The 12-cylinder mid-engine Testarossa was first presented to the public at both the Paris Motor Show and the Lido nightclub, in October 1984. It went into production immediately as being the first Ferrari designed for the United States where the strict regulations on passive safety and pollution had a profound effect on the North American market. Extensive trials at the designer and builder Pininfarina's modern wind tunnel helped to develop the car's shape but left little freedom for artistic inspiration, as the drag coefficient and above all high-speed downforce were given greater priority in its specifications. It was capable of travelling at close to 300 km/h, comfortably and with disconcerting ease. The Ferrari flat-12 mid-mounted 4.9 litre (4,943 cc or 301.6 cu in) engine in the North American Testarossa made 380 bhp at 5750rpm, and 354lbs-ft at 4500rpm, could go up to 390 hp in European models.
Ferrari never developed the Testarossa into a spider version for production. The only one Spider was built for Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli. A handful of wealthy collectors who, wanting to own a convertible version of this sublime model, commissioned derivatives from coachbuilders and tuners such as Richard Straman (12), Koenig, Lorenz & Rankl (5), Scuderia Baldini (1) and Pavesi (2), are just some examples. Pininfarina also undertook 5 (some reports say 11) special orders, principally for the Sultan of Brunei, built as right-hand drive cars.
1986 Ferrari Testarossa Spider Valeo
This particular Ferrari Testarossa (Chassis #ZFFTA30B000062897) is exceptional for being unique. It was built specially by Pinifarina at Maranello for l'Avvocado Gianni Agnelli, to mark the anniversary of his taking over the multinational company FIAT S.p.A. The colour is silver with white interior and it has a dark blue stripe at the bottom and a white top. It's colour was not a random choice, but chosen because AG (for Agnelli Gianni) is the symbol for silver in the periodic table. The car is highlighted with elegant " Blu 3282 " bands and " Blu 168 " carpets.
A serious car accident in his youth had left Gianni Agnelli with a slight problem with his left leg. There was also a very special gear-change system in this Testarossa: by pressing one of the buttons on the central console, between the two seats, the clutch pedal retracts and gives way to a Valeo system, an automatic system of changing gear that had been developed to allow Agnelli to use the gearbox more comfortably. On this Testarossa, the driver therefore has the choice of changing gear manually or, by pressing a button, activating the Valeo electronic clutch system. The system for lowering the roof has also been cleverly thought out, featuring a hood that folds easily under an integrated hard tonneau cover. (artcurial.com, en.wikipedia.org, emotionautoprestige.com, red-headed.com & supercars.net)
(Photos from artcurial.com, petrolicious.com & autoevolution.com)
Ferrari Testarossa (1984–91)
With a top speed of 180 mph, the Ferrari Testarossa was a formidable beast able to achieve 0-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. It achieved 0-100 mph in 11.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds. (conceptcarz.com)
(Photos from artcurial.com, autoevolution.com, topgear.com & en.wheelsage.org)