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Lot 478: Ferrari Testarossa

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams (3 June 2012)

A sports car with race breeding which worthily continued the illustrious name of the great 1950's sports racing Testa Rossa (literally 'red head' in Italian), Ferrari's fabulously quick 1980's road car was designed to rival Lamborghini's Countach for presence and performance. The flagship for the Maranello company in the 1980s, the Testarossa was debuted at the 1984 Paris Salon, entering full production later that year. With its instantly recognizable gill slats leading air to its side-mounted radiators, the Pininfarina-designed Testarossa succeeded brilliantly. Dimensionally larger than its 512 BB predecessor, the Testarossa combined high down force with a low coefficient of drag, the resulting handling enabling the 'boxer' 5-litre flat-12 engine with its 390bhp to be used to its maximum effect. With four-valve heads, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and Magnetti Marelli Microplex ignition, the Testarossa's flat-12 was both more powerful and easier to live. With a top speed of 290km/h, only the likes of Porsche's 959 and Ferrari's own F40 could show it a clean pair of heels. Although race-bred, cabin luxuries included air conditioning, electrically-adjustable seats, tilting steering wheel and luxurious leather appointments. Demand for this supercar ensured a permanent waiting list and significant premiums over list price were regularly sought and achieved for new models. Indicative of the Testarossa's appeal, the model outsold the old BB by a ratio of five to one, with almost 5,700 made before the revamped 512TR appeared in 1992. The car offered here was an original European specification car which was collected from the factory by its first owner, Arthur Damast of Locust Cove, NY and it remained with him until last year. Over the course of his 25 years of ownership his use was modest with the result that it had covered only 16,4000kms, a fact which is supported by CarFax. As with many cars the great benefit of long term ownership, particularly from the earliest days, is that cars retain the package with which they were originally supplied. This car is no exception and retains all of its original books as well as factory tool kit. It has also received a major service within the last 700 miles of its use. It is perhaps difficult to believe that more than a quarter of a century has passed since the avant garde Testarossa was first seen on the public roads. Such anniversaries have a habit of drawing interest to icons and an appreciation commonly follows, a factor which seems to be affecting recent rise in the prices of these cars. This with its low mileage, full books and tools represents a great example of this increasingly collectible Ferrari.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
TypeCar
Lot Number478
Estimate$55000-$65000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$37000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$43290
Year1986
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberZFFTA17B000064545
Engine number00651
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2