Theme Week: A Tribute to Sergio Pininfarina: 1987 Ferrari Testarossa

A high point in Sergio Pininfarina's career was the Ferrari Testarossa, introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1984. The car was a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer and its name stood for red head in Italian, a reference to the car's red cam covers and a tribute to the Testa Rossa GT cars of the late 1950s and early 1960s. One of the most instantly recognizable Ferraris of all time, the trademark side strakes feeding the radiators and wide rear section made a dramatic styling statement in an era where such brash aesthetics were welcomed. This car is for sale in California and underwent a major service in early 2008.

1987 Ferrari Testarossa

1987 Ferrari Testarossa, VIN: ZFFSG17A1H0069267, Rosso Corsa with Tan Leather

Upon its introduction in late 1984, the Testarossa stunned the world with its avant garde styling. Long low and wide, the Testarossa appeared even more so thanks to the extensive use of horizontal slatting, a feature that would be replicated both on other Ferraris and on many other lesser cars. Yet beneath these striking features was a surprisingly organic and handsome form that remains as arresting today as it was twenty years ago. Motivated by a new four valve version of Ferrari`s horizontally opposed twelve cylinder engine that made 390hp, the car was quick and made fantastic noises, but was also very plush with leather almost everywhere, including on the rear shelf, headliner, and visors. The trunk is reasonably sized and the car very comfortable and easy to drive, making it an ideal way to cover long distances at high speeds in comfort. Many Testarossa owners use them regularly and there are many owners with cars having covered over 125,000 miles, and even an example with over 200,000 miles!

This particular car has covered just 25,000 miles, and was sold new in California. In the hands of the present owner since 1992, it has enjoyed a single ownership period for nearly its entire life. In January of 2008, at 24,464 (just 1,100 miles ago), a major engine-out belt service was completed by Alfamilano Inc in Los Angeles, California, which totaled $8,610.90 including the replacement of the hood struts, recharging the air conditioning system, and replacing the shifter cover seal to the transaxle. It is current on its service at this time.

The car is in good mechanical order, and runs and drives well. Cosmetically, it is best described as a nice driver, as there are a handful of minor paint and body blemishes about the car, typical of 25 year old automobiles. The interior is very nice, benefiting from the car’s low mileage. The dash exhibits minimal shrinkage, which is common to Ferrari of this era. The front carpets have been replaced with lambs wool overlays. Both the carpeted front storage area, and the engine bay, are in beautiful condition. This car sits on factory wheels, which are in good condition. Included with the sale are the books, tools, jack, bulb set, and records for the Alfamilano Inc. major service.

This is a great opportunity to acquire one of these very neat and important cars. Their astonishing styling still carries tremendous impact, and they are modern, practical, and easy enough to drive to use on a regular basis. This car has been in California for most of its life and represents a great way to enjoy the Ferrari experience as often as possible for the new owner. Moreover, with values of these cars stabilized and are beginning to go up, lower mileage examples such as this one can be a rationally appealing proposition as well.

An average Testarossa of this vintage will usually bring around $55,000 to $60,000, with the best examples glancing the $70,000 mark. Given that one owner possessed this car for about 20 years, this would be a good car to buy. Even though it hasn't covered many miles since the service, time is not kind to any machine of this caliber. A service could be lurking in another few years, the price of which should be factored in to the purchase price.


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