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Autotrader Find: Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Conversion

The Ferrari Testarossa is certainly an interesting vehicle — but this Testarossa takes things well beyond the Testarossa norm. The Ferrari you see here is a 1986 Testarossa that’s been converted into a soft top convertible — a variant Ferrari never offered. It was then used in a Pepsi commercial starring Michael Jackson — and now it can be yours.

Let’s start from the beginning. The Testarossa was Ferrari’s mid-engine, 12-cylinder supercar that was sold from the mid-1980s until 1992, at which point it was replaced by the slightly revised 512TR. Despite the car’s popularity (and a style that would’ve lent itself well to a droptop design), Ferrari never offered the Testarossa as a convertible — a tradition Ferrari largely continues today with its 12-cylinder models, except in limited-edition form.

But, of course, some customers wanted convertibles. Enter R. Straman, a coachbuilder in California who converted a lot of Ferrari models to convertibles over the years — including this Testarossa and many examples of the 456. But while several Testarossa models were made into convertibles, this is likely the most famous, as it was reportedly commissioned for a Pepsi commercial starring Michael Jackson. A still image from the commercial (called "The Chopper") is included in this ad.

In the years since, this Testarossa has primarily stayed on the West Coast, with owners mainly reported in Southern California until a move to Florida in 2014 (followed by another move to New York). It reached 17,000 miles in 2006, and the odometer only now reads 17,600 miles, suggesting recent owners have been nervous to drive it given its unique history. Now, 30 years after the commercial, it’s listed by Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale at a whopping $799,900. While that’s big money for a Testarossa, this car is certainly an outlier given its cool past. Find a Ferrari Testarossa for sale

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.

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