Car news

09 January 2014

Michael Jackson’s Ferrari is up for sale

Drop-top Testarossa driven by King Of Pop goes under the hammer. Single leather driving glove optional

Vijay Pattni
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A convertible Ferrari Testarossa driven by the late Michael Jackson in his Bad heyday is coming up for auction in America. As a slice of pure Eighties, you can't get more perm than Jacko's Testarossa.

While MJ fanboys amongst you will be wiping away the drool with your single leather glove, true Ferraristi will no doubt be a touch wiser. Ferrari never officially put the Testarossa Spider into production, enlisting Pininfarina to build just a single folding roof convertible for Fiat supremo Gianni Agnelli.

No, this particular conversion was carried out by Richard Straman in early 1987 for a Pepsi advert starring Jackson. Working out of Costa Mesa, in California, Straman cooked up a drop-top Testarossa with a canvas roof and a plastic rear window featuring triangular extensions at each side, worth around Rs 25 lakh.

Underneath though, it's all Ferrari. While European TRs got 390bhp, American-spec cars produced 380bhp from that 4.9-litre flat V12 - the same bore and stroke as the old 512 BBi, fact fans - to accelerate the standard Testarossa from 0-100kph in 5.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 290kph. We imagine this convertible was a touch slower, though; details of Straman's conversion are thin on the ground, but we know Agnelli's one-off Spider featured extra strengthening, ergo more weight.

Still, the Convertirossa was good enough to appear alongside the ‘King of Pop' in a hilariously 80s advert he did for Pepsi called ‘The Chopper', in which Jacko jumps off a building and hangs onto a helicopter, rappels down into an alleyway, runs a bit, and then leaps into the Testarossa to escape his frankly terrifying fans. No, seriously, just watch it below.

No idea on price, but we'll find out soon enough: it's being auctioned in Barrett Jackson's Scottsdale sale next week in Arizona (without reserve).

Tags: testarossa, ferrari

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