Ferraris flagship model, the Testarossa supercar revived a famous name from the Italian company's past when it arrived in 1984. A next generation Berlinetta Boxer, the Testarossa retained its predecessors amidships-mounted, 5.0-litre, flat-12 engine; the latter now boasting a maximum power output raised to 380bhp at 6,300rpm courtesy of four-valve cylinder heads. Despite the power increase, smoothness and driveability were enhanced, the car possessing excellent top gear flexibility allied to a maximum speed of 180mph.
Rivalling Lamborghinis Countach for presence, the Pininfarina-designed Testarossa succeeded brilliantly, the gill slats feeding air to its side-mounted radiators being one of the modern eras most instantly recognisable and copied - styling devices. A larger car than the 512BB - the increase in width being necessary to accommodate wider tyres - the Testarossa managed the trick of combining high downforce with a low coefficient of drag, its graceful body being notable for the absence of extraneous spoilers and other such devices.
Despite the increase in size over the 512BB, the Testarossa was lighter than its predecessor, the body - its steel doors and roof exempt - being, somewhat unusually for a production Ferrari, of aluminium. Luxury touches in the well-equipped cabin included air conditioning, electrically adjustable seats, tilting steering wheel and plentiful leather.
Unlike some of its rivals, the Testarossa possessed light controls and was relatively easy to drive, factors which, allied to its outstanding performance and stunning looks, contributed to an instant and sustained high level of demand. In 1992 the original Testarossa was succeeded by the updated 512TR version, which came with 428bhp on tap, while ABS brakes were added to the package before the 512TR was replaced by the legendary 512M for 1995.
Produced for a limited run of 500, this stunning M version was supplied by Autohaus Wendelstein, Bavaria, Germany in 1996, having rolled off the Marinello production line in September 1995 in Rosso with Nero hide and carpets.
Just one year on (1997) the car was exported to Japan. Here the car received its first years' service at 2,200 km. The car formed part of a Japanese collection, with stamps in the Service booklet verifying its maintenance during its residence there with the last stamp in Japan at 24,900 km.
Earlier this year, chassis 104668 returned to the UK. A recent service has just been undertaken by renowned Berkshire specialist QV at 24,900 km. A full check over document was also completed by them which will be available in the cars file.
Finished in its original colour combination, and being one of just 500 ever built this wonderful, incredibly rare and good looking 512M with such low mileage should be at the top of any collectors list. Rarely do these cars exchange hands on the open market.
Now UK registered with 12 Months MOT.