512 vs Testarossa reliability

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by WestCoasta, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. ozziindaus

    ozziindaus F1 Veteran
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    Aug 16, 2012
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    #26 ozziindaus, Sep 9, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    More specifically, were these items directly addresses and resolved?
    1. Differential
    2. Fuse box
    3. Catalyst temp. ECU's
    4. Mouse belts (fixed :cool:)
    5. Timing belts
    6. Water pump
    I totally agree that the 512TR was supposed to be a more mechanically refined iteration but one discussion point asks whether it’s worth 50%+ more.

    Aesthetically, I think the ‘86 and ‘87 are the best looking and adhere the most to the original design intent which ever way you look at it. Front to back, side to side, in and out, the lines flow impeccably. The 512TR introduces front end curves almost directly from the 348. As for the interior, well, there is absolutely no continuity whatsoever.

    Don’t even ask me what I think of the F512M

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  2. efes9

    efes9 Karting

    Oct 22, 2014
    I think the question was not which is a better car (and if the criteria was people's subjective views on "better" one could argue the 360 will out-brake, and out-perform both the TR and the 512, and maybe there is even a guy here who would argue a toyota is superior to a 599...).

    The question was reliability. I would say on most accounts, there is not much difference. They both have a host of niggling problems that can be addressed rather simply, and they both will cost and arm and a leg to service, especially those pesky belts (again, a toyota is likely "better" in this regard so our man may have a point)

    I do own both (1985 monospeccio, and a 1994 512 TR). I would say the 85 has been easier to live with (no sticky interior, no niggling ECU I have experienced). The 512 is definitely more refined and sounds better when spanked (that alone is worth the extra), but assuming it is a Sunday driver I would assume a bit of vintage savegery is OK too. Ultimately, I think it comes down to your budget, and what is the best example you can find in that price range). I got lucky (and boy let me tell you the things people said when I bought the 2 book ends plus a 3rd stray, which back then were just dated looking used cars with no upside and crippling maintenance costs...)

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  3. WestCoasta

    WestCoasta Karting

    May 18, 2016
    Thanks to all, once again for the responses!

    EFES9.... would you be so kind to explain a bit more about how the TR is eaiser to live with at the same time that the 512 is more refined? Id have to agree, from videos, that the 512 sounds getter and seems to handle better ....but "easier" sounds really awesome when talking about older cars. Id love to hear more... thanks!!

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  4. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Owner Consultant

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    Goofy looking with the high mirror and TRX tires you cant buy. Clearly ferrari thought the mirror was an error too or it would've remained as a high mirror. 1988 is what I would take if I just couldn't live without single nut wheel with 16's and mirrors that look right.
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  5. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Owner Consultant

    Dec 26, 2001
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    The TR just looks like a Testarossa

    I recall someone doing that as well, it if was variable relative to vehicle speed it wouldnt be bad but not really needed. An old mustang with an engine resting over the front wheels yes.
  6. efes9

    efes9 Karting

    Oct 22, 2014
    Westcoasta, my 1985 TR has none of the plastic interior finishes that eventually get sticky (and it does feel more like a vintage car vs the 512 which has a more padded and "high end" interior). Having said that, it was not a huge undertaking or expense to fix the sticky bits inside the 512 TR. And yes getting original looking knock of rims that can house 16" tires was about as ugly as an engine out service but they are available from Italy, and remarkably original looking. Again, I would focus on the best car that fits your budget. Substantively speaking, there are no major difference between the two; just minor differences and your personal preference. Hope this helps
  7. efes9

    efes9 Karting

    Oct 22, 2014
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  8. efes9

    efes9 Karting

    Oct 22, 2014
  9. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    Apr 2, 2005
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    I think the single mirror change is design aesthetic vs practicality. It’s funny I used to hate the F512 M, now it and the flying mirror are my favorites. The tires are a bummer. Have you ever put a newer TR engine in a single mirror car?
  10. efes9

