008 - testarossas for everyone!
Updated: May 27, 2020
80s Miami in a coupe.
Last night marked night four of the Great Patrick Swayze Pandemic Movie Marathon - a cinematic tour-de-force that has filled my heart and home with mullets, cigarette smoke, & synth pop over the last few days. It's been a solid arrangement - I get to bask in the glorious kitsch & opulence of the late 1980s, and my girlfriend gets to bask in the glorious kitsch & opulence of Patrick Swayze. Win-win.
With Point Break, The Outsiders, and Dirty Dancing checked off our list, it was finally time for the 1990 classic Ghost - featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Whoopi Goldberg and that infamous "pottery scene". A few minutes in, Swayze and his best-friend-turned-killer Carl Bruner pass a certain sports car parked outside their midtown financial firm, and I do a double-take. It's not just any car. It's the car. The Ferrari Testarossa. And I haven't been able to get it out of my head ever since.
From the Moog basslines & drum machines of The Weeknd & Dua Lipa's latest hit albums to the new lines coming out of the world's biggest fashion houses, the late 80s and early 90s have come back in a big way - and the Testarossa is the singular embodiment of that grandeur and glamour. It's the Miami Vice car, for chrissakes.. if you told me that this baby ran on contrast-collar shirts, Colombian cocaine, and trickle-down economics, I might just believe you.
Literally translating to "red head" in Italian (a reference to the red cylinder covers of the original), the Testarossa's unique combination of performance, timepiece design, and cultural significance has caused its value to triple over the past few years to nearly $160,000, although certain examples can be found at the sub-$100k mark.
The Testarossa is powerful, distinctive, and full of Italian design quirks that make little sense but add lots of character. Built from 1984 to 1991, the 4.9l rear-mounted V12 puts out a maximum 390hp and an impressive 5.2 second zero-to-60. The classic Pininfarina design just screams South Beach, from the razor-sharp door gills & hideaway headlights to the angular interior that's equal parts stormtrooper and Tony Montana.
The passenger experience is... unique. Instead of a normal cabin light, there's a rotating center bulb (like on an airplane) - the window controls have no labels, and there's no rhyme or reason to the button placement - but who cares? Lug nuts on the wheels? Who needs them! Power steering? Overrated. It's all part of the Testarossa experience. Andiamo.
Today's supercars might outpace the Testarossa on the track, but they can't hold a candle to its visual flair and visceral driving experience. With a throaty roar even at low RPMs, the Testarossa will turn heads wherever you take it. If I could time-travel back to 2017 with an extra $50k in my pocket, I know what I would spend it on... those Italians sure are on to something.
If you own a unique car you'd like me to review, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm all ears...