Ferrari’s newest Berlinetta Boxer model was introduced at the 1981 Frankfurt Salon, and although it appeared to be very similar to the outgoing model from a distance, its biggest change was found under the rear clamshell and in the new model’s nomenclature. The 512 BBi replaced the 512 BB’s four Weber carburettors with a Bosh K-Jetronic fuel-injection system, hence the “i” in 512 BBi. This upgrade proved the 512 BBi to be much more user-friendly, making the car not only easier to start but also easier to maintain. For many clients, the addition of the fuel injection was a welcome change, and the 512 BBi is often considered to be the most liveable of Ferrari’s Berlinetta Boxer models.
The 512 BBi also received a handful of cosmetic updates, including fitting exposed driving lights in the nose, shortening the aluminium egg-crate grille, and fitting rectangular parking lights in a new shroud for the exhaust at the rear. Just 1,007 examples were built from 1981 to 1984, before production transitioned to the Testarossa.
Finished in arguably the best colour combination for a 512BBi – metallic grey with cream trim, this left-hand drive example is one of only 1,007 512 BBi models produced by Ferrari.
It was delivered new in July 1982 to Europe via Autobecker in Dusseldorf to its first registered keeper, Herbert Dentsch. As verified by the accompanying Fahrezeugbrief, From 1990 the car was owned by Horst Bauling in Germany.
The Ferrari was subsequently registered in Spain, remaining there in the hands of the same owner from 2003 to circa 2009. There are bills on file for works carried out in Spain in 2009, and in the UK in 2015 when a new clutch kit was installed.
Additional documentation consists of sundry invoices, a current UK V5C registration document and a photographic record of a relatively recent restoration, which was carried out in both Germany and Italy. Presented in commensurately good condition, the car is offered with its original owner’s wallet, handbook, full set of tools (in case) and the aforementioned service booklet. This particular 512BBi is offered with Ferrari Classiche Certification and books.
With the value of V12 Ferraris from the 1960s and 1970s having increased dramatically, users and investors alike have recognised the potential of the Berlinetta Boxer series, and particularly that of more practical fuel-injected models.
One of the few Enzo-era models that has yet to reach its zenith among the collecting community, this particular 512 BBi stands out as an exceptional example, and is poised for further collector recognition in the coming years.