History

Legend has it that during one of Enzo Ferrari’s visits to California he commented that, “PCH is a highway in need of a real car.” This, coupled with the aging non-U.S.-legal 512i BB, provided Pininfarina the opportunity to create an extraordinary car for the U.S. market.

 

The Turinese coachbuilder delivered a landmark design. Now, 29+ years later, this iconic motorcar with its famous bold engine cooling scoops carved into the bodywork still remains one of the most recognized supercars of all time.

 

The 1984 Testarossa was an instant success with years of backorders and cars selling for 3 times their already lofty sticker price.

 

This was the third time Enzo Ferrari employed the “Red Head” moniker. The first two were equally successful ventures- on the racing side of Ferrari’s operation. The 500TR and 250TR are statements in perfection, absolute superlatives in every respect. The 250TR cars dominated their arenas, with variations winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961; making it one of the most successful racing cars in Ferrari’s history. As works of art, though only 2 factory cars and 19 customer cars were produced from 1957 to 1958, the 250TR has found its way into the most important car collections throughout the world. And as an investment, the 250TR is a Wall Street Fairytale having been sold for as little as $4,000 around 1965, to a 1957 250 Testa Rossa being sold on August 20, 2011 for $16,400,000; a new world record auction price for a car.

 

 

 

Evolution

In 1956, Ferrari produced the 500TR Scaglietti Spyders, their first “Red Heads”. Though only 16 strong, these 1500 pound lightweights have led amazing lives and deaths. See their stories in the GALLERY section for a wonderful read.


Only 21 250TRs were produced between 1957-1958; still, they endure as one; if not the, most coveted cars in the world today.


In sharp contracts to their 37+ predecessors; from 1984 until early 1992, 5648 Testarossas were built. Then, in 1992, the Pininfarina-designed car had the first of two model revisions, which were the 512 TR followed in 1994 by the F512 M.


Almost 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making this the most popular Ferrari model of all time.


Once in a great while something as wonderful as the Testarossa happens. Fueling our imaginations, it causes us to act like an eighteen year old, if only for the few seconds it takes to get from 0 to whatever. In the world of automobiles, even within the rarified stratosphere of supercars, the Testarossa is a triple crown winner on both the speedway and highway, and has endured as an icon among icons.