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Entering production on 18th April 1988 and completed ten days later 28th April. The car was finished in Rosso Corsa with crema hide and dark red carpets. Upon completion the car was delivered to the UK by truck to Maranello Concessionaires in Thorpe Surrey. First registered *** ** on 9th June 1988 to 53-year-old New Zealand businessman, property developer and philanthropist Sir M D of Wellington, New Zealand by Maranello Concessionaires. Originally purchased on a tax-free basis via the New Zealand Ferrari agents Torino Motors, the car never left the U.K, and the duty was paid, hence the car being fitted with a kilometre. The then list price was £89,700 plus delivery charges, number plates and road tax.
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The Paris Motor Show in October 1984 saw the return of the glorious Testarossa as heir to the 512 BBi. Pininfarina’s design broke somewhat with tradition and was striking and innovative. The side intakes were larger than on the previous model and this constraint saw the introduction of the long side strakes that would become the Testarossa’s most recognisable feature.
The evolution of the 12-cylinder boxer engine saw it equipped with four valves per cylinder: the most powerful engine mounted on a production sports car at the time of its launch. The Testarossa was a model that took its name from the company’s history, being derived from the successful 500 and 250 Testa Rossa series of sports racing cars from the late fifties.
The name Testa Rossa is Italian for Red Head and refers to the colour that the camshaft covers were painted on the sports racing models. Naturally the modern bearer of the name followed suit with red painted camshaft covers. It made its debut in the glittering surroundings of the Lido nightclub on the Champs Elysées in Paris, on the eve of the 1984 Paris Salon, where invited press and guests were given a gala preview prior to its public launch the following day.
The Pininfarina designed replacement for the Boxer series was visually radically different from its predecessor, although it still featured a mid-mounted flat twelve engine as its motive power. Gone was the sharp-nosed wedge profile, to be replaced by a much softer rounded front end. The front wings flowed into one of the models most distinctive styling features, the deeply straked door panels that grew in width towards their trailing edge, before blending into very wide rear wings. At the rear, the paired circular tail light arrangement that had been a styling feature for over a decade was gone. In their place was a full width horizontally slatted satin black louvre hiding rectangular combination light units.
The reason for the great rear girth and the body colour straked door louvres, was the twin side mounted water radiators which received their cooling air via the door intakes. The matt black egg crate “grille” in the nose of the car was a dummy to provide a link with Ferrari tradition, bordered by combination driving, side, turn indicator light assemblies, with paired headlights in retractable pods on the upper face of the nose. The repositioning of the radiators provided the benefit of additional luggage space in the nose, useable luggage space being something that had been a shortcoming of the Boxer series. Although the front track was only 12mm greater than that of the 512 BBi, the rear track increased by a massive 105mm, making the car wedge shape in plan rather than in profile.
One of the styling features that drew mixed reactions was the single exterior mirror mounted on the driver’s side screen pillar. Some people felt that the long twin aerodynamic support arms gave an unbalanced effect to the car, and a number of owners “corrected” it by adding a matching unit to the passenger side pillar. From the Geneva Salon in 1997, the single pillar mounted mirror was replaced by similarly styled paired units, mounted in the lower front corners of the door glass.
The bodies were mounted on a 2550mm wheelbase chassis that had factory reference number F 110 AB 100, with early cars in the odd chassis number road car sequence and later cars in the continuous number sequence. The construction followed the Ferrari principle of a tubular steel chassis frame with cross bracing, and sub structures, to support the engine, suspension, and ancillary equipment. The bodywork was mainly aluminium with steel doors and roof. The model was available in right- or left-hand drive form, and for the first time in a decade a USA market 12-cylinder Ferrari was produced, the Testarossa having been designed as a world market car from the outset. The standard road wheels were five spoke “star” pattern alloy, initially with a single central chrome plated nut on a Rudge hub, which was replaced by five bolts fixing during 1988, with concurrent changes to the interior trim.
