Ferrari Testarossa

Throwback Thursday: Ferrari Testarossa is a rock star

My appreciation for Ferrari and the super cars they continue to build today takes root in the mid-1980’s Ferrari 308 GTS and GTB. If it was good enough for Magnum PI (Tom Selleck), it was good enough for me.

That said it wasn’t until 1985 when I truly fell head-over-heels for almost anything built by the prancing black stallion from Maranello, Italy. The car that pushed me over the edge was none other than the outrageous and polarizing Ferrari Testarossa. On that fateful day, it arrived outside my front window resplendent in gloss black paint and an equally noir colour scheme on the inside. Simply put, I was smitten.

Power came in the form of a 4.9-litre flat 12-cylinder mid-engine gasoline engine. It delivered 390 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque to the pavement via a not always smooth shifting 5-speed manual transmission. North American versions of the Ferrari Testarossa were said to be slightly down on power with around 380 horsepower on tap.

Acceleration was fast and generally smooth, assuming you didn’t miss a shift or two through the gated shifter plate. Zero-100 km/h took 5.4 seconds with top speed listed at 290 km/h. When you consider this car first appeared as a 1985 model, and to this day there are still only a small percentage of exotic automobiles that break the 300 km/h barrier, the Testarossa was a sight and sound for the ages.

Inside, sport seats offered reasonable support for two adults. With the engine behind the passenger compartment, there was little room for storage, but that wasn’t the point. This was a sports car of the highest level and getting there in style was all that mattered. Of course, a Ferrari Testarossa featured in white was a regular sidekick on the original 1980’s TV series Miami Vice. On the streets of South Beach, the Testarossa was a rock star.

The car for high rollers and TV icons back in the day, you can purchase a used 1985 Ferrari Testarossa starting at around $205,000 Canadian as list on

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