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When Ferrari introduced the Testarossa in Paris in 1984, it was regarded as possibly the best car they had ever built but, whilst the design was spectacular, it was not considered to be as sensually beautiful as numerous GT Ferraris of the past. As a complete departure, Pininfarina had designed a modern, aerodynamic and efficient body shape, immediately recognisable by its very distinctive side 'strakes' unlike anything else seen in the post-war period. The name 'Testarossa', literally Redhead, became synonymous with Ferrari sports racing cars in the 50s and 60s and was resurrected at the launch of this new model at the Porte de Versailles in 1984.
Housing a 4.9-litre V12 engine producing 390bhp, the car was capable of a respectable 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 196mph. Produced between 1984 and 1991, several thousand of these amazing cars found homes. Once again, time showed Pininfarina's design to be durable, and throughout the eighties, the distinctive 'strakes' were echoed in other design disciplines from cars to kettles.
However, although the design may have seemed to be 'of the moment', the Testarossa proved itself to be a well-built car, and despite its 'Eiger-rivaling' list price, turned out to be Ferrari's most successful model ever up to that point. Today it's a design icon, symbolic of eighties culture, and despite a quieter year or two, its popularity is returning rapidly. It's not a surprise really since the Testarossa offers a rare package of serious performance, practicality, and reasonable comfort and although heavy at low speeds, its confidence-inspiring handling at high speed becomes almost addictive.
On the 30th May 1988, Herr Dieter Korch decided that the time had come to convert his desire to own a new Ferrari Testarossa into reality as he signed the order form and handed over DM 240.880,00 (approximately £75,000 at the time) for the car you see here today. Korch, the founder of a successful auto glazing company in the Middle Rhine, would, however, be kept waiting for his new Ferrari and a letter from the Zender Exclusiv-Auto dealer in January 1989 explained that delays at the factory were to be blamed. Finally, on the 16th of May, almost exactly one year after placing his order, the original registration document was issued.
According to this document, which remains with the car along with the original order forms and dealer correspondence, the Ferrari was only registered for use in the summer months and was annually stamped as ‘Decommissioned’ from use over winter. The result of this selective use is that the Testarossa had covered just 2,998kms by 8th September 1995, when it was declared off the road for the winter once more, however, this particular period of annual hibernation was to last until May 2009, with the Ferrari comfortably asleep for nearly 14 years.
Having not used his Ferrari for all those years, Herr Korch finally parted with it in 2010 after a rewarding 20-year ownership. With the mileage at a little over 3,000km, hotelier Manfred Petermann became the car’s second proud owner but he, in turn, added little to the Ferrari’s odometer before it joined one of Europe’s significant car collections in May 2012.
Classically finished in Rosso Corsa with a black leather interior, black carpets, and silver 5-bolt alloys, this remarkable car has still only covered 3,598km and remains virtually unmarked and in ‘showroom’ condition. Whilst it has been pampered, petted and polished for the last few years in the collection, it hasn’t actually gone anywhere so common sense dictates that it’s not to be started until it’s had a full service and fresh cambelts. It’s supplied with the original Order Forms, Registration Document, Book Pack, spare keys, tool roll and bespoke luggage case.
The Testarossa offers a rare package of serious performance, practicality, and reasonable comfort, and its confidence-inspiring handling at high speed becomes almost addictive. We welcome any inspection of this lovely Ferrari.