Thursday, 23 February 2017

Testarossa Spider

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Launched in 1986, OutRun was one of the defining titles of the burgeoning driving videogame genre, its pie-in-the-sky Testarossa Spider offering a glimpse of surreality against a constantly colour-shifting purple and orange sky.
...however, life often reflects art, and that very same year a real Testarossa Spider was spirited into being. Just one. A silver one, painted thus because the chemical symbol for silver, Ag, matched the inverted initials of its intended owner, Gianni Agnelli.
Built as a gift to commemorate Agnelli's twentieth year at the head of Fiat SpA, the silver wedge was artfully decapitated and fitted with a folding metal roof. It was also tailored specifically for Agnelli's needs by the fitment of a clever Valeo system to help with his inability to drive using both legs; an accident in his younger days (in which he was caught by his missus having a bit of slap 'n' tickle with another girl - in driving the girl home he clipped a lorry at 140mph, resulting in an impressive accident that wrote off his right leg) meant that controlling all the pedals in the traditional sense was impossible, so the Testarossa Spider had a push-button system to operate the clutch.
There have been numerous other Spiders crafted since, mainly by Pininfarina for the Sultan of Brunei - and you may recall seeing Michael Jackson in a black one in an old '80s Pepsi ad - but this car is the only official Testarossa Spider built by Ferrari. Interestingly, Agnelli only hung on to it until 1991, selling it to a mate who expressed an interest. But don't judge him too harshly - Ferrari had just given him a Valeo-equipped F40...

Spotted at the 2016 Windsor Concours - more pics here.

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