1986 Ferrari TestarossaSpider
Year of manufacture1986
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Engine n° F113A - 518
Gearbox n° F110B - 890
- The special Spider belonging to Gianni Agnelli
- The " Holy Grail " of Testarossas
- Two owners, 23 000 km from new
- Unique example built by the factory for Gianni Agnelli
The Testarossa was first presented to the public at both the Paris Motor Show and the Lido nightclub, in October 1984. It went into production immediately, at the same time as the limited edition 288 GTO. Although the Testarossa was the spiritual heir of the Berlinetta Boxer, it stood out as being the first Ferrari designed for the United States, where the strict regulations on passive safety and pollution had a profound effect on the North American market.
The BB was never equipped for this market by the factory and the Boxers that found their way to the US were all transformed to comply with these regulations once there. A Pininfarina design, the Testarossa was also built by Pininfarina rather than Scaglietti. Extensive trials in the coachbuilder's modern wind tunnel helped to develop the car's shape but left little freedom for artistic inspiration, as the drag coefficient and above all high-speed downforce were given greater priority in its specifications. While the Testarossa's success in this area was undeniable, the car had less romantic appeal than its predecessors. It was capable of travelling at close to 300 km/h, comfortably and with disconcerting ease. The engine had adopted a structure comparable to that of the 12-cylinder BB, but had been completely revamped. The cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder, twelve injectors, and level of development gave this engine a reservoir of power that appeared to be inexhaustible, and at a time when electronics were invading our cameras and our cars, the Testarossa remained essentially mechanical.
Ferrari never developed the Testarossa into a spider version for production. There were a handful of wealthy collectors who, wanting to own a convertible version of this sublime model, commissioned a derivative from coachbuilders such as Richard Straman in the United States. Pininfarina undertook a dozen special orders, principally for the Sultan of Brunei, built as right-hand drive cars.
The Ferrari Testarossa on offer is exceptional for being unique. It was built specially at Maranello for l'Avvocado Gianni Agnelli, to mark the anniversary of his taking over the multinational company FIAT S.p.A. For this occasion, the gift needed to match the importance of both the event and the personality. According to Ferrari archives, the construction of the body started on 27 February 1986 and was finished and delivered four months later, on 16 June. It was registered in Turin with the personalised number plate TO 00000G ! The service book, in the name of I.F.I Spa (the financial company owned by Gianni Agnelli) recorded the warranty as starting on 13 June 1986. The original Targa supplied with the car passed into the name of Giovanni Agnelli on 18 March 1987. A copy of the Foglio Complementare records the ownership changing from Agnelli to the current owner on 29 November 1991. His children, who are selling the car, have told us that Gianni Agnelli was a close friend, who regularly played poker with them. One day, their father, on his way to a party with Agnelli, saw and fell in love with this Spider and Agnelli sold it to him. The body simply carries the number '1' ! It's colour was not a random choice, but chosen because AG (for Agnelli Gianni) is the symbol for silver in the periodic table. The car is liveried in " Argento 101/C " and highlighted with elegant " Blu 3282 " bands and " Blu 168 " carpets. Looking closely at this very special Testarossa, it is clear that it has been very carefully designed. It was not simply a case of crudely removing the roof and replacing it with a hood and rear cover. No, we are in the presence of an automobile meticulously designed by an engineer. What's more, extra controls have been added to the dash : below the control for the windows, there is an electronic button to raise and lower the hoop maintaining the angle of the hood. We were also surprised to discover a very special gear-change system. By pressing one of the buttons on the central console, between the two seats, the clutch pedal retracts and gives way to a Valeo system. A serious car accident in his youth had left Gianni Agnelli with a slight problem with his left leg. An automatic system of changing gear had been developed to allow l'Avvocado to use the gearbox more comfortably. This special system can also be seen on the F40 built specially for him three years later. On this Testarossa, the driver therefore has the choice of changing gear manually or, by pressing a button, activating the Valeo electronic clutch system.
The system for lowering the roof has also been cleverly thought out, featuring a hood that folds easily under an integrated hard tonneau cover. The Spider will be delivered with its original leather folder that includes the Uso di Manutanzione, list of dealers and service book. The odometer records 23 000 km from new and in preparation for the auction, a thorough service has just been carried out in the workshops of Ferrari Pozzi Levallois (a bill for 20 000 is dated November 2015).
In automobile history, the Testarossa is a perfect symbol of the 1980s, just as the Lamborghini Countach 'Periscopo' represents 1970s design. There is no other car from this period that dared to adopt such a radical design, with its unique air intakes on panels designed by the wind and generously styled rear end ! This totally unique Spider presents the opportunity to buy a " one-off " car designed by the factory for the most famous Italian industrialist and businessman, l'Avvocato Giovanni, known as 'Gianni' Agnelli.
The car possesses beautiful styling, the highly desirable exclusivity of a spider body, the prestige of the marque and model, a technically brilliant engine, and the special features and provenance from having been built for one of the most famous Italians in the world. What more is there to say ! In terms of its value, dare we say, this Testarossa Spider represents one of the best investments available on the market today. Close your eyes, seize the moment and place a bid. It's worth it !