While everyone is busy with the newest, latest and possibly greatest supercars that are currently being launched over at this year's Geneva Motor Show I somehow think that it is appropriate for Car Throttle to showcase a modern classic; the Ferrari Testarossa. This car, like the Lamborghini Countach, the Ferrari 512BB and the Ferrari 288GTO were dream cars that we often found tacked onto walls of many an adolescent school boy all around the world. The Ferrari Testarossa was also one of the maddest, bar the Countach ever to grace the wall of the school boy. Produced from 1984 to 1996, including the later 512TR and 512M models, the Testarossa or “Redhead” was designed by Pininfarina and was famous (or infamous) for introducing those massive side strakes on each side of the car. These 'cheese grater' side strakes weren't just for making an impact. They were there to guide air into the side vents which in turn provided cooling to the radiators found on each side of the car - which is also why the car is massively wide at the rear. It looked outrageous, but it actually served a purpose, as you can see in the photographs above and below. Of course, these side strakes were also one of the most sought after modification when people built wide arch conversions for Vauxhall Astras, Ford Escorts and other small hatchbacks during the 1980s and the early 1990s. The Ferrari Testarossa has a 4,943cc flat-12 engine that is mid-mounted. It is Ferrari's last regular production (not including the F50 or Enzo limited run models) mid engined 12 cylinder Ferrari before being replaced by the Ferrari 550. The Colombo engineered dry sumped flat-12 pumped out about 390bhp and 361lb/ft (490Nm) of torque. It enabled the 1506kg (curb weight) Testarossa to 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds, 0-100mph in 11.4 seconds and a top speed of 180mph (290km/h). These figures may not seem impressive these days with rally specials like the Subaru Impreza whacking out 0-60mph times as well as horsepower and torque figures that are similar but you have to remember, this car was from the mid-1980s. Back then a Mark IV Ford Escort RS Turbo only made 132bhp. Even if the boy racers of the time tweaked that little Ford, it was front-wheel drive and at the traffic lights it would wheelspin through the gears and that rear wheel driven Testarossa would be in the next time zone already. Anyway, the Testarossa is a magnificent machine. It is totally a 1980s classic and one that totally represents how supercars were in that era. And it actually isn't that bad owning and driving one these days. The current owner of the car you see in the photographs only recently got hold of this Redhead. A 1989 vintage, it came with less than 10,000 miles on the clock. He has since added a thousand and a bit more on its clock and actually uses it for his drives in and around the Malaysian Peninsular. One item which he added to the car is a Capristo exhaust system. This I believe was because that flat-12 engine is surprisingly pretty quiet on idle and when pottering around town. With the Capristo exhaust system, it adds about 20bhp and a whole lot more noise. Having heard a stock Testarossa 'singing' a few years back I have to agree. This one is a soprano. The photographs were taken at Pengkalan Pegoh, a village about 120 miles North of Kuala Lumpur. The car was part of a display for the village celebrations. I happened to be there to lend my driving skills, driving a 1954 MG TF 1500 from Kuala Lumpur to the said village. That was another epic journey of its own. It was actually pretty surreal watching people at work setting up the area for the event, all too busy to actually even look at a car that they would normally stop and stare at. The Ferrari Testarossa is indeed a 1980s icon. But one that is still fabulous to drive, to look at and also to listen to.
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