The Showdown… well, not quite.

And there they were, gloriously juxtaposed–counterposed, even–on the cover of the June 1985 issue of Road & Track. The two supercars that defined the decade: the brand-new, brash and bestraked Ferrari Testarossa and the ever more potent incumbent, the Lamborghini Countach.

What more could an auto enthusiast possibly want?

Well, a head-to-head comparison, of course. But that wasn’t what this issue was about. The editors had to conform themselves with one first test and one first (mostly uninstrumented) drive, on different continents, in different venues, in different conditions. The great question, which was best, would have to await an answer.

Judging by the online arguments still happening, it’s still unanswered. This is as it should be. Ferraris and Lambos of the 80s variety are not things that can be logically argued. They must be felt, and as such, there can never be a correct answer.

So maybe it’s better they weren’t compared?


Other things in the issue were a teardown of the 55 mph speed limit, including the utter destruction of the silly myth that speed kills.

On a more positive note (nothing about the 55 mph speed limit was ever positive, not even criticism of it. Like Prohibition it is a black mark on the history of American legislation.) there were reports on the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Paris Dakar Rally (the real one, not the emasculated version we have today).

There’s also a very nice Aston Martin Salon.

A good issue, even if the cover overpromises.

Gustavo Bondoni’s latest book is a science fiction adventure thriller that not only entertains, but also explores difficult questions about where the limits of life and consciousness lie. You can check it out here.

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