It is not red, but its head is in the wind, the Testarossa (literally Red Head in Italian inspired by the red color of the valve covers of its engine), the Testarossa is the penultimate creation of the Commendatore Enzo Ferrari ( 1898-1988) before the Ferrari F40 of 1987 and therefore a strict sportsman with its fixed roof, so seeing it as a Spider, it is a fantasy since it is technically necessary to take into account the rigidity of the body, the line of the car and the engine placed at the rear which are serious handicaps in the realization of a Spider. For that it takes a man of stature like Gianni Agnelli to dare to do it.
Gianni Agnelli’s lifelong style icon status extends far beyond the watch around his shirt cuff, elegant Caraceni ties and jackets - often worn with walking shoes.
He was an auto industry leader whose oil ran through his veins - which was not always straightforward - and a taste for idiosyncratic uniqueness. As president of Fiat, he had the means to satisfy his passion for the unusual, repeatedly ordering Fiat Panda for free time, a Fiat 130 station wagon, equipped with a wicker basket on the roof and panels in wood on the body, and an impressive Multipla Spider.
But not all of Agnelli's one-offs were as functional. In 1986 he ordered a Spider version of the still-relevant Ferrari Testarossa to commemorate his 20 years as Fiat president. Ferrari records indicate that work on the project began on February 27, 1986, culminating in delivery four months later.
Although it was of course never intended for series production, the Testarossa Spider was rigorously designed by Ferrari, which was no small feat judging by the challenges of installing a convertible top. around a 5-liter 12-cylinder central engine. An additional button was hidden from view on the dashboard to electronically raise and lower an arch used to hold the soft top in the correct position.
This remarkable car featured a further technical innovation embodied in a unique Valeo transmission, allowing its owner to drive the car with a classic five-speed gearbox and three pedals or, at the push of another new button, with a gearbox. automatic (the clutch pedal retracted - a similar system would have appeared on the F40 Agnelli ordered later, and proved to be an ingenious subterfuge to an old leg injury).
In the face of the considerable technical effort that accompanied this one-off model, it seems almost out of place to mention the Spider's Argento paintwork, if not to emphasize the fact that AG is the symbol for silver in the periodic table of elements. Also in line with its owner's reputation for sartorial excellence, note the highlights in shades of blue on the bodywork, reflected in the interior fittings. Agnelli’s statute saw the Italian authorities turn a blind eye to the ban on personalized license plates: TO 00000G is indeed memorable.
He later sold the Testarossa Spider to a family friend with whom he played poker regularly, and the gentleman's children duly entrusted the car to Artcurial for the 2016 Retromobile auction. Its new owner is Ronald Stern, one of the brand's most esteemed enthusiasts, as well as renowned archivist and authority on the life of Enzo Ferrari.
"I liked the idea of a one-off, a car with absolutely unique provenance," he remarks. “I met Leonardo Fioravanti in Maranello while the car was repainted and certified. It was a privilege to see the man who oversaw its creation explain to me the various solutions originally planned to build and strengthen the chassis of the car. "
Best of all, Piero Ferrari himself handed the Classiche certification documents to Stern at his London home during a visit. There are few other people in the Ferrari firmament more qualified to maintain such a significant part of the Company's mythology.
Crédit : Ferrari
However, we find on the roads of the USA some rare Testarossa converted by Straman to 12 copies and in Germany by the famous coachbuilders Koenig.