Miami Nice: 1986 Ferrari Testarossa

For me, it somehow seems right to find a 1986 Ferrari Testarossa for sale in Miami, Florida. For those of us over a certain age, a white 1986 Testarossa was the star car in the TV series Miami Vice. So, if this one was white, I’d definitely be doing a double take. The Testarossa is being offered for sale with a BIN price of $99,500, but the option is there to submit an offer. If this is a car that you would like to have in your garage, then you will find it listed for sale here on eBay.

The Testarossa is one of those cars where the styling has tended to polarize people. It’s not a car that I have ever really warmed to, but I do respect the engineering that has gone into the car. This one has a virtually flawless presentation, and those side strakes and external mirrors are two of the most distinctive visual features of the car. Having spent a number of years in climate controlled storage, and with only 20,000 genuine miles on the clock, it isn’t surprising that the Ferrari looks as good as it does.

The interior of the Ferrari is a symphony in black, and it does present very nicely. There is some edge wear on the driver’s seat bolster, but the rest of the interior does look good and very original, right down to the Alpine radio/cassette player. The car also features power windows and air conditioning that blows icy cold. One of the features that I have always loved, and it is almost never seen on anything but a supercar, is the gated shifter. I just think that these are a great looking thing, and if I could afford one, I’d probably buy a car like this just for that feature.

Under the hood of the Testarossa is a mid-mounted 4.9-liter V12 flat-12 engine, which sends its power to the road via a 5-speed transaxle. These engines produce in the vicinity of 390hp, but this is probably needed, as the Testarossa is no lightweight. Tipping the scales at 3,760lbs, this was one area where the Testarossa did cop some criticism, as many thought that it was too heavy. While it did blunt performance a bit, the Testarossa could still manage a 0-60mph time of 5.2 seconds and could cover the standing ¼ mile in 13.5 seconds, which was not shabby. This Ferrari is said to run and drive well, with both the engine and transmission working smoothly. One thing that will require attention is the belt servicing. This is now due as per the calendar rather than the mileage, and it’s a vitally important item to pay attention to. The last thing that you want to hear from your thoroughbred Italian engine is one very loud noise, and then a lot of silence.

When it was released, the Testarossa was widely criticized for its appearance, but the passing of time has seen opinions tend to become far more mellow. This has been best reflected by the fact that while the values of the Testarossa took a bit of a battering in earlier days, they have bounced back in recent time, and the average price for a 1986 model is around the $115,000 region. This particular car looks to be in good condition, and it is a low mileage example. It has certainly attracted some attention since coming onto the market, with 179 people watching the eBay listing. I’ve never priced a belt service for one of these, but if that isn’t horrendously expensive, then this Testarossa would seem like a pretty decent buy at the price.

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Take a check?

    2
    • Sidney

      A buddy of mine had one, thought it was his reward for practicing his craft flawlessly for twenty years. Gave me a ride, and I could hardly get in or out, plus I was cramped inside. I am not a big man, but not his 5 foot 5 size either. He even had an Italian name, guess he should look the part as well. Sad sorry though, didn’t keep it long, much too unreliable. At least he still had wife number three, a fairly young Nordic goddess. I am sure she helped him forget.

      3
    • Dr Al

      I’ve owned four Ferraris, own a Testarossa and a 430 Spider now. I’ve owned the Testarossa for 25+ years now.

      There’s a lot to be said driving a classic and iconic 12 cylinder Ferrari. At 5’10” the cabin is plenty big and wide and will easily accommodate a 6’ frame.

      The belt maintenance is 5-7 years and not too terribly expensive.

      Don’t believe everything you read from poseurs who never truly loved the styling or who have never owned the car. And it’s a FLAT 12 boxer engine, not a V12 as reported.

      This low mileage car will look like a bargain in 5-10 years.

      3
  2. beaudog

    Drove one of these once as a younger man….wasn’t really that impressed. The best part was hitting the gas, once you had to settle down and just drive, the novelty wore off real quick. Sure did catch a lot of eyes though.

