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 512BB 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.
This right-hand drive example is one of only 1,007 512BBi models produced by Ferrari. Finished in red with black interior trim and showing very little wear, the car displays a total 14,5000 miles on the odometer. It comes complete with spare wheel, tool roll and jack.
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 the more practical fuel-injected models such as this one.