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Unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show, Ferraris’ new Testarossa was a bold step forward for the company. Rivalling Lamborgini’s Countach both in terms of visual panache and performance, it became the poster child for a generation, a status-symbol of 1980’s excess and style. That aggressive and angular styling was function, with the iconic “cheese grater” side strakes helping to channel air into the car’s dual-mounted radiators, which kept both the engine and cabin cool
Offering increased performance over the outgoing 512 BBi, the Testarossa’s flat twelve-cylinder engine produced 40 bhp more than the 512 BBi, leading the Testarossa to a 0-60 mph time of under 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Inside, the car was ergonomically improved to be more spacious and comfortable, in addition to being both wider and longer than its predecessor, giving it a very imposing stance road.
In the case of this particular Testarossa, it is important to consider it within the wider scope of Testarossa production to truly appreciate how exceptional this car is.
U.K. production for the Testarossa was only a small part of overall production. Before production transitioned to the 512 TR, Ferrari built 7,177 Testarossas, of which only 419 were built to U.K.-delivery, RHD specifications, which works out to be roughly 5.8% of global production. Amazingly, only seven of those U.K. delivery cars were finished in any shade of blue by the factory.
Of those seven cars, three were finished in Blu Chiaro. One was fitted with a Sabbia interior and delivered to Colonel Ronnie Hoare. The other two had tan interior and were delivered to brothers David and Ian Skailes, with David taking delivery of this very car. No stranger to Ferrari or fast cars, Skailes did a lot of racing in the U.K. in the mid-1960s and owned and raced the 250 LM chassis number 6105 which DK Engineering had the pleasure of restoring five years ago.
This particular example went to David himself and was delivered to him via Maranello Concessionaires on New Year’s Day 1990, which surely would have been a very memorable occasion! Within that first year, David put just under 1,000 miles on the Testarossa, returning the car to Maranello Concessionaires for its running-in service in December 1990. It is not known how long David owned the Testarossa for, but by October 199, the car was listed as begin acquired by its third registered owner, the Sterling Warehouse of Tillicoultry. That company would own the car until 2007. Subsequently passing through David Buckland and Roger Perrin, both residing in the U.K., it was acquired by the current, London-based owner in 2011.
Remarkably, the car has an unbroken service industry from new, confirming its current mileage of 11,600 miles as original and correct. The original service book and original manuals accompany the car including fifteen service stamps, and the remainder of the service history in the current owner’s custodianship is accounted for by accompanying invoices in the file. Over the course of the last twelve years, the car has been exclusively cared for by Nick Cartwright Specialist Cars of Tansley. The car’s last major service was carried out by them in September of 2019 at 10,720 mi, preceding the last annual service, carried out in April of 2021 at 11,175 miles. In addition to the original owner's manuals, the car retains its original jack, tool kit, and two sets of keys.
Combining its incredibly rare specification, fascinating ownership history, and continuous service history, this is surely one of the most remarkable U.K.-specification Testarossas in existence. Thus, it warrants serious consideration from anyone with a passion for what is one of Ferrari’s most recognisable and iconic models.