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Lot 204

1991 Ferrari Testarossa

  • Chassis no. ZFFSM17A1M0087139
  • Engine no. 24933

Sold for $319,000


428 hp, 4,942 cc DOHC horizontally opposed 12-cylinder engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.

  • An enduring design icon
  • Purchased new by a lady, the current and only owner
  • Original Nero-over-Nero color combination
  • Fewer than 300 km since new; a true time-warp example
  • Perhaps the lowest-mileage Testarossa in existence


THE POSTER CHILD FOR A GENERATION

About once every decade, a car is unveiled that shakes the foundations of automobile design to its core. These vehicles push automotive design to new heights and start trends that will endure for years to come. Not only are these cars applauded by the automotive industry but they also make an equally significant impact on fashion and pop culture.

For the 1960s, there was the Jaguar E-Type. The 1970s brought about the Lamborghini Countach. In the 1980s, there was the Ferrari Testarossa. Each was a marked disruption of the predominant styles of their time and helped lead the automotive world in a new direction.

Ferrari understood the stylistic impact that the Testarossa would have when they chose not to unveil the car for the first time to the public at the 1984 Paris Motor Show but instead to a select group of media and clients at the Lido nightclub on the Champs-Élysées, the night before the opening of the show. This was a venue known for its flash and otherworldly style; the Testarossa was much the same. Presenting the new Ferrari at a prestigious off-site location would only serve to elevate its importance.

Pininfarina’s design brought Ferrari into the future. The Testarossa was defined by sharp angles, most notably the long side-strakes that ran along the doors into the rear three-quarter panels and swept the observer’s eyes swiftly across the car. Devoid of chrome, all the Testarossa’s ornamentation was black, giving it a sinister appearance, helped in part by its particularly wide stance on the road. The design was simple and forward thinking yet elegant and menacing at the same time. Fueled by incredible performance, the Testarossa was a massive hit and was considered an instant collectible. It is, without a doubt, one of the most dramatic and striking Ferraris of all time.

Not only was the Testarossa made famous by its stunning looks but it also became a Hollywood celebrity in its own right. The Ferrari was a silver screen starlet alongside Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas in the hit television series Miami Vice, catapulting it into the limelight. Over the last 30 years, the Testarossa has appeared in a seemingly limitless number of movies, TV shows, songs, and music videos. From Rocky V to blockbuster films as recent as Wolf of Wall Street and Straight Outta Compton, the Testarossa has always been a status symbol for success and excess. It was the poster child for its generation and remains so to this day.

CHASSIS NUMBER 87139: A TIME-CAPSULE TESTAROSSA

The Testarossa presented here is unquestionably one of the finest examples of its kind in existence, if not the finest. It remains in the hands of its first and only owner, a lady who purchased the car new in 1991. In search of a Testarossa and inspired in part by the car’s appearance in Miami Vice, she ordered the car through Gentry Lane Ferrari in Toronto, Canada, and it was delivered to Performance Cars in St. Catherines, Ontario. Rather than hop in the car and drive it home, the Testarossa’s new owner directed to have it stored at Performance Cars.

The new owner always intended to drive and spend time with her car. However, as is often the case, her free time was very limited, and the car remained in storage as time quickly passed by. A few family members and close friends received rides around the block in the Ferrari shortly after it had been delivered, but it was always placed back in storage for safekeeping, later to be stored at Ferrari of Ontario until most recently.

Today, the original Nero paintwork remains flawless, and the matching Nero interior is in equally impeccable condition, reflecting the incredibly low mileage on the odometer, which shows only 296 kilometers from new. As it has remained in storage at facilities with particular knowledge and expertise with Ferraris, the car has always been appropriately maintained at regular intervals, ensuring that it remains ready to drive at a moment’s notice. Though, unfortunately, the original books and tools have been misplaced, several service receipts are included in the car’s file, documenting full services, including timing belt changes in December 1999 and February 2007, as well as a fluid change and rebuild of the front brake calipers in October 2014.

The embodiment of Italian style and a design that will be called revolutionary for the rest of time, the Testarossa’s importance to the history of Ferrari and automotive design as a whole cannot be understated. Presented here is perhaps the most original and unmolested Testarossa in existence. Offered from singular female ownership, in which it has been carefully preserved and maintained every day of its life, this sale represents a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a brand-new automotive icon—some 25 years after it was first introduced to the world.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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