Left-hand drive, 18,000 miles from new 1982 Ferrari 512BBi Coupé Coachwork by Pininfarina Registration no. HTT 796Y Chassis no. ZFFJA09B000041825
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. 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 512BB 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 (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 was felt 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 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-drive could wish for.
This left-hand drive example is one of only 1,007 512 BBi models produced by Ferrari and was first registered in 1982 in Italy. In 1983 the car was exported to the USA where it remained until 2010 when it came back to Europe as part of a large private collection of Ferraris. Described as in generally excellent condition, this stunning and rare motor car has covered a genuine 27,906 kilometres (approximately 17,330 miles) from new while no expense has been spared on its fastidious maintenance and general upkeep. In 2012 a major engine service was carried out by renowned Ferrari specialist Gary Tait, which included cam belts and metering heads. The car has only travelled some 100 miles since. We are advised that the bodywork is in outstanding condition and that there are no signs of corrosion.
Complete with owner's manuals, service booklet, tool kit and Ferrari wallet, this 512BBi offers a genuine investment opportunity as collectors are beginning to appreciate the value of Ferrari's mid-engined 12-cylinder road cars. An excellent example of the Berlinetta Boxer in its ultimate 512BBi fuel-injected incarnation, the car is offered with sundry invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document.