An instant sensation when it debuted in 1984, the Ferrari Testarossa has since become automotive shorthand for the flamboyant era that created it. And while the model evolved slightly over the course of its run, the Testarossa’s futuristic design never lost its edge—figuratively or literally—before production ceased in 1996. The car’s combination of a 4.9-liter Tipo F113A engine and five-speed manual transmission with a gated gear selector, meanwhile, promised both driving engagement and an exhilarating 12-cylinder soundtrack to back it all up. By a stroke of artistic genius, the design managed to be sinister and elegant, both forward-thinking and contemporary.
This 1987 Nero over Cuoio example offered here is a testament to American innovation upon Pininfarina’s styling. This Testarossa has been converted to an open-air “Spider” configuration by renowned coachbuilder Richard Straman—the namesake of R. Straman Coachworks of Costa Mesa, California. Period conversions executed by Straman are revered for their quality, fit, and structural integrity over similar modifications offered by other firms of the time. This chassis is reportedly one of just twelve Testarossa Spiders produced by Straman, of which just two examples wear Nero paint. The taut black soft top includes a transparent vinyl porthole in the rear panel, and the asesmbly can be securely stowed behind the seats beneath a matching cover via fasteners. As an exceedingly well-executed conversion commissioned from Straman at the height of the 1980s tuning market, this bespoke Testarossa would have cost its original owner upwards of $140,000 USD.
This attractive and unique Testarossa combines open-top Spider driving exhilaration with iconic 1980s styling and excellent build quality; it represents an opportunity to enjoy a model that many tifosi believe should have been destined for production. It is now offered for sale accompanied by partial service records. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.