Eighties Icon: 1986 Ferrari Testarossa Monodado

The Ferrari Testarossa is a car that was designed in the 1980s, and achieved iconic status in that decade thanks to a white example being the vehicle of choice for Don Johnson’s character in the TV series “Miami Vice.” In fact, Enzo Ferrari became such a fan of the series that he gave Johnson a silver Testarossa as a gift. If you fancy securing your own slice of the 1980s, you will find this Testarossa listed for sale here on Live Auctioneers. The car is currently located in The Netherlands, and at the time of writing, bidding has reached $34,000.

This Testarossa appears to be in good condition, but that is hardly a great surprise, as most Ferraris tend to be well cared for. The Testarossa was available in a wide assortment of colors, but the traditional red paintwork always seems to be the most appropriate color. The car also features the distinctive knock-off wheel nuts, which remained a feature of the car until mid-1988. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the interior of the vehicle, but we can see that it appears to be the traditional hand-stitched tan leather upholstery. It would be nice to see what sort of condition it is in.

The Testarossa features a mid-mounted 4,943cc flat-12 engine, hooked to a 5-speed manual transaxle. The engine features DOHC per cylinder bank and produces 385hp. The engine and transmission were designed to be removed through the bottom of the car to facilitate servicing of items such as the timing belts. Being an early production car, those distinctive Ferrari alloy wheels are a metric measurement, making tire choice a bit limited, although later models were fitted with more conventional wheels that looked identical. It may be worth considering purchasing a set of those later wheels for general use, as this will reduce the hassles associated with the metric wheels, but the original wheels could be retained to protect vehicle originality for potential later sale. The Ferrari has also covered a claimed 45,000 kilometers or around 28,000 miles.

The Testarossa is not a particularly rare Ferrari in the USA, but they are a car that has held its value really well. The Testarossa was sold for $181,000 at launch, and after prices slumped significantly during the late 1990s and early 2000s, they have rebounded quite well. It is possible to find the occasional example in the market for just under $100,000, but a good one with a documented history will cost between $120,000 and $160,000, depending on mileage. We have no idea what the reserve has been set at for this car, so it is one that is worth watching.


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  1. Dwayne

    Still remember like it was yesterday, 14 years old lying in the living room floor, when the first promo for Miami Vice came on the tv. My dad looked down at me and said, I think that might be a pretty good show. Funny how you remember certain things so vividly.

    Like 9
    • Chris

      The series promo had a Daytona.
      Got blown up I believe season 3, then replaced with the white testarossa.

      Like 1
  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    I also remember the show and the early episodes. Thing is, wasn’t the initial car a clone based on either a Corvette or Pantera? IIRC Enzo Ferrari offered them real Ferrari’s if they’d get rid of the clones, which they did. In fact I thought one of the clone cars was destroyed in one of the episodes that followed the offer.

    Like 2
    • rodney

      That was the Daytona Spyder replica. Very cool car built on Corvette chassis.

      Like 2
  3. Gerald Clarke

    “Barn Finds”?

  4. Billy007

    $186000 at the beginning in the early 80s? What is that today, upwards of a half a million? I am sorry, no single car is worth more then the average person pays for two or three houses. No wonder people are angry at the ultra rich.

    Like 1
  5. SteVen

    The 1986 Testarossa was equipped with a single mirror mounted up on the A-pillar. Not sure but perhaps this car was modified to match the later style? And those tacky stick-on emblems(“scuderia shields”….OMG how pretentious) have GOT to go. To me the 1986 is the purest form, with the flying mirror and center lug hubs.

    Like 5
  6. KawiVulc

    Nope, sorry, still think these things are as butt ugly as I did in the 80’s.

