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Slooooooow Testarossa project :)

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  • Slooooooow Testarossa project :)

    Hi to everyone.

    I found this site as I was looking info on how to possibly fulfill my long time desire to replicate some supercar. Or more like make an look-alike on outside and use as an inspiration on the inside.
    One piticular in my mind was Ferrari Testarossa as it was "THE" car in my childhood, mostly thanks to Miami Vice.
    I live in Finland so sadly some compromises will be done to make it pass the MOT.

    Dimensions of the base car played a big part, mostly length of the wheelbase and for this reason Fiero was out of the question. Same with most of the RWD rear engines...

    In my mind TR is such a low car that with a base car with higher roofline along with shorter wheelbase, already wrong dimensions are distorted even further.

    So after searching, I decided to go with a bit unusual route here by purchasing Ford Probe 2.5l V6 GT mainly because of its dimensions, profile and price.
    Easier with this one would be making F355 out of it as you can see from the photos but for some reason I'm not so fond of it.

    Dimensions of Ford compared to TR
    Overall length + 59mm or 2 3/8"
    Wheelbase + 65mm or 2 9/16"
    Height + 185mm or 7 1/4" TERRIBLE!!
    Witdth - 203mm or 8"
    Trackwidth F - 10mm or 3/8 and R - 167mm or 6 9/16"
    Front overhang - 50mm or 2"
    Rear overhang + 50mm or 2"

    As the base is a bit longer, it compensates a bit of the height in ones eye.
    I will lower the cars ride height by 30mm (1 1/8") and chopping around 50mm (2") so it'll be about 105mm (4 1/8") higher than TR.
    Also tilting the A-pillars and rooftop backwards a bit to drop the back.
    Have to make compromise for the overall rear width thanks to Finish laws so it won't be as wide as original. Happily the rear roofline is narrower in Probe so distance from C-pillar to side of the car will be close of the original. This is the biggest downside but law is a law.

    So a lot of work to do and it starts at summer. Now it's time to hoard much needed parts for the bodywork to begin.
    Rear lights from Nissan Sentra
    Rear window from Toyota MR2 or similar, have to search a bit more.
    Angel eye headlights from E34/E32 BMW.
    Not sure about front fog lights and signal lights what to use?
    Side mirrors and all the grilles I'll be making myself.
    Plus bunch of other for upgrading and overhauling the base...
    And of course something has to be from genuine Ferrari Testarossa but haven't yet decided what it'll be...

  • #2
    Glad to see another Testarossa inspired car coming!

    Do you have a kit in mind which is already designed for the Probe, or will you be building and designing from scratch?

    My car is a replica based on a 1988 Fiero GT, but the wheelbase is stretched by about 7 inches. This gives the correct length and engine placement.

    It also allows for future engine upgrades. I've been thinking about a 3800 SC, but I've seen build threads of Fieros with V8 engines, and even one with a BMW V12 !!

    Have you decided which version of the Testarossa you want to emulate? There are three. Like you, I fell in love with the car due to Miami Vice, so the original Testarossa is my favorite body style. My car seems to be a conglomeration of the second and third version (512-TR and 512M).

    It's interesting that the Finnish laws won't allow the car to be that wide. Do they allow the OEM Testarossa in the country, or do they have to get a special permit to drive?

    The car is wide... think J-Lo, or Kardashian rear end! lol

    I drove it to work a couple of weeks ago and had to go through a access control gate by swiping my ID badge. I scraped the driver's rocker panel on the curb as I swiped my badge because I didn't realize how wide the rear is.

    Anyway, I look forward to watching your progress!


    • #3
      Yeah, I have been thinking of doing this for so long that now it's time to actually make it happen. Probe arrives next week.

      This forum was a goldmine to find, was (and still am for some parts) totally lost about the lights and other stuff to use that looks close to original but saves a lot of money even if I have to alter the parts.
      Building and designing myself from scratch. I'm thinking of getting 3D scan out of real deal to have reference for the measures and profiles.

      Fiero or other mid/rear engine would've been nice to build from but law here prohibit alterations to wheelbase length.
      No restriction for originally wide cars but law prohibits altering the width of the body over 100mm (4") so this is the reason my car can't be as wide.
      Also there are restrictions on adding the track width more than 30mm(1 1/8") but this can be more with special permit and I hope I'll get it.

      I'll rebuild the engine from top to bottom and probably add turbo, right now the car has few tweaks and is just a tad under 7secs 0-100kmh (60mph).

      Trying to mimic first generation TR from outside as closely as possibly. I'll add reverse camera and parking sensors just to have something neat and to prevent things to happen you just described.
      But other than those sensors I want to main loyal to original.

      Inside will be totally different story as I actually don't like so much for the basic old original model (have had old GM and other sports cars and interiors just resemble too much). I'm thinking of something of an hybrid. Boxy look with modern twist might be one way to say it.

      Clusters mimic probably F430 but this is to be seen...

      Like said, slow and long project with lots and lots to do.


      • #4
        Testarossa replica tail light comparison

        Done a little research on what tail lights to use on my project.