The model also featured a return to the unequal size front and rear road wheel rim widths, with 8J x 16″ front wheels and 10J x 16″ rear wheels, plus a space saver spare wheel in the front compartment. The wheels covered large, ventilated disc brakes with twin hydraulic circuits, and servo assistance. All round independent suspension was via wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers, with twin rear units plus front and rear anti roll bars.
The engine was the first four valves per cylinder flat twelve-cylinder configuration unit fitted in a Ferrari Road car, but maintained the same cubic capacity of 4943cc, and 82mm x 78mm bore and stroke, of the 512 BBi model, and had factory type reference number F 113 A 000. It had twin belt driven overhead camshafts per bank, now driven directly off the crankshaft instead of via idler gears on the earlier Boxer models. The dry sump engine was longitudinally mounted in unit with the five-speed transmission, in a very similar manner to that of the preceding Boxer series. It was fitted with a Marelli Microplex MED 120 B electronic ignition system and Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, to produce a claimed 390bhp @ 6300rpm for European models, and 380bhp @ 5750rpm for US market models.
The model remained in production with very few visual alterations for seven years until the end of 1991, when it was replaced by the 512 TR, during which time 7177 examples were built in the chassis number range 53081 to 91923. A single spider example, with full folding roof, was built for the personal use of Fiat supremo Gianni Agnelli.
Taken from Ferrari’s own website
Whenever great Ferraris are being discussed the name Testa Rossa is inevitably brought up. Exactly why Ferrari chose to use red paint on the cam covers of the new 2-litre 4-cylinder sports/racing Ferrari of 1956 and call the car the 500 "Testa Rossa" (literally, "red head") is not known. But the distinctive engine feature and the name was continued when, in late 1957, the 250 Testa Rossa, a 3-litre V-12, was introduced. The Testa Rossa provided some of Ferrari's greatest moments on the racetracks of the world. In a continuing homage to the past (the names Mondial and GTO had already been resurrected), it came as no surprise that Ferrari would recycle the name Testa Rossa.
The new Testarossa (why the name was now one word instead of two is another mystery) was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in October of 1984. Unlike its ancestral namesakes, it was not intended for racing, but rather for normal road use. But in its own way it was a very important model for Ferrari as, among other things, it took the legendary 12-cylinder Ferrari back to America on an official basis. It had been over ten years since Ferrari had last had a 12-cylinder car, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, available for sale on that side of the Atlantic.
At first observation the new Testarossa looked to be nothing more than a continuation of the Berlinetta Boxer series. Closer examination of the particulars, however, revealed that such was not the case.
There was no doubt that the styling of the Testarossa was a complete departure from the old BB aesthetics. Designed, of course, by Pininfarina, the Testarossa's shape relied heavily on aerodynamic considerations. One early observer of the shape made note of the fact that the shape was noticeably devoid of such aerodynamic devices as wings. "The whole car is a wing," he stated, which was verified by the CZ (negative lift) and CX (aerodynamic coefficient) numbers. Even the rear-view mirror's design was studied in the wind tunnel. Some of the stylistic features were also dictated by the revised layout of the chassis. For numerous reasons, such as better balance, cockpit comfort and increased luggage space the engine cooling radiators were moved from the front to the centre rear of the car. This in turn led to the distinctive finned air intakes on the flanks. But as with any car designed by Pininfarina, aesthetics were also a major consideration. As a result, the design of the new Testarossa was both pleasing and efficient.
Mechanically the car was also virtually brand new while retaining the basic architecture of the BB's - that is a flat-12 "boxer" motor of just under five litres mounted just ahead of the rear axle, and a typical Ferrari tubular chassis. But the motor had been significantly improved. First of all, it was some 20-kg (45 pounds) lighter. Secondly, it produced significantly more horsepower (up from 340 to 390 in European specification, 380 for the U.S.A) and more torque than before.
