Sonny Crockett’s white Ferrari Testarossa, one of the classic cult cars in television history, is going under the gavel in Monterey the second weekend in August.
A child of the MTV generation, Miami Vice was well received for its combination of contemporary music and edgy visuals. And the Testarossa driven by Crockett (portrayed by Don Johnston) was one of the things that made the show instantly recognizable even to people who may not have counted themselves part of the viewing audience.
The first two years of the show (1984-85), Crockett drove a kit car (based on a Corvette chassis) fashioned after a 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4. Having none of that, Ferrari reportedly sued the kit car manufacturer for copyright infringement and Enzo himself capitalized on the show’s popularity by donating two authentic brand new (1986) Testarossas. It was a move that likely elevated the Testarossa to dream car status for a generation of future car buyers who would never likely be able to afford it.
The stunt Testarossa used in “abusive” scenes was reportedly a body kit on a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera chassis, so that left the real Testarossa for the beauty shots. This is the car that is going up for auction at the Mecum Daytime Auction at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on August 15.
Among the features that made the car the poster child of many a teenager’s bedroom are the bold side strakes, the blazing white colour (which was reportedly a request from director Michael Mann, in order to have it stand out in the show’s many night scenes) and one high-mounted outside mirror (only on the driver’s side).
Other less publicized features (at least in the show) are the 390-hp 4.9-litre horizontally-opposed “boxer” 12-cylinder engine, five speed gated manual shifter, beige leather interior and power windows, locks and seats. It is also equipped with cruise control and air-conditioning.
The car has been in storage since the series ended in 1989 (hence the just 16,124 miles on the odo), and comes complete with service records, factory authentication and documentation of a recent engine-out service.
As Crockett would put it “Nice to know there’s still a little poetry left in the world.”