In the garage downstairs dwells the toy. Marcus Allen, the Los Angeles Raiders running back, lovingly calls it Testaroni. To the sports car connoisseur this fabulously expensive, marvelously gorgeous, wonderfully fast machine is the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa. Price tag: $115,000.
"Not another one like it in the NFL," Allen boasts.
It is a sleek, black spaceship with tinted windows, built low to the ground in the front, rising and widening to the rear. On the back bumper, in red script, is a tiny "thirty-two," the number Allen wears on his uniform.
There are six scalloped air vents in the side of each door, making them look like wings. When the doors are opened, red lights blink on the interior panels. "Just part of the security system," he explains, pushing a numbered code on his key ring to deactivate the lights.
Allen walks over to his other Ferrari. This one is a black 400i, a two-door coupe. He digs through the glove box for the one card he never leaves home without—his Los Angeles Police Crime Prevention Advisory Council card, which has his picture on it. If he is stopped by the cops, which has happened, he wants official proof he really is Marcus Allen.
"A black guy driving an expensive car—he couldn't possibly afford that, it must be stolen." he says sarcastically. Two years ago, while driving another Ferrari, Allen was pulled over for having the wrong license plates. The officer, who claimed he didn't recognize the football player, drew a gun on him.
Allen climbs into Testaroni, adjusts the rearview mirror and combs his hair. He slips in a Stevie Wonder tape and turns on the ignition. The car growls softly. He presses the gas pedal to the floor. High-pitched vibrations shoot through the Ferrari.
Allen whips out of the garage, winds through the streets and parking lots of the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood, zips on and off the San Diego Freeway and zooms east on Wilshire Boulevard.
In Los Angeles, as the saying goes, you are what you drive. But Allen doesn't live to drive Testaroni. To fully appreciate this luxury sports car he would have to air it out at its top speed of 181 mph.
Rather, Allen lives to ride in it—at about 35 mph—on the city streets. Because in this town's sea of Mercedes and Jaguars, the Ferrari Testarossa is one car capable of turning heads.