Ferrari Testarossa [1985-90]
Number made: 7,200 (est.)
What one will cost you: $45,000-$70,000
Engine: 5.0 liter, 12 cylinder
Top speed: 180+ mph
0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
History: Introduced at the 1984 Paris auto show, the Testarossa turned out to be Ferrari’s last midengine 12-cylinder car, representing the end of a line that began with Ferrari’s 312B Formula One racer of 1970. The 380 hp Testarossa had an incredibly long life that included subtle restylings in 1991 and ’94, and was replaced in 1996 by the front-engine 550 Maranello.
Design: Now that the Testarossa is, culturally speaking, out of the Aramis-scented clutches of Don Johnson (who drove one on Miami Vice), we can appreciate the Ferrari for what it was: the sexiest car of all time. This supercar defined eighties extreme style even as it tapped into something enduringly nasty. Its wide, childbearing hips and louvered radiator vents cut up the sides of its skirt were unmistakably lurid, an overt use of bodywork in pursuit of male money. The 180 mph Testarossa (“redhead” in Italian) was named because of the red crackle-paint on its valve covers. But its badge also conjured images of wanton Italian redheads, women able to look past a man’s gut and hairline and straight through to his wallet. An unsvelte family friend once owned a Testarossa, and I remarked how its interior smelled like a Gucci loafer. “No, kid,” he said. “It smells like women.”Back to top