1989 Ferrari Testarossa F110 AB
|Odometer reading||68,000 km|
|Estimate||£140,000 - £160,000|
- Delivered new to ex Formula One driver Gerhard Berger
- Excellent history confirming provenance
Ferrari unveiled the new Testarossa at the 1984 Paris Motor Show marking the end of production of the Boxer, the car that had been the flagship 12-cylinder Ferrari model for the previous ten years. Styled by Pininfarina, the Testarossa paid homage to the great 1950s sports racer that originally bore the name, simply translating as 'Red Head'; the rocker covers being painted red. The mid-engined, rear wheel drive configuration allowed the centre of gravity to be positioned in the middle of the car, with a weight distribution ratio of 40% front and 60% rear, thus achieving excellent cornering and road holding ability. The Testarossa was produced with 16'' five-spoke 'Star' alloy wheels and disc brakes fitted all round; with 309mm discs at the front and 310mm discs at the rear. In addition, the temperature inside the cockpit was reduced as twin radiators were mounted in the rear; unlike the Boxer, where the single front mounted radiator had plumbing from the bonnet to the engine behind the seats, which made the cabin very hot, especially on a warm day. The distinctive side vents were as useful as they were visually striking, allowing excellent engine ventilation, whilst contributing to the car's unique styling.
This Ferrari Testarossa, chassis number ZFFSA17S00080974, was given to the Formula 1 racing driver, Gerhard Berger, by Ferrari at the start of the 1989 season as part of his contract for racing for Ferrari in the 1989 Formula 1 World Championship. It was supplied to Gerhard Berger through the Ferrari dealership, DENZEL in Güssing, Austria and was first registered on the 19th May 1989 with the Austrian VIP number plate T.4798 for Gerhard Berger.Berger also used this number plate for his Ferrari 328 GTS, which had previously been given to him by Scuderia Ferrari. In Austria a number plate is not retained with a car when it is sold, but rather stays with the owner, who usually transfers it to his next car. That is why Gerhard Berger’s 328GTS and the Testarossa had the same number plate. There is an article in the history file about the 328 GTS, in which the number plate can clearly be seen in the photos.
Berger used either the car or his personal plane to get to test drives in Italy and the car is also mentioned twice in his memoirs, once when he was in the Testarossa following his sister in a Fiat through their home town of Wörgl and once when he was on the highway driving the Testarossa at 270 km/h, overtaking a truck, which itself suddenly overtook another car at 80 km/h. Berger was a young and fearless F1 pilot in those years and drove his Testarossa well at high speed.
In late 1989 Gerhard Berger acquired his Ferrari F40 and the Testarossa was sold to the owner of "Inntaler Transport GsmbH" in Innsbruck, Austria. Berger had a transport company himself in Wörgl, Austria and the owner of Inntaler Transport GsmbH was a friend of his. The car was registered to the new owner in Kufstein, Austria on 14th March 1990, again with a VIP number plate KU-00001.
The Testarossa then went to a Mr. Wimpissinger in Angath, Austria and was registered there on 27th March 1991 with the number plate KU-2FXU. Mr. Wimpissinger was a collector and Ferrari enthusiast, so the car was not used very much and was very well maintained. However, there was a fire at Mr. Wimpissinger’s home, from which the car was rescued unscathed, but his daughter sadly died. During the fire some of the paperwork relating to the car was destroyed.
Mr. Wimpissinger never came to terms with the fact that he had been able to save the car, but not his daughter, so he sold the car on 20th April 1993 to the owner of "Minathaler Hof" in Unterminathal, Austria. The car was re-registered with the number plate BR-49FS.
On 24th April 2009, the Testarossa was bought and re-registered with number plate B-687ER by Mr. Oliver Robert Schlachter from Lauterach, Austria. He was employed in an insurance office where he worked with a man who had dealt with the insurance file relating to the fire at Mr. Wimpissinger’s home. Mr. Schlachter heard about the Testarossa and bought it, as he is an Italian car and Gerhard Berger enthusiast.
He subsequently became a teacher at a business school and only used the Testarossa when the weather was perfect. His longest trip was about 200 KM in all the years he owned it. He kept the Testarossa until he was offered a Lamborghini, which he decided to buy.
In late 2013 Thomas Zettl of Neusäss, Germany heard about the car and telephoned Mr. Schlachter. They spoke for about an hour and after speaking to him he was sure that he was a real Ferrari enthusiast, so he decided to have a look at it. As he drove in the vintage racing team, Eberhard & Co, in a Triumph TR2, he contacted his team mate Simon Müller from Chur, Switzerland, as he knew a lot about vintage cars and they both had a look at the Testarossa.
The weather was not good when they arrived in Austria, so it was not possible to take the car for a test drive, but after a long visual inspection and listening to the engine, Simon Müller told him that he had to buy the car, so he did that very day! It was a wonderful well cared for car with a history that cannot be topped!
He agreed to pick up the car in 2014, when the weather was perfect, as he did not want to drive it in snow or rain. The car was then collected on 19th April 2014, exactly one month before its 25th birthday. The car was a dream to drive at 130 KM/H.
As the car had always been registered in Austria, the owner had to have a special MOT (German TÜV) and examination for registration in Germany. He had a full service carried out with a cam belt change and a new set of tyres, MOT and examination at Egetemeir’s garage in Augsburg, Germany. Egetemeir was a Ferrari Dealer from the 70s until the 90s in Augsburg and is now a Ferrari maintenance specialist. After having all this done, the Testarossa was registered in Augsburg with the number plate A-GB1989. In May 2014 the car was used as an official press car at the Mille Miglia Nr. 443 and was also driven to the Ferrari factory at Maranello and the race circuit in Imola. In August 2014 the car took part in the international concours d’elegance in Schwetzingen, Germany and took second in class in a large entry of concourse cars.
In 2014 Thomas Zettl contacted Ms. Ilka Ziehm, assistant to Gerhard Berger, and asked if Berger would kindly sign his 1989 Testarossa. She spoke Berger who immediately agreed to do this. There are no photos of his Testarossa in his own archive, as these were the early years of his career and he would be happy now to have some of his own.In February 2015, having seen postings on the internet about a Testarossa, previously owned by Gerhard Berger, the current owners travelled to Augsburg and met with Thomas Zettl. An agreement was made to purchase the car and later that month the Testarossa was imported into the UK.Contact was made with Gerhard Berger’s office, who confirmed that he would be happy to meet the new owners with the car, sign it and receive photographs of the event.Arrangements were made to re-unite him with his Testarossa when he flew by private jet into Birmingham airport for a business meeting on 17th July 2017. He happily signed the dashboard and engine bay of the car along with various photographs, his helmet and his race suit. In conversation he mentioned that Ayrton Senna had accompanied him in the car at Monza in 1989.
The current owners have continued to enjoy and show this outstanding Testarossa with its fascinating history.
This is a truly magnificent Ferrari in superb condition throughout with the added provenance of having had a Ferrari Formula 1 driver as its first owner, which is fully documented. Unrepeatable.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.