Much of this improvement could be attributed to the adaptation of the four valves per cylinder technology derived from the Formula One engines and introduced in 1982 on the 308 Quattrovalvole. Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection and Microplex type ignition completed the package. Not only was the engine more powerful, it was also more fuel efficient and as a result also cleaner, making it easier to bring into compliance with U.S.A regulations.
Interior comfort was likewise enhanced. Moving the radiators to the rear helped keep the cockpit cooler and allowed for a front air vent. The interior was in full Connolly leather, the seat backs were infinitely adjustable, and the steering wheel was now also adjustable. The dash layout was redesigned with only the main instruments being located in front of the driver. The odometer, fuel indicator and oil temperature gauges, along with the clock, were located on the upper console, while the lower console contained the various control switches and knobs. Of course, all amenities such as air conditioning, power windows, etc. were standard.
An increase in wheelbase, from 2500mm to 2550mm, was required by moving the water and oil tanks from the front to the centre rear and relocating the petrol tank to between the engine and the cockpit. This, of course, further improved the balance of the car.
The suspension was "near race-quality" with tubular steel double wishbones, helical springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabiliser bars front and rear. The disc brakes were 12 inches in diameter (but no ABS). The five-spoke centre-lock 16" alloy wheels (ignoring the metric wheels for Michelin TRX tyres) were 8" and 10" wide front and rear. The rack and pinion steering was not power assisted. Finally, the five-speed plus reverse gearbox with limited slip differential had a hydraulically operated clutch whose diameter was increased from 81/2" to 91/2".
The Testarossa proved to be very popular, helped by its impressive performance - the factory figures of 178 mph top speed and 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds were easily confirmed by magazine road testers who likewise praised the car's driveability. In fact, it is hard to find any negative comments. The most common concerns were the size (it was quite wide) and the typical Ferrari anachronisms.
It became the all-time best-selling Ferrari model during its seven full years of production with 7,183 units made (some sources place the figure as high as 7,589). Of these just under 2,000 were made for the North American market. The production run, from October 1984 until the end of 1991, happened to coincide with the great boom in the Ferrari market. Although detail improvements were constantly being made throughout the production run of the Testarossa, only two really noticeable changes took place during the seven years. In late 1986 the single, high-mounted, rear-view mirror gave way to new, low-mounted, dual mirrors which, in turn, required a rearrangement of the console controls.
According to a factory technical bulletin, the last of the single mirror cars was S/No.67077 and the first of the dual mirror cars was S/No.67079. Then, in early 1988, the centre-lock wheels were replaced by five-bolt wheels. Again, according to factory technical bulletins, the first Testarossa’s to receive the new five-bolt wheels were S/No.75997 (RHD), S/No.75998 (USA) and S/No.76004 (LHD European).
EXTERIOR COLOURS LEATHER COLOURS
Bianco White Crema VM3997 Cream
Giallo Yellow Beige VM3234 Beige
Rosso Corsa Racing Red Naturale VM3218 Natural
Nero Black Cuoio VM 846 Saddle
Argento met. Silver metallic Testa di moro VM890 Dark Brown
Verde tenue met. Clear green met Bianco VM 100 White
Verde chiaro met. Light green met. Rosso VM 3171 Red
Verde scuro met. Dark green met. Nero VM 8500 Black
Marrone met. Brown met. Blu VM 3282 Blue
Prugna met. Prune met. Blue nuvola VM 3015 Light blue
Oro chiaro met. Light gold met.
Rosso met. Red met.
Grigio fumo met. Smoke grey met. CARPET COLOURS
Nero met. Black met. Nero Black
Blu chiaro met. Light blue met. Rosso Red
Blu sera met. Evening blue met. Testa di moro Dark Brown
Azzurro met. Sky blue met. Blu Blue
Blu medio met. Medium blue met. Castoro Beaver
Taken from Ferrari Market Letter Vol.20 No.24
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