        Candidates that I've found this far are in the photo from top left Nissan Sentra 87-88, Audi 100 76-79 and bottom Volvo 240 85-93 and obviously on the right the real deal TR.

        Sizing is obviously one big consideration and I have the measures here H x L (with comparison):

        Testarossa 168mm x 392mm or 6 5/8" x 15 3/8"
        Nissan 168mm x 411mm or 6 5/8" x 16 1/8" (same height and 19mm or 3/4" shorter)
        Audi 130mm x 380mm or 5 1/8" x 15" (38mm or 1 1/2" lower and 12mm or 1/2" shorter)
        Volvo 180mm x 424mm or 7 1/8 16 x 3/4" (12mm or 1/2" higher and 32mm or 1 1/4" wider)

        Good, bad and between...

        I know lights from Sentra have been used a lot but it looks kinda off, although it's closest by measure.

        Lights from Audi are a bit small although the might look goo under the grille.

        With Volvo you can change the locations of the lenses on vertical rows so parking light can be moved to inner side. A bit bigger than the original but when looking at the real back of TR you can see small spaces under and over the tail light so with black paint I might be able to get that look.
        Also these lights have rounded outer corner and have chop a bit from there so it shortens a bit. Also one final good thing is that you can get these lights with entirely clear top row with $185 and it's not difficult to color two lenses to yellow (film, paint etc) to add length of the signal light.

        Overall I think I might go with Volvos. $112 originals or $185 clear top row a pair so not a bad deal.

        Originals would be original but they cost so damn much!


        • #5
          Sentra 87-88 perfect, just invert them and you will have a seriously close match IMO.

          [COLOR=#333333]It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. - Dale Earnhardt Sr[/COLOR]


          • #6
            Originally posted by G35Mike View Post
            Sentra 87-88 perfect, just invert them and you will have a seriously close match IMO.
            That is true and I can see why those are so popular amongst TR replica doers. I think I have to photoshop a bit to see which one, Sentra or 240, would look better.

            Also just checked local laws and have to ensure from inspection office but it seems that by law, relating mainly to rear fog light location relating to braking lights, I have to go with 240... :/


            • #7
              Hello Finguy, I welcome you to the forum! Great choice for a project! I have a thread for a Prova Countach that I'm re-doing on this site. (Beloved Prova and I reunited after 20 years). I've been away from the forum for a while due to relocating my business. I too love the TR and am very fortunate to own an original one. There are some pictures of it in my thread that you might be interested to see. I'd be happy to provide you with any dimensions and details that you might need. Just let me know as you move along. Good luck with your project! Cheers, Eddy
              Last edited by Fast Eddy; 03-11-2017, 03:08 PM.


              • #8
                Wow, thank you so much for offering such a big help Eddy. Obviously right now I could need help with those rear and front lights. Some photo with ruler next to lamp would offer an big help as I really don't have good reference for the sizing.

                I decided to go with a Volvo rear lights because I have to follow the laws on those (have to have fog light + 2 brake lights) but I'm dismantling those to bits and welding them together after chopping a bit from here and there to get the exact size. After all, this is a project so why not to do those lights by myself.

                Myself have had only pleasure of driving TR few days, thanks to my work, and I was so loving it.


                • #9
                  Tomorrow start modeling side mirrors by referring to 3d cat file.
                  One way would be just to 3d print them but as I am old school (actually just don't have the printer), I'm going to make model out of plasticine or foam, take mold of it and produce end product from ether pourable agent or FG and resin.


                  • #10
                    Base for the replica changed to Nissan 200SX.
                    Good with this one is the fact that it's RWD plus it's performance aspect is quite good as it should be with a kitcar looking like TR.

                    I should be getting this soon and post pictures after getting getting it. Building the body starts at summer and while waiting it, I'll be modeling mirrors and lights.
                    Post photos when have something done and ready.


                    • #11
                      Just started making mirrors for my project. This one is an test version of the plug, some adjustment is needed for some angles and measures but this can be used for good reference for the real plugs. Overall came up pretty nice.

                      I'll be using aftermarket replacement glasses for Testarossa, engines are from Renault Megane mirrors.

                      Measuring for these plugs are taken from 3D scan of real mirrors and of course those replacement glasses are good ref also.


                      • #12
                        Great engineering!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mera308gts View Post
                          Great engineering!
                          Thanks. Hopefully I soon find a good donor car to get this project really started.

                          Trying to keep budget under control while building this so that's the reason I'm fabricating most of the stuff by myself.

                          Also just got this Ferrari emblem done from aluminium scrap from some old intake manifold.


                          • #14
                            Does anyone have a good photo of the original mirror that shows the pivoting parts? I'd be curious to see what direction the mirror turns, now I'm thinking pivot allows it to turn in in downward angle.
                            Will be making the base from aluminium by casting and I'll take photos when making the mold and casting for others to see, basically same procedure as with the emblem above.

                            Rubber parts are made from black silicone by hand molding it with catalyst to speed curing time.


                            • #15
                              Those mirrors look great!


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