On April 10, a total of 132 high-performance cars – most of them 21st century – will be showcased via Bonhams at his supercars up for auction at sunset, with many lots likely to become even more collectable in the years to come. One would speculate that the 1993 Ferrari 512 TR breaking through the block, valued at $ 275,000, could easily be overshadowed by the seven-figure supercars on sale. But not so fast (pun intended): Each iteration of the Ferrari Testarossa continues to gain in historical significance – while looking better and better – over the decades.
According to Jakob Greisen, vice president and head of the US automotive division for Bonhams, “The 512 TR marked the end of the twelve-cylinder era, which began with the 365 Boxer some 20 years earlier. He adds that since the model represents “the more refined design of the now legendary Testarossa”, it has only become more coveted in recent times. As for the one on sale, Greisen notes that it “must be one of the best-preserved examples that survive. The design has aged well – although it sure will never be subtle or understated – and the 512 TR is still very fast, even by today’s standards. “
Ferrari’s Testarossa, the immediate successor to the Berlinetta Boxer (BB 512), was presented in 1984 at the Paris Auto Show. Pininfarina’s design was an aesthetic triumph in a year that brought us pop culture kitsch like Patrick Nagel’s posters and the TV show’s first season. Miami vice, whose duo of detectives have committed sartorial offenses as blatant as any crimes they solved. The TR’s air vents are the signature of Pininfarina’s slab design, and like a double-breasted Armani blazer, they exuberantly expressed the era, though both became anachronisms once the side strakes. on cars and padded shoulders on people went out of fashion.
The Testarossa (Type F110), not to be confused with Ferrari’s original 1957 250 Testa Rossa, was manufactured until 1991. With almost 7,200 units built, it was an unqualified success for the top-of-the-line model. from Ferrari. It was followed by the more refined 512 TR, of which less than 2,300 were built. Finally, the 512 M, characterized by open headlights, saw 501 copies made from 1995 to 1996. The last of the brand’s twelve rear-engine flats, the series was replaced in 1996 by the 550 Maranello, powered by the plus conventional V-12 engine configuration.
Although it was much larger than the Berlinetta Boxer it replaced, the Testarossa was lighter. With a steel roof and doors and other aluminum body panels, it featured an aerodynamic design that resulted in a low coefficient of drag with high downforce, while the absence of spoilers gave it a monolithic and sculptural form. The 512 TR, which was distinguished from the Testarossa mainly by a revised front body, was an imposing slab of car. At nearly 6.5 feet, it was six inches wider than the BB 512. This was to accommodate 18-inch wheels and wider tires, provide more efficient engine cooling, and increase occupant comfort. And while it is unmistakably a sports car, the term ‘two-seater GT’ might be more precise, as the Testarossa and its relatives have never been pushed into motorsport competition – so is not the same as saying the 512 TR did not perform.
The powerhouse used in its mid-rear-engine configuration is a 4.9-liter DOHC flat-twelve cylinder that develops 421 horsepower at 6,750 rpm, with 360 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 rpm. The top end of 196 mph is accompanied by a zero to 60 mph time of about 4.3 seconds. Like Elvis, the carburetors had long since left the building, and Bosch Motronic fuel injection delivered fuel to the thirsty engine, whose double red intake plenums paid homage to the model’s TR suffix – short for Testa Rossa (red head ).
Inside the car’s useful cockpit is a manual shifter, topped with a traditional black ball on a chrome shaft, diligently clicked through a heavy five-speed slotted door with reverse gear located at the top of the shaft. left. Behind the gearshift door, on the center console, is a quaint reminder of the times: a quintet of storage racks that ejected favorite cassettes.
This example, in its original condition and displaying less than 10,750 miles, was completed in May 1992 and bears its original Rosso Corsa paint. Its history dates back to British Columbia, Canada, from 1994, with an owner there until 2019, when he came to the United States. Importantly, it benefits from major engine failure service – including timing belt replacement – performed by an authorized Ferrari dealership in 2020.
Until recently the Testarossas, and to a lesser extent the 512 TR, were 12-cylinder Ferrari bargains, only the 456 and a few of this model’s four-seat predecessors cost less. Those days are over, however, and yesterday’s Ferrari fashion has made a welcome comeback. Meanwhile, there are those of us who are convinced that everything Miami vice what follows is an eternally bad idea.
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