If you are an auto enthusiast who came of age in the 80s, the Lamborghini Countach is supposed to be your supercar poster child. Now I do have an appreciation for the Countach, but it was Ferrari’s Testarossa of 1984 that captured my young enthusiast heart. While the Testarossa (TR) was much more conservatively styled than the contemporary Countach LP500 on the surface, it had some bat$h!+ crazy design elements of its own. To keep the interior from getting too hot like its 512i predecessor, the radiators of the TR were placed behind the cabin. The car was widened to ensure good airflow to those radiators, and the “cheese grater” strakes were added to comply with safety regs in some markets. To see around those big hips, a long stalk, high mounted mirror was added to the drivers side. This was my favorite design element, even though it didn’t last long.
It is this later, normal-mirrored version of the TR that Kyosho chose to replicate. Not to be confused with their recent resin release (TR hunters beware), this model is a fully opening diecast. And as an aside, based on the pictures I’ve seen of it, I don’t know why you’d want the resin version as it doesn’t look any better.
Anyway, back to the model. The review in a nutshell is it’s a typical Kyosho. Accuracy is good and the paint is the typical Kyosho mix of good and paint rash. More troubling is the imprint left on the paint from being in contact with the styrofoam box. Make sure your models are covered in tissue kids. Everything else is all good. Starting at the front, we have working pop-up headlights, and for that extra bit of accuracy, the passenger side doesn’t go up all the way. The boot opens on a fancy hinge to reveal a carpeted luggage compartment with a set of fitted luggage. Moving to the side we have those famous strakes that are surprisingly cast in with the door panel. Keep moving past the door and we see the radiator nestled in its opening. At the back of the car, the strake motif is repeated on the taillights and they provide a nice black-out look, just like a 77 Trans Am.
On the engine cover, we get to our first real mesh grill, and under that grill sits a finely replicated rendition of the TR’s 4.9l flat-12 engine. It’s no CMC, but it is a welcome treat to eyes used to looking upon stylized engine covers. The wheels and tires are good, but the silver paint is a bit flat looking. As with most Kyoshos, there is a working suspension, but it comes with the bonus of articulated suspension components.
The interior is`the typical Kyosho strong suit, but there are a few accuracy issues. Firstly, it’s missing the speaker grills that should be place in the cramped footwells, and second, the A/C vents of my grey dash should be painted black. But as a bonus, the shift knob has the gear pattern printed on top. I think that may be a first in my collection.
The Testarossa, like all the other Kyosho Ferraris, is long out of production, and prices have gone up significantly since then. Normally this would mean you go to the Hot Wheels Elite version if you’re trying to save some bucks, but those are nearly as expensive. So if you have a need for a TR, save your bucks and get the Kyosho.