  7. DAN


    Ferrari filed a lawsuit demanding McBurnie and four others to stop producing and selling Ferrari replicas.[1] Miami Vice producers, on the other hand, wanted no legal troubles[citation needed], and accepted Ferrari’s offer of two free 1986 Testarossas on the condition that the replicas be demolished.[6] Carl Roberts offered to build two new Daytonas for the 1987 season (third season of Miami Vice).[6] When Roberts learned that the Daytona was out, he proposed a trade.[6] He would build Miami Vice a Testarossa stunt car in return for the doomed Daytona.[6] Carl’s original plan was to remove the Daytona skin from the Corvette and replace it with Testarossa body pieces, but this yielded poor results and led Roberts to devise another plan.[5][6]

    1986 Ferrari Testarossa #63631
    Roberts searched and found a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera, which was perfectly suited for the Testarossa body pieces.[5][6] The Pantera was rigidly modified to withstand the duties of filming.[5] It was raised 1.5 inches for additional ground clearance,[6] 2.5 inch wall-thick square tubing was used to prevent potential roof buckling and added a reinforcing railing that doubles as a skid plate,[6] an auxiliary braking system designed to assist drivers in controlled spins, the master cylinder was repositioned in the brake line to enable it to feed the rear wheels enabling the driver to lock the aft end on command, and the auxiliary master cylinder utilizes the original master cylinder’s reservoir and is installed in series with the outlet of the original master cylinder port leading to the rear wheels.[6] When the stock brake is applied, fluid passes freely through the stunt master cylinder inlet port and compensating port and out the exhaust port to the rear wheels.[6] When the stunt brake is applied, the piston in the master cylinder blocks off the compensating port to the exhaust port and pressurizes the rear brake system, cutting off the original brake master cylinder besides the compensating port in the stunt brake.[6] BF Goodrich TA’s were added for enhanced stick, as were Tilton brake calipers. The improved traction required installation of a hydraulic in-line brake power booster lifted from a Volvo P-1800.[6] It operates on engine vacuum to aid in breaking loose the pavement-hugging TA’s.[6] To further enhance the growl of the vehicle, Robert’s team installed a NOS port-injected nitrous system, which was later replaced with a plate-type configuration.[6] He also replaced the carburetor replacing the stock with a Predator which reduces fuel lag.[5][6] A Modine all-aluminum four-core radiator was used to guard against Miami’s hot weather, and liquid Auto-Meter gauges to monitor the temperature.[6]
    In the second episode of the third season,[5][7] Crockett complained to Lt. Castillo about driving vehicles that did not fit his cover as a high roller drug dealer; that he was going around “looking like Li’l Abner”, to which Castillo told him “It’s out back.” Sonny was delighted to find his new white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, Florida license plate AIF00M.[7] The original Testarossas donated by Ferrari North America were black metallic but were then painted white. The Testarossa briefly appears in black in the season 3 episode El Viejo, which was originally intended to be the season opener, but was then switched with When Irish Eyes Are Crying because it was thought that the season needed to start with a “bang”, i.e. the fake Daytona being blown up. Different reasons were given at the time as to why the cars were repainted in white, ranging from a driving mishap by Don Johnson on the set that resulted in one of the cars requiring a new coat of paint, to Michael Mann thinking that unlike the Daytona, the black exterior paint did not make the Testarossa look good enough in night scenes. One of the two main Testarossa’s used in filming recently resided on display at The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. The Swap Shop’s owner purchased the car from NBC for $750,000.00 and has reportedly turned down $1,000,000.00 offers for it. The other White Ferrari Testarossa was owned by Peter Lima, of Real Muscle Car Boutique[8] also located in Miami, Florida and was recently put up for auction for 1.75 million through eBay in December 2014 after gaining a lot of buzz from the media.[9] Today, the hero car (Ferrari Testarossa chassis #63631) is documented by Ferrari Classiche and is part of a collection currently owned by Adams Classic & Collector Cars in Buford, GA.

    Like 5
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I have relatives in Buford. It would be fun to drop in at the place and have a look around next time I am down that way.

  8. t-bone Bob


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