What didn’t sell on eBay last year will go on auction again in August to make one Sonny Crockett wannabe the happiest guy in the world. So here’s my chance to tell you a bit more about this movie car and its evil brother.
Okay, you all know the basic story. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t happy about the pair of Corvette-based Daytona replicas they used for the first two seasons of Miami Vice, so he sent two black Testarossas to Michael Mann’s doorstep, who in exchange blew up an empty body shell in spectacular fashion with a Stinger missile at the end of the second season. The two Daytona replicas got sold to Carl Roberts, with one of them getting stripped for parts soon after.
The brand new Testarossas got painted white for better visibility during night scenes, and although we have proof that these Ferraris can even do some off-roading if you’re crazy enough to push them that far, the production team didn’t risk damaging them until the show came to an end in 1989.
And that’s exactly why you can buy one of the two now at Mecum’s auction with just 16,124 miles on its clock.
With its gated manual, cocaine white carphone (note to younger readers: people used to have phones in their cars) and pillar-mounted single mirror, it’s certainly one of the most desirable Testarossas out there, but let’s have a brief look at the car that took all the abuse so this could survive those two seasons.
Meet the Panterossa!
Using a perfectly fine 1972 DeTomaso Pantera, plenty of fiberglass and parts salvaged from a crashed Testarossa, Carl Roberts built the ultimate stunt car for Mr. Johnson and his friends.
Its Ford Cleveland V8 got a bigger Predator carburetor and a direct-port nitrous system, while to make it safe enough for the eighties, they added an extra subframe which worked as a skid plate too, plus a roll bar behind the driver’s seat since a full roll cage would have been visible. The steering wheel got changed to a removable one as well.
To make it capable, a NASCAR radiator was fitted, as well as an extra brake pedal that was linked to the rear brakes only for those ultimate slides. Since the Pantera was wider than the Testarossa, special rims were made wrapped in BF Goodrich T/A tires, while the ride hight was raised and the suspension got beefed up for those jumps with a set of Koni shocks.
To learn more about this crazy beast, read Popular Mechanics’ massive feature on it from July 1987.
Jalopnik top tip: If you keep sliding around with your Testarossa, it will stall. That’s normal.
Photo credit: Mecum Auctions
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