17-18 August 2012

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Lot 127

1989 Ferrari Testarossa

  • Chassis no. ZFFSG17A5K0080179

Sold for $264,000

380 hp, 4,942 cc DOHC horizontally opposed 12-cylinder engine, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, five-speed manual gearbox in rear-mounted transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4"

• Perfectly preserved; a time capsule example with 129 miles from new

• Includes books, tools, and original window sticker

• Major service completed in June 2012

• Possibly the lowest mileage example in existence

• Single owner from new

Having taken its name from the legendary Testa Rossa racing car, the mid-engine Testarossa was so much more than just a namesake; it offered splendid performance with an increased degree of usability due to additional luggage space and an improved clutch. Just over 7,000 were built between 1984 and 1991, before the line evolved into the 512 TR. The Pininfarina-penned Testarossa improved on the basic recipe of Ferrari’s Berlinetta Boxer, thanks to more horsepower under the hood, which propelled the V-12 coupe to a 180 mph top speed. Derived from the Boxer, the V-12 featured two banks of six horizontally-opposed cylinders and 48 valves. Bosch's latest K-Jetronic fuel injection improved power and drivability; with 380 horsepower on tap, the Testarossa was capable of sprinting to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

The classic Rosso Corsa 1989 Ferrari Testarossa offered here is likely the most original, unaltered example in the world. It was covered and stored away when brand new. As a U.S. model, this Testarossa was purchased new from Kessler Motors, in New York, on April 21, 1989. With a window sticker approaching $142,000, it had 120 delivery miles while in the showroom. The car was taken by flatbed to a climate-controlled New York garage, where it was to join a growing collection of vintage Italian sport cars. It was started and looked after but never moved from its resting place, until being discovered in February of 2012. The conserved Ferrari showed 129 miles and, even more impressive, the window sticker had never been removed from the windshield. The climate-controlled storage preserved the car in immaculate showroom condition.

Today, the engine still has the “US Model” yellow chalk markings from the factory; the underside still wears sprayed-on Cosmoline, as applied at Maranello to protect it during shipping. Inside, it is just as clean, showing none of the age-related patina that afflicts so many cars. Its leather seats are just as they left Maranello. Even the original paper mats are still in the car. Other provisions that were delivered with the car include the original tool kit, roadside kit, spare tire and wheel, and the owner’s manuals and books. Copies of the original 1989 title are also included, as well as the original window sticker that is still attached to the glass.

Mechanically, it has been thoroughly gone through and boasts a very recent engine-out, photo-documented belt service completed in June of 2012. This included the timing belts, hoses and fuel pump, check of the brakes, clutch, and transmission. The 2012 service records and a modern CARFAX (in the file) also bolster the quality.

Unlike other “time capsules” that were not properly stored and contained in a controlled environment and left rusting away while sitting idle, this Testarossa is an extraordinary example of preservation and resurrection. One of the very finest examples in the world has been found and is now available. It is a platinum opportunity to own the best.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more