Car News: Oversteer
The Ferrari F512M Has the Best Factory Wheels of All Time
Here's a simple fact that will help get you through the day: The Ferrari F512M has the greatest wheels of all time. There is no disputing this. You may be able to post a comment below wherein you argue with me, but you will be wrong and I will chuckle at your misguided opinions.
Before I start discussing the F512M's beautiful wheels, allow me to take a second and tell you what a Ferrari F512M is. Essentially, it was the very end of the line of the Testarossa. The Testarossa came out in the mid-1980s, and it was sold all the way through 1992, at which point the 512TR took over as a more modernized version. And then, finally, just when you thought the Testarossa really couldn't go on any longer, Ferrari gave it one last gasp in the form of the F512M.
The F512M is an unusual car. Sold for just one model year in the U.S. (1995), it was the dying breath of a car that truly should've expired years earlier: by 1995, the Testarossa was simply too big, too uncomfortable, and too compromised to legitimately compete in the exotic car world. But Ferrari dragged it out anyway, for one more year, albeit with some cosmetic changes: It had circular taillights, fixed headlights and those wheels. Those glorious wheels.
Here's the deal with the wheels. Modern Ferrari models are well-known for their five-spoke wheel design, and the F512M is no different. But while most modern Ferrari models have traditionally straight spokes, the F512M's wheels look like they're dancing stars, as they're slightly turned. It looks like a wheel party in there. Also, there are a bunch of rivets around the wheel design, presumably because the F512M uses a rare "three-piece" wheel, which is pricey to make -- but regardless of the reason for the rivets, I think they do a perfect job framing the dancing stars.
Unfortunately, you will likely never see an F512M, or its beautiful wheels, simply because Ferrari barely produced any of these things. They claim they made just 501 for the world, and it's generally agreed that just 75 examples made it to the United States. One is currently listed on Autotrader for nearly $600,000.
Amazingly, I once saw one of these 75 units in the wild: on a cool July morning in 2011, while I was ambling along 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, California, as a tourist, I got up behind an F512M just cruising along like it was a normal car. The license plate read "FST 512M". I snapped a picture before the F512M turned and disappeared around a corner -- and I haven't seen those glorious wheels in person since.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.