Salute! All I want for Christmas is a manual Ferrari

20th December 2022

The interior and gated manual gearbox of a Ferrari Testarossa

Our festive journey of Ferrari begins with a simple question: why the astronomical markups when manual Ferrari are concerned? Manual cars held considerably less premium in dealer showrooms, and Ferrari itself proclaimed the F1 semi-automatic gearbox to be both technically superior, and reduce lap times significantly. 


Paucity is numero uno on the list. During the 360 epoch, paddle shifter sales eclipsed that of the manuals by double, and that statistic only rose during the subsequent generation of F430s, of which an alleged 10 per cent were sold in the traditional gearbox format. 


In a 20-year timeframe from the Testarossa production run (1984), the semi-automatic gearbox had gone from non-existent to pioneering F1 technology, then to a 4:5 split in favour of manuals in the F355 before the bias towards paddles took hold.


Age is another factor to consider when mulling over the high-end values of manual gearbox examples. In many cases, they have breached the infamous 25-year mark and in others, they are in the preliminary pre-import investment phase bumping values ever higher. 


Such are the stratagems of modern-day supercar ownership – as seen in specimens such as the 458 – that owners have changed mentality, opting to drive stick shift cars sparingly in many cases, preserving their condition, keeping that all-important odometer low and providing an experience entirely disparate to contemporary commuter cars. 


That being said, the analogue event that comes as part and parcel of a manual gearbox is romanticised over and above that of the F1 ‘box. Nostalgia prevails in the mind of the car enthusiast and with the passing of time, the physical action of knocking the gear stick through the ‘box has been deified to the point of sanctification.


There are those who remain faithful to the F1 transmission, championing the theatrics of its aggressive, emphasised upshifts, but of course, this has since been overthrown by far more refined modern-day dual-clutch solutions found in the supercars of today. 


Surpassing all aforementioned points is that the manual bolt-action Ferrari is a beast lost to the ages. As with much of the automotive investment sphere, a never to be repeated iteration equates to huge spikes in values at used supercar auctions.


For more details, view the full vehicle listing for our 1988 Ferrari Testarossa.


Check out the full spec list for our 1997 Ferrari F355 GTS


View the full description and gallery for the 2007 Ferrari F430 Manual here.

Ferrari Testarossa 1988 Paddlup 55