    1
  3. Howard A

    Barn Finds turned exotic almost overnight, and few even noticed,,,

    3
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Agree Howard. Something shaking here.

      1
    • Kevin Harper

      With all do respect Howard, there are a lot of us that prefer some exotics. I probably skip over 85% of what is on BF, but I do usually look at the Italian exotics and semi exotics. If you don’t like them just skip over them, that is what I do for all the Camaro/Mustang/Charger and SUV postings it is not that hard.

      8
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We have featured the occasional exotic since the very beginning.

      4
    • Ralph

      This is sandwiched between some hideous kit car and and Olds 98, its not exactly like its become Southebys overnight…….

      3
  4. 71FXSuperGlide

    It isn’t all that uncommon to find low mileage examples of these older Ferrari’s, with good reason.

    Awesome looking car.

    1
  5. Kevin Harper

    The timing belt kit is around 250 and it is an engine out service. The engine out part scares a lot of people but it is really not that bad The engine transmission and rear suspension are all built together as a module and are designed to be dropped out. You have quick disconnects for the electrical and fluid lines and you sit it on a table and lift the car. Ferrari had a special table but it really isn’t that special and a flat table with a few pieces of wood for support works just fine.

    Parts prices are more expensive than for a Camry but with some shopping they can be found reasonable, at least for the service items.

    One big thing on these is that they do not like drag race starts. The gearbox will break shafts, destroy the pinion and split the case, sometimes it will do all 3 at once. Repair cost is pricey at around 15k just for the gearbox. A Canadian guy has made a custom set of gears and shafts that are better than the original and a lot of owners replace the parts with these. Last time I looked the cost was around 10k.

    OK driving these I hate to say is really not that great. They are to big and bulky. They are to fast to have fun on the street and the brakes do not really hold up on the track. For less money the 308/328/348T/355 are more fun to drive, even though not as fast on top end. Just be aware all of these have their problems and buying one unaware of the condition can be an expensive proposition.

    10
  6. Jay E.

    I recall seeing one of these on the streets in 1986. The look was so different, so over the top, low and wide. Snarling engine. I was transfixed. It is still a car that gets attention all these years later and that is proof of a ground breaking (although like it or hate it) design.
    I just skip the ads for cars I don’t like. Some days I don’t look at any cars. I do appreciate the variety and actually won an eBay bid a couple of days ago. (Shorty 57) Like other bidders, I had a bad seller experience and dropped it. But it is good that Barnfinds mixes it up.

    4
  7. JohnU

    Always thought it was ugly when owners would add the extra flying mirror

    2
  8. 408interceptor

    I know it’s thirty year old technology but I find it very interesting that a 2019 Mustang GT can out accelerate this Ferrari to 60 mph. Hell, soccer mom minivans could probably give it a run for the money.

    2
    • theGasHole

      It’s a crazy world we live in these days…..a Camry can outperform most “muscle cars” of the 60’s and early 70’s (not that I’d be caught dead in a Camry), and electric cars will blow the doors off of most anything on the road from 0-60.
      In 1995 I restored my first classic car, a 1963 Riviera, which was noted as going 0-60 in 7.7 seconds as it had the optional 425ci engine. Thought that was pretty quick at the time. Now, a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds is laughable for anything built post 2014.

      3
      • Sandy Claws

        A Honda Civic beats that. Modern cars are amazing, and we should never forget that.

  9. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Who cares which is faster to 60? That’s not why you buy a classic car. Everything has gotten faster, but few are as cool as a Testarossa. I know I’d rather drive this than any Mustang or minivan!

    5
    • 408 interceptor

      It’s just a comment Jesse, not trying to be nasty or anything. My 1976 Trans Am with a 455 4-speed would have a hard time keeping up with a new Hyundai Accent LOL.

  10. David Mika

    Careful, I think there’s a gator lurking behind that row of hedges…

    • SteVen

      And his name is Elvis! :-)

      2
  11. Marco

    The only TR I ever saw up close and personal was a brand new one broken down and not running by the side of the road. Turns out I knew the owner. He had just purchased the car and was NOT Happy! Some sort of electrical issue. The styling has grown on me over the years. The cars a beast but still prefer the 328GTS of the same era

    4
  12. CHuck

    The Testarossa has Flat 12 not a V12 as noted in the write up. Regardless of maintenance needs this is the Ferrari I would love to have. Such a sexy car.