    efes9 Karting

    Oct 22, 2014
    The 512 TR is a very pretty car. Perhaps the most aethetically balanced and pleasing of the three. The TR (especially the monospeccio) was a product of its time. It was chasing the tail of Gandini's Countach, and had a brutalistic sense of style. It hit like a sledge hammer. Still does. The 512 TR was the product of the more mature and sober 90s. Softer, less blunt, more pleasingly "neutral" if that makes sense (and 512M got a little lost in the wilderness). Of couse none of this effects reliability or running costs. Just personal opinions
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  11. sixcarbs

    sixcarbs F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2004
    According to this site the flying mirror was a result of Ferrari misinterpreting some new European regulation.

    "The early Testarossas were fitted with the famous single high mirror, also known as the "flying mirror". The strange location of this mirror was related to a European law regarding the external rear view mirror, which was interpreted by the designer as the need of having 100% rearward visibility. As this simply was an incorrect interpretation of the law, Ferrari later decided (also after many complaints about the single high mirror) to use double low mirrors, first shown on the Geneva show in 1986. The first cars having double low mirrors were s/n 67079 for Euro versions and s/n 67487 for US versions (first US car with Model Year 1987)."
  12. VColin

    VColin Karting

    Aug 5, 2012
    512 TX
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  13. MOSS

    MOSS Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 28, 2004
    My experience with 4 TR cars is that I have absolutely zero issues and 100 percent reliability. I don't think it gets
    much better. The 512 can only equal that at best. One of them was a 750hp Norwood Twin Turbo.
  14. xplodee

    xplodee Formula Junior
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    Jan 3, 2017
    Allentown, PA
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    I dont understand how we can consider the 512tr “balanced” with the bottom line of the front bumper sloping so awkwardly down into the front wheels. The TR should be flat/straight on the bottom.
  15. raysur

    raysur Formula Junior
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    May 3, 2008
    So. Cal.
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    It is heavy, not balanced. The painted lower adds a ton of mass and the profile of the decklid --even more. The decklid lost detail and gained awkward surfacing.

    The rear end is an improvement of sure. The bumper (Euro version) and valance talk to each other. The lower valance on the Testarossa is a bulgy mess. Always looked like a loaded diaper.

    The front of the 512 TR is distracting. The original has so many lines that relate. The 512 TR lost all of that design work. And how many cavallinos does the front end need?

    To the original poster, both models are solid cars. Being practical is purchasing the latest you can afford. But these cars aren't practical. Drive them both and see what clicks.
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  16. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    Honestly the 512 tr looks better to me; it is aging a bit better, likely due to the wheels.
    I don’t think it’s worth 50% more at all but you know, ferrari and their prices;)
    Its just hard to find many 512 available.

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  17. blkdiablo33

    blkdiablo33 F1 Rookie

    Jul 12, 2004
    its difficult to find a great example of tr and 512 so little came to us over the time both are amazing and lots of fun if you can swing the extra dough for the 512 go for it but the tr is best value and great looks and runs amazing
  18. gmonsen

    gmonsen Karting

    Jan 24, 2004
    Near Bethlehem, PA
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    While there were many, many changes to the TR, I prefer the Testarossa. My reason is that I like the styling much better on the Testarossa. The front end fits the rest of the desiogn way better than the smiley face update on the TR. The Interior styling is also much better. The seats have a style that again goes with the rest of the car, whereas the TR seats look like just any other set of seats from any other high end sports car of the day. Mechanically, the brakes and the higher center of gravioty at the rear are potential issues if you drive extremely hard, but these are not really track cars. Mine has a much worked motor and will/does bl;ow off TR's even those with full headers and exhaust. I had a TR first and moved to the Testarossa for these reasons. Newman is right on all the mechanical advantages, but I haven't seen or heard of a lot of people having big issues with the gears, but some have mentioned the brakes fading.
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