Just two owners from new
Delivered new to Japan and presented in beautifully original condition
Retaining its original leather Schedoni pouch containing the stamped warranty booklet, owner’s manual and dealer welcome pack
One of 2,261 Ferrari 512 TRs built
Matching numbers, retaining its original 4.9-litre 12-cylinder engine
What is it?
It’s an “exaggeration of flamboyance”. That’s how Pininfarina lauded the Ferrari Testarossa. The illustrious Italian design house had a point – few cars epitomise 1980s excess like the Testa.
Everyone from overt covert police officers (read Sonny Crockett) and sockless yuppies to Wolves of Wall Street and teenage Sega fanboys championed the Ferrari. It captured the public imagination and turned its maker into a household name. And isn’t that what any great supercar should do?
Why was the Testarossa such a success?
In addressing the 512 BBi’s shortcomings, Ferrari had produced a ‘world’ car for the first time. As extravagant and unconventional as it appears from the outside, the Testarossa is actually more a civilised Grand Tourer than a cold-blooded supercar – though that’s not to say we’d take any foolish liberties with it. So while this 180-degree V12 had the head-turning image to make you feel like a schoolchild again, it was also the perfect partner to bond with on a cross-continental weekend away.
Where does the 512 TR enter the fray?
In 1991, Ferrari introduced the 512 TR. A case of evolution rather than revolution, the 512 TR was a Testarossa improved in virtually every discernible way. That showstopping Pininfarina design was primmed and pruned and softened at the edges, especially at the nose and the tail, in order to bring it aesthetically more in line with the new 348. In a similar vein, the leather-festooned interior was modernised and made more ergonomically friendly.
The 12-cylinder engine was massaged to produce even more power and torque. And along with the revised and friendlier gearbox, it was lowered by 30mm as well, reducing the overall centre of gravity and, in turn, improving the handling. The 512 TR took everything that was great about the Testarossa and built upon it – in turn, the lifespan and legacy of one of automotive history’s most recognisable supercars was prolonged.
Could you tell us about this particular 512 TR’s history and condition?
Rosso Corsa over Nero – that’s the classic Ferrari colour combination in which this beautiful 512 TR was specified. Chassis number 94054 was delivered to its first owner via Cornes, the official Ferrari dealer and service centre in Japan, in June of 1992.
The original owner entrusted Cornes with the maintenance of this 512 TR for over two decades until 2015, after which point the car was acquired by a British collector and exported to the United Kingdom. Between 2015 and 2016, the British marque specialist Moto Technique Ltd. carried out a number of major service works on chassis number 94054, including the replacement of the engine timing belts, tensioner bearings, exhaust manifold gaskets and clutch thrust bearing.
Registered in the United Kingdom, chassis number 94054 presents in highly original condition. Showing 54,800km on the odometer, it’s a properly sorted accident-free car whose mere two owners have maintained it regardless of cost and kept as original as possible.
Furthermore, accompanying the car is the original Schedoni leather pouch containing the Cornes delivery pack, the signed and stamped warranty booklet and the owner’s manual. Suffice to say, this is a Ferrari ready to be enjoyed just as the factory intended.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s every bit as theatrical and special as you’d hope of a twelve-cylinder Ferrari. The cabin is a truly excellent place to sit – everything from the position of the gear lever and the cushioning of the seats to the minimal dash layout and the tactility of the touch points is far better than inside the Testarossa.
And then there’s those razor-sharp and comically wide haunches which take up half the view in the wing mirrors, the ice-cool pop-up headlights in the periphery of your forward vision and that legendary open-gate gearbox – with every deliciously metallic change you can’t help but smile.
Once on the move, the 512 TR is a tale of two halves. At low speeds it’s a pussycat, laden with torque and really rather effortless. Find yourself on a sweeping, open stretch of asphalt, however, and the TR transforms into a highly-strung thoroughbred – the wave of heady torque is linear and urges you forward as you venture further towards the redline.
Coupled with a deliciously shrill engine note from around 4,000rpm, the driving experience is genuinely intoxicating. The short nose feels light and pointy, and despite the mechanical mass you’re well aware of behind you, the 512 TR feels agile and planted. Those particularly well-versed in Prancing Horses of this ilk will feel the faint similarities to the 512 BBi.
Sell it to me in a sentence…
The 512 TR is a car with which to devour hundreds or even thousands of cross-continental kilometres and arrive at your destination feeling as fresh as the Pininfarina bodywork looks striking – a twelve-cylinder titan with looks to kill and a seriously impressive breadth of ability.
Price: £129,000 (GBP)
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