    1
  13. Frank Sumatra

    That design did not stand the test of time. “Culo Brutto” might be a rough translation of what I see here.

  14. SteVen

    When I saw these in the car mags when new, I hated the styling. Then saw one, silver, in person(Ferrari NA prep facility was in Aston, PA right along my route to school) and was transfixed by this super low and very wide car. I followed it and missed school! The pics in the car mags were all shot from a low angle, not how most of us would see it in person. This has always annoyed me(still does when they film cars at BJ and other auctions and they do the same thing…stupid!). I have always felt that they should provide at least one shot of the car from normal viewing height; and maybe with a normal car parked next to it for comparison.

    Anyway I wanted one from then on. I also really liked the styling of the same vintage 328 GTS. When I was finally in a position to buy one about 15 years ago I went and saw both at Algar Ferrari in Rosemont, PA(main line Philly suburbs). The TR was terribly uncomfortable to sit in; seemed smaller than the 328 inside. You basically had to sit a bit sideways, angling your legs toward the center of the car. It would be painful to drive for any distance. The 328 still had a bit of that, but far less. I seriously considered buying the 328, a great car that they were asking $35K for(I think the TR asking was $50K but I’m not certain) but I really had no place to put it so I passed.

    Still love the sound of these cars, but I know I will never actually buy one. The ’86 was my favorite TR styling wise, with the single mirror(adding the second mirror, made for RHD versions, is a crime) and center-lug hubs. Thank goodness the seller at least has avoided the temptation to add insult to injury by adding the tacky stickers(“scuderia shields”). Good luck to seller and buyer.

    2
    • TR Owner

      The two flying mirror TR is not aftermarket. I dislike people who don’t own the car making silly comments about “adding an aftermarket second mirror” when it’s far from true. Duh.

      1
      • SteVen

        Didn’t say it was aftermarket. It is a real Ferrari part, the mirror used as the single high mirror on right hand drive ’85-’86 Testarossas. It simply is non-factory and thus incorrect for a left hand drive TR. Obviously a dealer could have added it, though a shame to so mar the aesthetics of the car by doing so. For ’87 onward the factory did install two mirrors, but lower down in the traditional location. While arguable more handsome, and certainly symmetrical, the lower mirrors were functionally compromised. The single driver’s side mirror was not only unique but surprisingly useful, as any of us who have been in both versions knows well.

        1
      • TestarossaOwnet

        SteVen the Monospechhio Testarossa switched over from a single flying mirror to a dual flying mirror sometime in 1986.

        Please quit dispensing erroneous information. Those of us who have owned several Ferraris know the history of the various cars. I own a couple of Ferraris, one of them for 25+ years (Testarossa).

        Do your due diligence at resources like FerrariChat or FerrariLife before posting about something you obviously don’t know.

        Those double high mirrors were built at the factory, not aftermarket or dealer add-on parts.

        This car is stock from the factory and priced fairly.

        Monospecchio Testarossa with additional right-hand flying mirror is a factory built stock car.

      • SteVen

        I stand corrected. So there were a handful of dual flying mirror cars imported to the US in 1986. Unfortunately there are others where the mirror was added post factory. I have seen at least 2 1985 cars with the duals, either dealer or owner added.
        Whether one of the rare factory ones or not, the dual mirrors are still ugly and do violence to the inconic single mirror original masterpiece of design.

  15. Alain Rivas

    I’ve owned 30 plus classics over the years. Someday, I will purchase one of these. If your a car guy and your heart doesn’t skip a beat when you see one of these in person, you need to check your pulse. It’s one of those cars, that blurred the lines between transportation and art.

    2
  16. Sandy Claws

    A Honda Civic beats that. Modern cars are amazing, and we should never forget that.

  17. Donald

    Shades of “Miami Vice”, isn’t this Sonny’s car?

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