Having reasserted itself at the top of the supercar hierarchy with the first ‘Boxer’ – the 365 GTB/4 BB – Ferrari went one better with its successor, the 512 BB. 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. The increase in engine size from the original Boxer’s 4.4 litres was made not so much with increased power in mind but to enable the 512 BB to meet increasingly stringent emissions targets without loss of performance. 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: an air-dam spoiler beneath the nose, brake-cooling NACA ducts ahead of the rear wheel arches, four rear lights instead of six and revised air intake boxes, while slightly fatter rear tyres meant that the width of the 512’s rear grew by just over 25mm. The running gear likewise came in for only minor revision, gaining stiffer springs/anti-roll bars and altered damping rates, 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 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 was felt to be entirely realistic. The fact that this was down 4mph on the Lamborghini Countach’s ‘fastest ever’ maximum was considered unimportant. ‘That’s because, taken on balance, the Ferrari 512 Boxer wins a more important award, as the best all-round sports and GT car we’ve tested,’ enthused the highly respected American motoring magazine. ‘If we had to pin the reasons down to one it would have to be that the Ferrari doesn’t forget the driver. The Boxer has it all, the speed, the handling, the lovely shape, the well done cockpit and, most important of all, a reputation for reliability.’
In 1981 the model was updated with Bosch fuel injection, becoming the 512 BBi. 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 512 BBi 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.
First delivered in October 1983, via Graham Cook at Bramley through Maranello Concessionaires Ltd (UK) as a right-hand drive specification car. Bramley were the trusted suppliers of cars for a notable international Royal Family, with whom they supplied this exceptional and low-mileage example. Prior to delivery, at the instruction of the owner, the car returned to Maranello, Italy, where it was refinished in Nero black with Pelle Nera black interior.
The car was then delivered new in this specification to its owner’s extensive collection, and was subsequently never driven. In approximately 2011, the car was taken to the Ferrari factory and comprehensively rebuilt by Ferrari themselves, who produced a book which breaks down every element of the work that was completed, as the car had remained static for many years.
The BBi then returned to the collection before being sold to the current owners via a UK dealer who had contacts with an official overseas factory agent, based in the same region as collection. They has the car serviced after the full Classiche rebuild, and the car was brought to the UK and has been with the current owners since.
The car comes with original keys, handbook, tool roll, Classiche Red Book and original sales letter from Bramley. This example is an opportunity to purchase an almost delivery mileage 1982 Ferrari 512 BBi in brand new condition.