16-17 August 2013

From the Estate of William H. Tilley

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Lot 231

1987 Ferrari Testarossa

  • Chassis no. ZFFSG17A4H0071823

Sold for $110,000

380 bhp, 4,943 cc Colombo flat 12-cylinder engine, five-speed manual gearbox, front and rear independent suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.

  • Offered from the Estate of William H. Tilley
  • The most iconic Ferrari of the 1980s
  • Less than 10,000 miles from new
  • Documented, including a set of books and tools

Introduced the night before the opening of the 1984 Paris Motor Show at the famed Lido nightclub on the Champs Elysees, Ferrari’s dramatic Testarossa took the world by storm. Not only did the Testarossa find its way into the garages of over 7,000 enthusiasts, it also earned a place of honor on many a child’s bedroom wall, becoming the poster-child for a generation.

Designed to replace the Berlinetta Boxer, Pininfarina’s designers took Ferrari’s mid-engined V-12 platform in an entirely different styling directly from previous Ferraris. Angular and aggressive, the Testarossa’s bodywork was a dramatic departure from the more curvaceous 512 BB. The most notable visual feature was its long side-strakes that run along the doors and rear three-quarter panels. However, those controversial “cheese graters” were functional, drawing air into the relocated dual rear-mounted radiators to keep both the engine and cabin from overheating.

Mechanically, the Testarossa was a huge improvement over the 512 BB. Redesigned to address the issues of a lack of luggage space and uncomfortable cabin heat, Ferrari needed its new car to be bigger than its predecessor. Its overall width was increased by nearly half a foot, while the wheelbase grew by 2.5 inches over the 512, giving the Testarossa a menacing stance on the road and also providing its occupants with more space for their belongings.

The powertrain was redesigned to add four valves per cylinder, which meant more horsepower and breathability over the V-12 in the 512BB. The addition of a new clutch helped to manage power at the rear wheels. As a result, the Testarossa’s performance was incredible for the 1980s, and it still remains respectable today. With a top speed of just under 180 mph, it could accelerate to 60 mph from a dead stop in just over five seconds.

Showing under 10,000 miles on its odometer, this 1987 Testarossa has been carefully maintained and enjoyed for its entire life. Wearing the typical Ferrari color combination of Rosso Corsa over tan leather interior, this Testarossa absolutely screams “Ferrari!” The car continues to present very well. The paint is tidy, with only a few minor scratches and stone chips, particularly in the nose area. The interior shows some wear on the driver’s side carpets and seats, but overall, it is very clean and representative of the cars mileage. The headliner is mark free and shows no signs of sagging. The engine bay is also very neat and appears well looked after. There are a few small markings on the wheels, but, overall, they present very well. Regardless of its low mileage, the Testarossa received its major 30,000 mile service in late 2007 from Fast Cars Ltd., in Redondo Beach, California. Included are its original manuals and tools, items that are normally separated from most Testarossas over the years.

A Ferrari Testarossa is a must-have automobile for any collector. It remains the quintessential example of ’80s style and turns heads going down the road today as it did when it was new. This Testarossa is a fantastic driver in fine condition. It will have no problem satisfying the automotive desires of the individual who has been looking for a car to match the poster that once was, or still is, on their bedroom wall.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more