This 1992 Ferrari 512 TR currently belongs to Top Gear presenter Chris Harris, he bought it back in 2013 and featured the car in a film titled “Bread” on the /DRIVE YouTube channel which has now amassed 1.4 million views and counting.
Harris started out at Autocar magazine almost 20 years ago, his first tasks there were menial jobs like cleaning ashtrays, though he quickly rose to become the road-test editor. He would later write for Evo Magazine and Jalopnik among many others, before being appointed as a Top Gear presenter in 2016.
Fast Facts – Chris Harris’ Ferrari 512 TR
- The Ferrari 512 TR was first released in 1991 as the closely related successor to the Ferrari Testarossa – a supercar that became a ’80s icon thanks in part to its prominent roles in the Miami Vice TV series and the Sega video game OutRun.
- Though the 512 TR and the Testarossa look almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye, the 512 TR had a modified chassis, uprated suspension and brakes, a series of engine and transmission modifications, and the engine was lowered by 30mm to further improve handling.
- Including the closely related Testarossa, 512 TR, and F512 M models Ferrari sold almost 10,000 units, making it one of the Italian marque’s most mass-produced models.
- The 512 TR you see here was bought by Chris Harris in 2013 with 52,000 miles on the odometer, he’s used it sparingly and today it shows just over 66,000 miles – the car has been regularly serviced by Ferrari Swindon and Bob Houghton.
The Ferrari 512 TR – An Evolution Of The Testarossa
That “TR” at the end of the model name stands for “Testa Rossa,” a hat tip to the Ferrari Testarossa that the car is closely based on, which itself was named after the World Sportscar Championship winning 1957 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa racing car.
Above Video: This is the original episode of /Drive from 2013 that features Chris Harris driving the 512 TR you see here at speed through the French countryside.
The name “Testarossa” means “Red Head” in Italian, this is probably one of the most quoted pieces of automotive pub trivia in the world, along with the fact that British automaker TVR is named for its founder Trevor, and the fact that the Volkswagen Beetle was developed on instructions from Adolf Hitler.
When it was released in 1984 the Ferrari Testarossa lit the automotive world on fire, its primary task was to compete with the Lamborghini Countach, and to replace the outgoing Ferrari 512 BB.
The Testarossa was wider, longer, more spacious, and more powerful than its predecessor, yet it used fundamentally the same engine – a 4,943cc 180° Ferrari flat-12 engine named the Tipo F113.
Ferrari would keep the Pininfarina-designed Testarossa in production from 1984 until 1991, at which point it was replaced with the Ferrari 512 TR – essentially an evolved version of its predecessor.
The Ferrari 512 TR – Specifications
Ferrari incorporated a significant number of upgrades into the 512 TR, the tubular steel chassis was modified, the flat-12 engine was lowered by 30mm, the double A-arm suspension was modified front and rear, improved brakes were fitted, and some minor modifications were made to the body to improve aerodynamics.
The 512 TR was given a modified version of the Tipo F113 flat-12 used in the Testarossa and before that in the 512 BB. The compression ratio was increased from 9.3:1 to 10.0:1, it was given re-profiled camshafts, the ports and valves were enlarged, the inlet plenums were redesigned, and the fuel injection system was changed over to the Bosch Motronic M2.7 model.
Overall the power was increased from 385 bhp to 422 bhp at 6,750 rpm, with torque increasing very slightly from 361 lb ft up to 362 lb ft at 5,500 rpm.
These updates were enough to keep the almost 10 year old Testarossa platform in production for a few more years, the 512 TR is arguably the best example of the breed, and there’s still something otherworldly about the sound that emanates from that engine when its approaching on the red line.
Chris Harris’ Ferrari 512 TR
As mentioned above, this is Chris Harris’ Ferrari 512 TR. It’s a car that he’s owned for almost 10 years, he’s used it on a number of trips including a family holiday to France – this is when the /DRIVE film above was made.
He’s now offering it for sale in a live online auction on the Collecting Cars platform, at the time of writing there are six days left to bid and the bidding is currently sitting on £80,000.
If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.