Ferrari’s first mid-engined 12-cylinder production road car, the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, was seen as early as 1971 in prototype form but did not go on sale until 1973. Designed to compete against the contemporary Lamborghini Miura and the newly-designed Countach, the 365 GT4 BB represented a major departure for Enzo Ferrari, replacing the front-engined Daytona. Ferrari had previously been of the opinion that such a powerful mid-engined road car would be too much for his customers, but eventually realized otherwise after the success of the mid-engined Dino racing cars, and of course the V6 mid-engined Dino road cars.
The stunningly handsome and very rapid Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, or 512 BB, was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in October 1976, although actual production had begun several months earlier. The 512 BB was the successor to the 365 GT4 BB, and offered a similar mechanical layout and exterior appearance. The new car included the addition of a new, front chin spoiler and NACA intakes on the flanks. There were also now just four taillights instead of the previous six.
Most notably, the 365BB/512BB series was Ferrari’s first with a 180-degree flat 12-cylinder engine in a production car. The four camshafts on these engines were belt-driven, another “first” for Ferrari. The 512’s engine produced 360 DIN bhp at 6,200rpm, breathing through a quartet of Weber three-barrel carburetors. Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection replaced the carburetors in late 1981 to help meet increasingly tough US exhaust emission regulations; the car’s name was altered to reflect this change. As a result, horsepower dropped to 340 and torque to 333 foot-pounds at 4,600rpm. The injected Berlinetta Boxer still, however, remained a strong performer, capable of 0-60 from a standing start in just six seconds flat. Reaching almost 175mph (the factory claimed an optimistic 188mph), it covered the standing quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds at 103.5mph.
A plush leather interior, full instrumentation, electric window lifts, three-point inertia seat belts, and air conditioning were standard. A unique “single-arm, twin blade” windshield wiper was fitted to help clear the huge windshield glass. Road & Track magazine called the 512 BB “the best all-around sports and GT car we’ve tested”.
Delivered new by Auto Becker in Dusseldorf in 1980, this exemplary example of the desirable carburetted 512 has a complete history having had only three owners from new and still remains in Germany today. A left hand drive EU specification Boxer that is finished in Rosso Corsa over Nero hide trim, and having a mere 59,000 km recorded, it is found in very good, yet very original condition throughout.
Included in the cars extensive history file are; a fresh DEKRA Gutachten (inspection report), original books, numerous service reports and invoices. Often not seen in a car of this age and a true testament to its meticulous and caring owners, #31361 also still retains its original toolkits.
Unlike many of its counterparts, #31361 still retains its original colour combination and original unmolested leather interior that is found in excellent condition for its age. This matching numbers Boxer, fitted with air conditioning, is arguably the most honest and most desirable specification 512’s on the market today.