Featured: A Night In Paris With The Only Real Ferrari Testarossa Spider

A Night In Paris With The Only Real Ferrari Testarossa Spider

Avatar By Tania Feghali
January 26, 2016
8 comments

Photography by Tania Feghali

It was a rainy, freezing night, and the city looked dramatic and beautiful; one of those Parisian nights that reminds you of a Miles Davis or John Coltrane song, imagining Jeanne Moreau walking melancholically through the streets.

We met with Matthieu and the crew at Artcurial’s head office—at 7 Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. A Ferrari Daytona was waiting there, its grey body melting under the rain, on Artcurial’s porch.

But where was the one-of-one Ferrari Testarossa Spider built for Gianni Agnelli that I came here to see? The elusive car would be more elusive, still: it was in a secured parking lot, along with the Ferrari 335 S Spider.

Outside, under the raindrops, I felt the cat-like wink of the Testarossa’s pop-up headlights pointing out of the parking. My initial impression of this car is how she flashes into and out of darkness with her feline lines and blinking eyes.

The first thing you notice of the car is the thin blue line that underlines the whole chromed silver body. The second thing you notice is the features of the back, so graphic and plastic with its perspective lines to the horizon. The typical Testarossa claws on the side now look very wild. The third thing that catches your eye is its unique personalized plate: T0 00000G.

As we emerged onto the narrow streets, I was passenger in the Daytona just behind the Spider, and I did feel that unique roar, and the sinuous way she just had to disappear at the end of the Alma Tunnel. You just see a glimpse of red lights drawing a curve…and then she vanishes.

We finally arrive at the bridge made famous in Marlon Brando’s Last Tango in Paris. I love this place. The trains pass over your head every few minutes and all the neon lights and the trains shadows melt on the wet asphalt. There is a 1959 Facel Vega Excellence with us as well that looks absolutely stunning here.

Apart from being the only Spider officially made, it’s also the only Testarossa in history to have a flat-12 engine attached to a Valeo automatic box that allows (by pushing one button on the dashboard) to retract the clutch plate and drive only with the gear lever: this characteristic was introduced as Agnelli had an accident when very young and lived with a handicap on his left leg.

You may know that the car is silver because the Periodic Table’s initials for the element, Ag, match those of Gianni Agnelli. But you probably don’t know that this car’s rollover system is very wittingly conceived: there is a special button on the dashboard (not a normal one, mind you) for the front-hinged tonneau cover to raise, and the fabric roof to unfurl forward.

Even though we’re in Paris, I can say that back deck is incredible, and made with dozens of louvres; once you’re tired of looking at those, you may spot the small aerodynamic piece on the windshield that redirects wind gusts when you’re driving fast.

And when you’re in Agnelli’s Testarossa Spider, what else are you supposed to do but outrun everyone else?

Special thanks to Artcurial Motorcars for letting us tag along on its video shoot for one of its featured Rétromobile lots, which will be offered for sale on Feb. 5.

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Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani

“But you probably don’t know that this car’s rollover system is very wittingly conceived: there is a special button on the dashboard (not a normal one, mind you) for the front-hinged tonneau cover to raise, and the fabric roof to unfurl forward”

Ummm, once you’re actually rolling over, I imagine it is probably too late to press the special button?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

This is yet another in a long list of anomalies is Ferraris long and less than accurate and extremely poorly documented history . Yes …. technically and according to the ‘ official ‘ factory line this was the only factory authorized TR Spider . But then again …. look who built it [ Pininfarina ] along with most of the so called ‘ aftermarket ‘ conversions . Then look at the car itself in comparison to those so called unauthorized Pininfarina conversions and other than the slush box tranny try and find one solitary difference between them . So what… Read more »

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

Amazing!

Hugo Fernandes
Hugo Fernandes

First time I want these pictures as a wallpaper, everywhere. 🙂 stunning work.

Vladimir Rakita
Vladimir Rakita

Wow 🙂

Eric Atoian
Eric Atoian

Didn’t Michael Jackson own a “spyder” black Testarrosa?

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I believe so but his was converted in the aftermarket. Several companies did conversions.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Mr Lange ; Read my above post . Ask around amongst those who genuinely ‘ know ‘ and are willing to tell [ ignoring any ‘ official ‘ consequences coming from Ferrari SpA or FCA ] to confirm my words . Then and only then the question remaining would be … was MJ’s TR Spider a Pininfarina ‘ unofficial ‘ official conversion * ? Or one of the many other godawful conversions done [ thinking of Koenig etc ] * for the record I have no knowledge as to which conversion MJ had .. Mr Jackson being [ other than… Read more »