If there's one manufacturer that every motoring enthusiast adores, it's Ferrari. And from the mid to late '80s, the king of wall poster exotics was the make's epic flat-12 engined Testarossa.
So what does a budding Ferrarista do in the late '80s? Well, you can't buy a Testarossa, as the thing costs US$180,000 or more than the median house price at the time. You could buy a Chevy Corvette for a lot less, though really that's just admitting that you're not as rich or cultured as the guy with the Mercedes-Benz 450 SL.
So why not go for something that's home grown but with an exotic edge? No, not a De Tomaso Longchamp; I'm talking about something that's really home grown. Home built, even. A Brillante Vendetta!
According to the seller, California based Classic International began converting C4 Corvettes into the Testarossa-lookalike "Brillante Vendetta" in the late '80s. The seller bought this particular example new for US$70,000 in 1989 and has owned it ever since. To put that into perspective, a new C4 Corvette would set you back US$32,000 in those days.
With just 15,000 miles on the odometer, all relevant paper work and the promise that it has been regularly serviced, this Italian impersonator comes with a 5.7 L V8, auto tranny, full grain Italian leather interior and inlaid burl wood on the dashboard. Couple that with power everything, climate control, steering wheel mounted controls and even one of those awesome, car phones from the early '90s and you've got yourself...well, something, that's for sure. Finished in Ferrari's trademark red with black soft top and clip on red hard top, a recent insurance appraisal valued the car at an alleged US$35,000.
So what's the verdict?
Well, it looks pretty good for what it is. Yes, Classic International was a little ambitious trying to recreate a Testarossa instead of something simpler like a Mondial and the interior looks a bit more kit car that superstar. And there's the fact that for a few thousand more than the US$21,900 asking price you could pick up an actual, second hand Ferrari or even an immaculate C4 Corvette.
So I leave it to our readers: would you or wouldn't you?
By Tristan Hankins