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I am interested in buying a Testarossa. I would appreciate any comments, especially from owners, about their experience with the car. Is maintanence as expensive as I'm told ($10K+ for 30K service, 7-8K for 15K service, and $1K for routine services); is the car "enjoyable" to drive, or is it "too heavy" feeling? Are the later version cars (512TR) improved significantly enough to justify the $30K plus price premium? Any thought are appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 

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Hi Lencap - welcome to the forum!!

See my first post - from a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.ferrariforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1483

At the beginning of this year, I began looking for a new car. From the very start, the Testarossa was on my "hitlist" as it was THE car throughout my car concious youth.

I can't think speak about the ownership experience, as in the end I gave up and bought a 348 (which I pick up this Saturday :D), but I can tell you what I learnt during my search.

1) Yes - the clutch is very heavy.
2) Yes - there's no power steering, so the steering at slow speeds is hilariously heavy.
3) Yes - it's a bit of a nightmare to drive around city streets, if you'd need to do that.
4) Yes - it will cost you a small fortune to maintain.

But if you want to be "put off" - don't be put off by the first three. They're the nature of the beast. As for the cost - if you have to ask, you need to think seriously about it. They're obviously not cars to be maintained on the cheap, and you absolutely don't want to be in a position where somethings gone wrong, and you can't afford to fix it. Having one you couldn't use would be my idea of purgatory!!

You asked if it's enjoyable to drive. You really need to go and drive one. I found it an absolute hoot!! Get it into its natural environment - nice fast, empty roads, the odd car to humiliate, nice bends etc and it comes alive. It's certainly not the kind of car that you can get in and immediately drive like a God though (I know I didn't!) but if you want that, go and buy an Impreza! :ugh:

So there are good and bad points - but it's no different to wearing a Rolex. I can buy a watch for pennies that'll be more accurate, and won't need a £185.00 service every 3 years. But I put up with the bad points because of the good points.

When it comes down to it, of course cost is always a factor. For me, it was largely that I couldn't find a Testarossa/512tr that I liked, and partly that I knew that my wife would rapidly lose enthusiasm for me having a Ferrari if it cost what she considered to be a fortune!! After all, it is a luxury, I don't actually need one (don't tell her that!!) If she's happy with the 348, she'll be less likely to complain when it comes time to upgrade!! :green:

As for the 512tr - I've not driven one. I did spend an awful lot of time talking to dealers about their peception of the difference - and every single one said the same thing - if you want a Testarossa, and you can afford the 512, buy the 512. Unfortunately, the cost implication isn't small - although in the UK the difference between them is more like £10-15k - which is a little less.

Obviously, all the usual advice stands. Look at as many as you can - you'll learn something from every viewing, I know I did. Don't be in too much of a hurry - the looking is half the fun!!

I wish you all the luck in the world.

Bazil
 

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The 512TR is rated as the 2nd most exciting Ferrari after the F40 by Autocar magazine. That should tell you how good it is. Two of my friends had the Testarossa. They said don't touch that car. Better to spend more on your purchase than to spend an equal amount on repairs if you go for the cheaper one.
 

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512TR is definitely the best of the breed. Lots of annoying problems were sorted by then. Avoid the 512M, this ugly machine is worth less at resale and is just... wrong.

Saw an absolutely superb example of the TR in Westover Sports Cars outside Blandford in Dorset. Bit pricey mind. Unfortunately all the motoring magazines have told everyone what a bargain the 512 was and now prices have shot up.

Running cost-wise I am no expert, but it's a V12, man, which means big servicing bills and running costs. It's also a big car – almost impossible to take down country lanes. All that stuff about the car "shrinking around you as soon as you press on" is nonsence. It's still massive.

If I had a spare £40-45,000 I would have one, at least for a few months until I had shrugged off the addiction. :)
 

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Quaid said:
Saw an absolutely superb example of the TR in Westover Sports Cars outside Blandford in Dorset.
If it's the one they still have on their site, I went down to see it a few weeks ago - and I'm afraid I didn't see it the same way.

It took me about 2 seconds to notice that the fins on the drivers door are about an inch out of alignment with the fins on the body - the whole door looked like it had dropped, the top of the window didn't even touch the seal!!

Also - both the bonnet and the engine cover had been repainted really badly. Especially the bonnet - it looked like it had had a fair bit of painted flaked off around the edges before it had been sprayed, and rather than clean this up, or strip it before painting, they'd just sprayed over where the paint had been missing!! Also, get them in the right light, and it's like looking at the skin of an orange!!

3 of the four wheels looked like my wife had been driving them.

One of the rear tyres had a chunk out of it that looked like someone had attacked it with a chainsaw!!

Plus quite a few other things.

Blandford is a fair way for me - about 4 hours drive - so I'd spoken to them before I went, and asked ALL the questions. Including the old "Look, I'm driving a long way to get there, please, please tell me if there is ANYTHING wrong AT ALL with the car. I don't want to get there and find things you've not told me about."

Having received the answer of "I swear, you'll be struggling to believe the car isn't brand new" I drove down there - 4 hours!

I was absolutely LIVID when I got there!! Even more so when the salesmans reaction to the drivers door was - they're hand built, they're not always going to line up!! He also claimed that the only thing on the car that had been repainted was the front bumper (for stone chips) - until I pointed the above out to him.

Dealers do themselves no favours at all sometimes. I could have happily killed him.

Bazil
 

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I don't recall the one I saw being so obviously dodgy.
Though I doubt they have had 2 in the space of a month. I will have a closer look next time I am in the area.

Did they offer any other excuses for the condition of the car?
 

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Quaid said:
Did they offer any other excuses for the condition of the car?
Aside from the "hand built" comment I mentioned ( :nuts: ), they did mention that it was a car that had been known to them for years and that not only had they never noticed the door, but they could guarantee that the owner (the car is for sale on commission) had never noticed it either!!

I can honestly say that the owner must have been chauffeured everywhere, because if he'd ever got in using the drivers door - he'd have noticed!! :green:

However, if I remember correctly, the interior was in fabulous condition.

I hate having my intelligence insulted - and they were really really good at it!!
 
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