marvelous example of 1980’s excess and exuberance. While I’m not a Ferrari connoisseur per se, I certainly tend to take notice every time I see one and especially these. Might as well end this one with a little clip of Sonny Crockett and his little white car wheeling around Miami to Phil Collins’ best song.
Curbside Classic: Ferrari Testarossa – The Thrill Is Gone, For Now by Paul Niedermeyer