Words: Chris Rees
Rock star Johnny Hallyday’s 512 TR makes record price
In the 1980s and 1990s, few cars had such allure for the world’s stars of pop and rock than the Ferrari Testarossa and its successor, the 512 TR. With their unabashedly dramatic style and extreme performance, these iconic machines represented the very pinnacle of the supercar genre in decades that were characterised by excess and intense self-expression.
The appeal of the Ferrari Testarossa and 512 TR models has grown greatly in recent years, as collectors have come to appreciate not only their iconic status but also how impressive they are to drive and to own. Few cars make such a bold statement on the road.
Underlining this progress in appreciation, a star-studded example of the Ferrari 512 TR has just broken all records at auction. A car owned by the late French rock star, Johnny Hallyday – a red 512 TR – came under the hammer at the Osenat auction on March 24 in Fontainebleau, France, where it reached an unprecedented price of €240,000.
Hallyday was a serial Ferrari owner, having also been the custodian of a classic 250 GT California and a 275 GTB. He bought his Rosso Corsa 512 TR with its beige leather interior brand new in August 1994 and owned it for more than three years, up until 1997. During that time, the singer frequently used the car to commute between Paris and Saint-Tropez.
In 1997, he sold the 512 TR to one of his friends at the Paris Bar Association, after having completed 25,000 kilometres in it – enough for his famously flamboyant rings to make their mark on the steering wheel.
Even though the car, as sold at auction, was far from being in concours condition, and had a comparatively high mileage of over 95,000 kilometres, it easily broke all records for the 512 TR at the auction. The €240,000 hammer price was considerably above the previous record of €187,647.
The auctioneer, Jean-Pierre Osenat, commented: “There were two stars today, Johnny and Ferrari, and I'm happy that the buyer who won the auction is a fan of the rock star.” The result is a fitting tribute not only to the legacy of one of France’s best-known music stars but also a ringing endorsement of the legend that is the 512 TR.