Starter 1/43 Ferrari Testarossa (1984)

KIT #: 59
PRICE: $21.00 (second hand)
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin body multimedia kit.

The Ferrari Testarossa (Type F110) is a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car manufactured by Ferrari, which went into production in 1984 as the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. The Pininfarina-designed car was originally produced from 1984 to 1991, with two model revisions following the ending of Testarossa production and the introduction of the 512 TR and F512 M which were produced from 1992 to 1996. Almost 10,000 Testarossas, 512 TRs, and F512 Ms were produced, making it one of the most-produced Ferrari models, despite its high price and exotic design. In 1995, the F512 M retailed for $220,000 (£136,500).

The Testarossa is a two-door coupé that premiered at the 1984 Paris Auto Show. All versions of the Testarossa had the power fed through the wheels from a rear-mounted, five-speed manual transmission. The rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout (engine between the axles but behind the cabin) keeps the centre of gravity in the middle of the car, which increases stability and improves the car's cornering ability, and thus results in a standing weight distribution of 40% front: 60% rear. The original Testarossa was re-engineered for 1992 and released as the 512 TR, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, effectively as a completely new car, and an improved weight distribution of 41% front: 59% rear. The F512 M was introduced at the 1994 Paris Auto Show. The car dropped the TR initials and added the M which in Italian stood for modificata, or translated to modified, and was the final version of the Testarossa, and continued its predecessor's weight distribution improvement of 42% front: 58% rear. The F512 M was Ferrari's last mid-engine 12-cylinder car, apart from the limited edition F50, Enzo and LaFerrari, featuring the company's last flat engine. The Testarossa was replaced in 1996 by the front-engined 550 Maranello coupé.


I mentioned earlier that one of the three major 1/43 multimedia car kit makers was Starter. This is very much typical of their work in that they have a resin body, interior/pan, dash, and wheel inserts. Wheels are turned aluminum with rubber tires. This particular kit comes with two photo etch frets. These are for the side strakes that are prominent on this car. A plastic steering wheel is included as are screws to hold the pan to the body. I should note that I generally leave all the small bits in the bag to be sure I don't lose any of them. There is also a single vacuform windows piece.

In line with other cars I bought from this same vendor, there are no instructions. Now I know that with racing cars from other lines I've had instructions so I'm not sure if they are supposed to come with them or not. It actually doesn't matter all that much as the parts count is relatively low and assembly should be pretty easy, but it would be nice to have anyway.

Ferraris are not always red, though many who buy them think they should be. A search of the web shows a variety of colors.


For those looking for something a bit different and want to build a nice collection of cars without taking up a lot of shelf space, 1/43 is something you should consider. I might also point out that the earlier kits are usually a lot less fussy to build. For some reason, newer kits have a lot more small parts, probably in search of more detail, but really, it isn't needed.


May 2017

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