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 on 1st August 1984, this particular Boxer was the last ever UK Right Hand Drive car. It was supplied by Strattons of Wilmslow. It covered 874 miles that month and was first serviced on the 30/08/84. Serviced by Maranello and DK engineering in 85, 86 and 87, it was sold to Didie-Piron in 1989 before being purchased and sold by Talacrest in 1990. The car then changed hands to a Mr Dalby of London before the car was sold to the renowned UK collector in 1998. Changing hands again the car was sold to Mr Sparks of Blockbuster Entertainment who had the car maintained by a variety of specialists. The car changed hands again in 2007 to another prominent collector at this time the car had covered 35,322 miles. The car was maintained by DK engineering during his care. Purchased by the current world renowned collector the car has been maintained again by DK engineering and is now being offered for sale publically for the first time. The last Boxer ever to be registered on UK roads this is certainly a car for the cognoscenti.