Gianni Agnelli Wanted A Roofless Testarossa, So Ferrari Got Him One

Gianni Agnelli Wanted A Roofless Testarossa, So Ferrari Got Him One

The Ferrari SP3JC and SP38 Deborah are the latest creations of the Ferrari Special Project department, but let’s take a look at how they took on things in the 1980s.

Photography: Ferrari

The Ferrari Testarossa was introduced at the 1984 Paris Motor Show as the successor of the BB 512i. Ferrari entered a new era of car design: the long side ‘egg slicers’, the triangle shaped body and the rear-strakes - to supposedly protect the lights - quickly became the car’s most recognizable features.

Cool features

Ferrari never planned to build an open-top version of the Testarossa, but when Fiat-Chairman Gianni Agnelli came knocking on the factory’s door, the designers went back to the drawing board. According to Ferrari archives, they started off with a normal Testarossa on 27 February 1986. Only four months later, the car was finished and delivered to Agnelli in Turin with his personalised number plate ‘TO 00000G’, just in time to celebrate his 20 years as the president of Fiat.

Ferrari Testarossa Spider

Ferrari did not just take the roof off an existing Testarossa to then hand it over to Agnelli. The floor was strengthened and an electrically operated frame was installed to support the soft-top. Because of a leg injury, Agnelli couldn’t drive manual cars all day long. Ferrari found a solution and installed a button which he needed to press if he wanted to drive in automatic mode. This made this particular car the only Testarossa with automatic gearbox.

Argento Nürburgring

Traditional red wasn’t for Agnelli. Instead, he ordered the car in Argento Nürburgring as ‘AG’ is the periodic table’s symbol for silver which also happens to be the first two letters of his last name. To make it a bit more outstanding, blue pin stripes were added across the side windows and lower black sills and the interior was finished in dark blue leather.

Ferrari Testarossa Spider

Agnelli sold the car to a close friend in 1991 after he showed the car during a party. His friend fell in love with the Spider and Agnelli sold it to him. He enjoyed the car until 2016 when it sold during a Retromobile Auction for a whopping €1.210.080.

The car is currently in the hands of Ferrari fanatic Ronald Stern. As mentioned in an interview with TOFM, Stern was looking for a truly unique one-off car. He met Leonardo Fioravanti in Maranello when it was in for the Classische Certification: ‘’It was a privilege to have the man who oversaw its creation explain the various things they’d originally done to engineer and reinforce the car’s chassis.’’ Piero Ferrari personally handed over the certification when the car was delivered to Sterns home in London.

Aftermarket Ferrari Testarossa Spiders

Ferrari Testarossa Spider

Many Ferrari clients noticed the Testarossa Spider and wanted one for their own. Ferrari declined every inquiry simply because the structure of the roof would be too hard to put into mass production. Luckily, for those that wished one, aftermarket companies such as Pavesi, Lorentz and Koenig converted Testarossas into open-top versions.

Written by Max Lammers


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