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.
Unusually this late European-delivered example was specified from new with special wool interior inserts styled by world renowned fabric mill owner Ermenegildo Zegna. Wool was chosen for ”even better comfort, eliminating the inevitable build-up of heat from seats totally covered in leather.” It is believed that only 27 cars were specified with this interior, and this being the first of that production run.
Interestingly the BB was owned for some time by a prominent Japanese businessman who in the late 1990s was undertaking some trading with a Belgian counterpart. The Belgian, upon visiting his Japanese colleague’s house during a business trip, was greeted with the sight of the Ferrari displayed right in the middle of his living room with a magnificent view onto the Japanese garden. After lots of persuasion he finally managed to acquire the prized BB and bring it back into Europe.
Now showing a mere 21,000 kilometres recorded, the BB has recently benefited from servicing work to the tune of c. €20,000. Offered with relevant books and complete tool kit, and finished in Nero with the contrasting red leather and wool interior, this is by far one of the nicest Ferrari BBs that Coys have seen. A truly collectors-grade example of the iconic Boxer.