Enzo Ferrari founded the Ferrari automotive company in 1939, and the company built its first car in 1940. Situating its headquarters in the town of Maranello, the Italian company has since established itself as a premier sports car company, boasting a production history that includes some of the most insanely built sports cars ever. Notably, the first road car to use the Ferrari badge was the 125 S, then the Dino came as the company’s first two-seat front-engined V12 car.
Ferrari held a tight grip on its racing heritage with great race cars that brought numerous honors to it, while it also kept enthusiasts happy with incredibly built road cars such as the more recent Stradale, Roma, Portofino, and the likes.
However, it is incredible to know that one of the greatest Ferrari sports cars ever built wasn’t even built by Ferrari. It’s an unconventional sports car built by the most unconventional of automotive design geniuses. There aren’t many cars that fit such descriptions anyway. Hence, we’re hyped to show you the incredibly amazing and unique Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani!
Designed By Luigi Colani
The Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani was conceived by Professor Luigi Colani, a man whose ideas were so radical some consider him crazy. Born in Berlin in 1928 to a Kurdish-Swiss father and a Polish mother, Colani took great interest in design even as a child.
Hence, he studied sculpture and painting at the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1946 before proceeding to France in 1948 for a degree in aerodynamics. He built the Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani to break the speed record for road cars.
Based On Ferrari Testarossa
The world fuel crisis of the 1970s made efficiency the main subject among automotive manufacturers. And with his background in aerodynamics, Colani believed he could provide the world the needed succor by building highly efficient cars using his concept of aerodynamics.
While at it, Colani decided the best way to drive home his point was to build the fastest ever road-legal car. Therefore, for its fame, extravagance, and styling, the famed designer chose a 1984 Testarossa as the base car for the project.
Features A Lotec-Built Powerplant
While Colani was the god of aerodynamics, engine upgrades weren’t particularly his forte. Hence, for the necessary upgrade on the stock Testarossa plant, Colani teamed up with German car tuner Lotec. Originally, the Testarossa was powered by a 385 horsepower-producing 4.9-liter Tipo F113B 180-degree V12.
However, Lotec added two huge turbochargers to the setup providing 18 psi of boost, taking the output up to about 750 horsepower at 6400 rpm, while the torque also went up from 333 lb-ft to 664 lb-ft.
Name Inspired By Engine Paint Color
For the build, the base Ferrari Testarossa was given quite an elaborate upgrade for it to meet Colani’s speed expectations. For a start, the sports car’s exterior form was significantly changed in line with Colani’s aerodynamic principles. Hence, its square shapes and edges were smoothened out for curvy more rounded flowing lines that Colani is well known for.
The engine was upgraded as well, and the car got its name from one of its upgrade features. Specifically, the engine head was coated in a gold trim finish, earning the car the name Testa D’Oro meaning “Gold Head.”
The Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani is the epitome of Colani’s eccentricity. A man who claimed his world is round and thus sees everything as round, Colani ensured he unequivocally projected that belief in all of his designs, including the Testa D’Oro Colani.
The car has huge attributes depicting Colani’s “biodynamic” mantra, featuring rounded and organic forms of designs. Also, the Testa D’Oro Colani adds to Colani’s massive portfolio of greatly designed cars, but it was a one-off, as there isn’t any other Ferrari ever built like this.
Won At Bonneville
Colani’s intent from the get-go was simple; to build the world’s fastest production car ever. A tall order, but Colani believed it was very doable. Also, it was decided that the anticipated jaw-dropping speed prowess of the Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani would be put to test for the world to see at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The build was eventually completed in 1989, but it wasn’t until 1991 that the sports car featured and won its class at Bonneville, with a top-speed record of 218 mph. However, it fell short of the world record.
The most technical and powerful part of the Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani surely has to be its fire-breathing engine. However, it’s the flamboyant yet extremely functional roundly sculpted bodywork that steals all the show. Finished in an attention-grabbing bright red color, the Testa D’Oro Colani has quite a long and low front spoiler that could make driving it around town a chore.
Another conspicuous feature of the car is its long windscreen, while the interior has racing seats that are fitted directly to the floor.
Valued At $1.7 Million
Veteran vintage car collectors know a gem of a car when they see one. However, no one needs years of experience in the art of vintage car collection to see the huge value latent in the ultra-special Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani.
The build, the power, the performance prowess, and even the history, what we have here is a car worth its weight in gold, and to even make it more special, it’s a one-off. In 2015, the Ferrari Testa D’Oro Colani was put up for sale at an Italian dealership for a whopping $1.7 million.
The Ferrari Testarossa was one of the most iconic sports cars during the 1980s. Unfortunately, these days it’s mostly forgotten.
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