Having reasserted itself at the top of the supercar hierarchy with the first ‘Boxer’ – the 365GTB/4 BB – Ferrari went one better with its successor, the 512BB. For the new Boxer, Ferrari abandoned its long-standing practice of denoting a model by the capacity of an individual cylinder and adopted the Dino-type nomenclature where ‘512’ indicates 5 litres/12 cylinders. Displacement was increased by enlarging both bore and stroke, while in addition the compression ratio was raised and dry-sump lubrication adopted. The result of all these changes was a useful increase in torque which, coupled with revised gear ratios, made the 512 more tractable.
Changes to Pininfarina’s inspired coachwork were, not surprisingly, few. The running gear likewise came in for only minor revision while the already excellent all-round ventilated disc brakes remained unchanged. Inside, the 512 remained virtually the same as before but for the welcome adoption of multi-way adjustable seats in place of the fixed originals. Road & Track magazine had achieved a speed of 175mph (280km/h) in the preceding 365GT/4 BB, and although lack of road space prevented the discovery of their test 512’s capability, Ferrari’s claimed maximum of 188mph (302km/h) was felt entirely realistic.
In 1981 the model was updated with Bosch fuel injection, becoming the 512BBi. Once again, maximum power remained unchanged but there was more available at lower revs and torque increased still further. Possessing an engine directly related to Ferrari’s contemporary Formula 1 unit, as well as being both lighter and faster than the legendary Daytona, the 512BBi was one of the most capable and exciting supercars of its era and is still capable of providing all the thrills that an enthusiastic owner-driver could wish for.
Coys are proud to present this example shown today, which entered production on Monday 21st December and was completed on Friday 29th January 1982. The car is finished in Rosso Corsa with sand coloured hide with cloth inserts and matching carpets. It was transported to the UK and delivered to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd at Thorpe in Surrey to whom it was first registered SPD 657X on the 24th February 1982. This was the first Ferrari 512 BBi registered in the UK and one of only 43 UK Right Hand Drive BBi produced and featured in May 1982 editions of Motor magazine, Car magazine and Motorsport magazines and is photographed on the forecourt of Maranello Sales at Tower Garage. The car remained with Maranello Concessionaires, Ltd for eighteen months before being sold. The full ownership of the car is known with copies from the DVLA of all V5 of the previous owners.
With only 15,626 miles on the BBi it had a new owner on the 20th December 1998. At some time after this date the car was “laid up” and was recommissioned between December 2012 and March 2013 at the cost of £44,800 by a Ferrari Specialist with 16,717 miles. The clutch was replaced at 16,951miles on 16th December 2015.
Over the last 4 years the BBi has covered just under 500 miles, only driven sparingly on dry days when stored in a dehumidified garage and now shows just over 17,000 miles. It comes with detailed service history and Ferrari, Modena factory Classiche “red book” Certification. The
production period ran from 1981 to 1984, when it was replaced by the world market Testarossa model. During that period a total of 1007 BBi were produced and only 43 of these were RHD examples. This rare specification model is backed up by a vast array of history and surely deserves further attention for any serious Ferrari enthusiast.