The Testarossa, once the wild-hair of Maranello's lineup, has become one of the most affordable ways to join the 12-cylinder Ferrari club. But with today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '87, would that club beat the crap out of you?
The crap was certainly beaten out of yesterday's 1981 Buick Riviera. That was likely due to the miasma of malaise hanging thick and heavy around the big coupe and carried by it like a scarlet letter of failure. The price was also seen as a failure, driving 73% of you to the conclusion that, in this instance at least, Cleveland most certainly does not rock.
But of course everybody knows that Miami rocks, and for five years in the pastel-imbued eighties, a throbbing New Wave beat provided the soundtrack to the gritty and hard-edged lives of a pair of undercover brothers on the watershed TV show, Miami Vice. That NBC drama made five o'clock shadow and tee-shirts as formal wear the de rigueur fashion statements of the decade. It also both created the prototypical douchebag stereotype and exposed middle America to Mr Crocket's wild ride- the Ferrari Testarossa.
Today's 1987 Ferrari Testarossa isn't white like Sonny's was, but that doesn't mean you can't still scrunch up the sleeves of your linen jacket while driving it. The name comes from a bastardization of Testa Rossa, or red head, that harkens back to the pontoon-fendered 250 TR of the late fifties. The Columbo-designed engine in that spectacular car had red-painted valve covers, engendering the moniker. In the Testarossa, the valve covers of the 180° V12 (remember, this engine is not a boxer because of its shared crank pins) are also red, as is the intake plenum, which, unlike the cam covers, is fully visible when you pop the massive engine cover. In 1987 Ferrari's top berlinetta was good for nearly 400 horsepower, pumped out of that 4,943-cc 12. That's a full 165 ponies more than the same-year Mustang GT, which also rocked a 302-cid engine. Of course the Mustang that year could be had for under twenty grand, while the Testarossa went for a more eye-watering $175,000. The Italian stallion also has massive amount of torque available across a wide rev band, and will cruise effortlessly until the gas tank runs dry.
Thanks to depreciation and styling that has aged about as well as Sonny Crocket's wardrobe, testicle roasters can be had had for a lot less that that original six figure price. The seller is asking $42,500 for this one, which comes across in the pictures as dirty but undamaged outside of a couple of Ding Doctor opportunities and a minor interior flaw. If you check around you will find the low forties price tag to be on the extreme low end of the Testarossa gamut. Not only that, but it only has a claimed 18K on the clock.
The monkey in the wrench is that the seller says the car is overdue for its 15K service. That in itself means another $7,000 - $15,000 in service costs, but the seller says he already has three grand of that in parts. All said and done you could probably safely park this in your driveway for $50K in total receipts if you live in a place like Nevada where they don't charge sales and service taxes. If you're handy with a wrench and the Ferrari Testarossa Haynes Manual, then it'd be even cheaper.
What do you think, forty two five would have been a sweet haul for Crocket & Tubbs and their drug dealer-chasing cigarette boat, but as a way into a pair of big boy Ferrari pants, it's chump change. That being said, once you find out what the 15K service costs, you may need to change those pants because the quote may just be bowel loosening. And as this is a Ferrari, that'd be the just the first time you swipe the debit card at the Ferrari Fixers because Testarossa ownership ain't gonna' be cheap.
So, would you be cheap and vote the Pipe for this Prancing Horse? Or, does that $42,500 price make this a red head that somebody definitely ought to go into the red for?
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