Well-heeled auctioneers R.M. Sothebys know a thing or two about big-ticket items, and this November it is selling one extraordinary car in London: a 1990 Ferrari Testarossa Pininfarina Spider ‘Special Production’. This is not your daddy's car.
In fact this car is so rare and unusual that Sotheby's listing for the item almost has to be read in hushed tones. I'll get on to the car's history but what matters here, for the nerds among us, is that this is the exact model of Ferrari that inspired the design of the car in Yu Suzuki and AM2's arcade classic Out Run. The game was released in 1986, and the only Spider Testarossa that Ferrari ever made was produced in the same year.
And it looks like someone at Sothebys knows their golden age of videogames because, alongside the usual sales material, the auction house has produced a video showcasing this stunning car. The message of this advert seems fairly clear: drive this car incredibly fast and illegally, and leave those police sirens in the distance. Oncoming traffic? No problem in this baby!
Out Run fantasies aside, the history of this car reads like a movie script at points. "Given the right level of status—and the bank balance to back it up—almost anything is possible in the world of collector cars." Yes, I too am a rich man, please go on Mr. Sotheby.
"Behind doors which even the most astute of collectors may struggle to unlock, cars considered too wild for mainstream manufacture are created; bespoke projects straight from the imagination are brought to life. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of a collector’s vision made reality is this striking and rare Pininfarina-made drop-top, representing the peak of 1980s excess."
In other words, this is not just a sexy red car. It's one of only seven custom Testarossa Spiders ever made by the Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, each of which is finished in a unique fashion. The cars were originally commissioned by Brunei royalty, and this example has never been registered for road use and has only 413 kilometres on the odometer. Such is the fate of a dream machine: life in a garage.
Or it was until now. In 2021 the car was restored at two factories in Italy: first the contemporary Pininfarina factory in Cambiano, where the convertible hood was restored and repainted, after which the interior was refreshed. It was then given a full mechanical overhaul to be returned to "like new" condition.
Or as Sothebys puts it, this is "an alluring piece of automotive history—justifiably qualifying for “unicorn” status in certain car enthusiast circles." It's the Out Run car. It's ludicrously desirable, illegally fast, and a little bit like blue skies come to life. The car goes on-sale November 5, and is estimated to fetch between £1.4 to £1.8 million. Hey, I'll give you fifty quid for it. Final offer.