If you’re anything like me, the Testarossa was probably a huge influence on you as a kid. 12 cylinders, the low, wide body, a pracing horse, and a red paint job was all it took to help ignite this passion we all share. This car had to have been high up in my all-time most influential list.
I can still remember looking through my father’s old car magazines and finding a Car & Driver from 1984 with this and the 288 GTO on the cover. You can’t imagine how many times I flipped through those pages. Yes, the F40 was the ultimate poster child, but the Testarossa had a different type of impact on me.
The low, wide backside, the swooping lines from the front to rear wheel arches, and the massive side air intakes struck all the right chords for this budding car enthusiast. It would be my favorite Ferrari for most of my childhood.
Surprisingly, I had a Testarossa shaped hole in my collection until about a month ago. I knew I needed one, it was just a matter of finding the right one to do my love for the car justice. Obviously if money wasn’t an issue I’d have the ultra-high end Kyosho model with every detail down to the pop-up headlights. The ancient Bburago release is on the low end of the spectrum; too low for my requirements. The Hot Wheels Elite car would have been ideal, but I think the secondhand sellers of that car think that model is worth more than it really is. A lot of those sellers prey on the Magnum PI fans. So I ultimately ended up with this early non-Elite Hot Wheels release. I got an eBay alert on this car’s Buy it Now listing for $30 shipped and I just couldn’t pass it up.
The legendary 12 cylinder engine is well represented under the rear hatch. I wish the hatch had better fitment when closed, but a least it’s metal. You’ll find some painted details on the engine but not much else.
The biggest and maybe only let down for this model are the iconic cheese-grater side vents. Mattel decided to make these parts out of plastic, for cost saving measures I’m sure. But when you use plastic parts, you need to mount them somewhere. Unfortunately, those mounting points interrupt the flow of the vents. They come to an end at the edge of the door and then restart on the rear quarter panel. On the real car, the line of the vents is much more fluid. You’ve got to get the most ionic part of the car’s design done right. That’s like making a 300SL Gullwing model with doors that don’t open!
I love the single side mirror too. That’s what the car in my Dad’s old Car & Driver had, so that’s what I wanted on my model. Sure there’s visible mounting posts on the front indicator lights and the pop-ups are cast-in, but I just love the simple and elegant Pinninfarina front end on this Italian icon.
So there you have it, the Testarossa I finally added to my collection. There are still plenty more childhood heros of mine that I need to add, but I feel fortunate enough to have crossed this one off for only $30. Perhaps someday I’ll have enough disposable income to get a high-end Kyosho, but ultaimely I’d like to have the 1:1 in ym garage first!