The Russell Palmer 1979 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer

Ferrari Classiche Certification


The Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer was produced between 1973 and 1984 using a mid-mounted Flat-12 engine, replacing the front engined layout Daytona. It was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti and production of the BB was a major step for Enzo Ferrari. He felt that a mid-engined road car would be too difficult for his buyers to handle, and it took many years for his engineers to convince him to adopt the layout.

The mid-engined 6-, and 8-cylinder Dino racing cars were the result, and Ferrari later allowed for the production Dino road cars to use the layout as well. The company also moved its V12 engines to the rear with its P and LM racing cars, but the Daytona was launched with its engine in front.

It was not until 1970 that a mid-engined 12-cylinder road car would appear. The 365 GT4/BB was updated as the BB 512 in 1976, resurrecting the name of the earlier Ferrari 512 racer. The engine was larger at 4942cc, had an increased compression ratio of 9.2:1. The power output was 360bhp and a new dual plate clutch was utilised to handle the added power and torque, and to ease the pedal effort. Dry sump lubrication was used to prevent oil starvation in hard cornering due to revised rear suspension, wider wheels and wider rear tires. External differentiators included a new front spoiler, wider rear tires, four tail pipes and four tail lights.

Only 929 BB models were produced and of that only 101 were in right hand drive configuration, as offered here with chassis #27289. Completed in March 1979, #27289 was supplied new by Maranello Concessionaries to its first owner, Mr. P Thorpe, on the 20th April 1979. Finished in the stunning colour scheme of silver with red hide, which it retains to this day, it initially sported ‘EE’ or Italian Export Plates which permitted its new owner to drive the car back from Maranello to the UK. It was subsequently registered on 3rd May 1979 with the UK registration number BPD174T.

In October 1981, #27289 was sold to its second owner, Russell Palmer and remained in his ownership until he passed away in 2013. The car was then sold to its current owner, and is remembered at Coys during these years when it used to appear in Queens Gate Mews on a regular basis.

This car has only covered 34,000 miles from new and holds a large history file detailing regular servicing by Ferrari specialists. This includes a recent cam belt change and service, various other receipts and sundry documentation as well as the rare and desirable original hand books and tool kit – all of which enhance this already sought after Ferrari. The Ferrari Classiche certification has been approved and we have confirmation that the car has passed at the time of the sale.

This is a splendid example, in magnificent factory colours which really make it stand out from the run of the mill Rosso Corsa. This carburetted example is very well known and considered to be one of the finest examples in existence. Widely known as the Russel Palmer Boxer, such is its elevated position amongst all the other RHD Boxers that when sold from the estate in 2013, it achieved a then world record price.

Sold For £220,200

Auction True Greats December 2016
Auction Date N/A
Day of Auction N/A

lot details

Lot Number 105
Registration Number UK Registered
Chassis Number 27289
Year 1979
Make Ferrari
Model 512 BB

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