Ferrari Testarossa (1984-1992)

The Ferrari Testarossa was launched back in 1984 and was the height of 80’s fashion. Its wide and aggressive stance weren’t just stylistic; they were a necessity to avoid the engine heat passing through the interior. They did however make the Testarossa Ferraris widest car ever produced.

The name Testarossa literally translated means ‘red head’ which refers to red painted cam covers on the engine.  It was larger than its predecessor with greater luggage size making it a far more practical supercar. Power was Ferrari’s standard-with performance from its V12 engine propelling the Testarossa to 60mph in a shade over 5 seconds. With speeds reaching 180mph where permissible.

Its reputation as an over indulgent toy for 80’s yuppies has finally been over shadowed. This Pinninfarina styled Italian icon was the last of the mass produced V12 Ferraris ever made, prices are accelerating.

Buyers Guide

Buying a Ferrari Testarossa is of course a big deal. Any classic car when you’re looking to spend this sort of money will need careful consideration and each Testarossa you see will need close inspection.

Thankfully spending Ferrari money means Ferrari workmanship so Testarossa body work is pretty solid being aluminium, except for doors and roof panel which are steel. Check for bubbling around door bottoms and inspect the paint work for any peeling. Accident damage can be badly repaired so make sure all panels are in alignment and side fins are straight.

The V12 engine is strong and reliable providing it is well maintained. Servicing should be done every 6250 miles with a cambelt change every 15,000. Clutches don’t last too long with a change also every 15,000 miles which is an engine out job. However if you convert to a 512TR set up your clutch will last longer. Ferraris Testarossa is a heavy car which can take its toll on the suspension, dampers can wear and bushes perish which will affect the ride but can be replaced quite easily.

Transmissions are reliable, these are all 5 speed manuals but don’t try to engage second gear until the car warms up. Pre 89 models had problematic water pumps; in fact Ferrari issued a recall to fix things so this should be with the documented history.

Interiors are simple but dated by today’s standard although still look good with a retro feel.  Fresh leather inside shouldn’t cost the earth and they do wear. Electrics are the most reliable so check to make sure everything works correctly

At Heritage Classic Car Insurance with 50 years experience behind us, we offer a tailor made package for one or more cars. We include both our in-house agreed value service and salvage retention should the worst happen at no extra cost, and with limited mileage and club members discounts our annual fully comprehensive policy proves excellent value for money. Here are some typical examples of how little your insurance could be.

Ferrari Testarossa


Years Produced1984-1992
Performance0-60mph 5.2 sec / Top Speed-180mph
Power & Torque 390bhp/361Ib ft
Engine4942cc flat 12/48 valves
Drive-train Mid-engine RWD
TransmissionFive speed manual
Weight1506 kg



Interesting Fact

The Ferrari Testarossa was named after the original 250 Testarossa built in the late fifties and early sixties with current values of some examples reaching £10 million plus at auction.

Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:

“Anybody who lived in the eighties can remember the Ferrari Testarossa in its hay day. This original poster car found fame on TV with American detective show Miami Vice and retro arcade game Out Run. Today its garish image has finally been over shadowed by its pedigree as an eighties super car.”

mark says

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