Sometime in the early 1990’s I was tootling a long a one track country lane in Hampshire on a wonderful summers afternoon, with the roof of my Citroen 2CV down, when I caught site of a bright red object in my rear view mirror.
Behind me was a Ferrari Testarossa with absolutely nowhere to go until we got to the next junction. Fortunately I went straight and the Testarossa went left. A couple of minuets later I got to my friends house where there was a note requesting that I go and pick up their kids from primary school, something I had done once or twice before.
When I got to the tiny village school there in the car park was the bright red Testarossa. I had arrived a couple of minuets early and the school secretary motioned that I sit down to wait for class to be dismissed. As I did so I noticed through the glass door to one of the classrooms was the familiar, to me through hundreds of images I had seen, figure of James Hunt reading a story to what turned out to be his son Freddies class.
The kids were absolutely captivated by his magnetism and completely oblivious to the reputation of the one who was reading to them. I can’t be sure the Ferrari James was driving that day was really his by then I seem to recall hearing that his Mercedes was up on blocks and that he was mostly to be found driving around in an ancient Austin A35 Van, featured yesterday, but no matter I saw a slice of James life that I will always treasure as much as his victory at the Nurburgring in 1976, which I also was lucky enough to see.
The Ferrari Testarossa was launched in 1984 as a top of the range model to replace the Ferrari 365 GTB4 / 512 Berlineta Boxer series. Powered by a 390 hp 48 valve Colomdo designed flat 12 with red cylinder heads, which was good for a top speed of 180 mph.
The Testarossa name is not to be confused with famous 1956 Ferrari Testa Rossa sports racing car which would probably be worth a lot more than a Testarossa, in any condition.
The $181,000 Testarossa, which was never raced but did make a cameo appearance in a TV show called Miami Mice, cashed in on the Ferrari reputation big time. Nearly 10,000 examples were built including 512 TR and F512 M variants launched in ’92 and ’95 respectively.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s village school edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !