The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer  Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745

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Lot 337
The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer
Registration no. KCX 854S Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745

£ 90,000 - 110,000
US$ 110,000 - 140,000
The property of Jenson Button
1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer
Coachwork by Pininfarina

Registration no. KCX 854S
Chassis no. 23745
Engine no. 23745


  • Having reasserted itself at the top of the supercar hierarchy with the first 'Boxer' - the 365GT/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. 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.'
    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-driver could wish for. Small wonder then, that many of the world's top racing drivers have owned and enjoyed the 512BB.
    This pristine example was purchased last year by Jenson Button, the then reigning Formula 1 World Champion, who had secured the title driving for Brawn GP in 2009. One of only 929 512BBs produced, right-hand drive chassis number '23745' was ordered new in December 1977 and delivered via Maitlin Car Concessionaires in April the following year to its first owner, Stafford Pemberton. The accompanying history file contains every bill accrued since the car was delivered, testifying to more than £94,000 spent on it over the past 33 years. Among the most significant bills on file are those issued by renowned marque specialist, Nick Cartwright, who undertook extensive work on the car towards the end of the 1980s. This included bodywork refurbishment and an all-new interior, while between 1991 and 2006 the engine and gearbox were fully overhauled by Kent High Performance. In January 2010 some £4,000 was spent at marque specialists Italia Autosport, of Meltham, West Yorkshire where the brakes and engine were serviced and the clutch and cam belts changed. These works were carried out at 49,095 miles and the car currently displays a total of 49,155 miles on the odometer. Since Jenson's acquisition the Ferrari has benefited from a major service at JD Classics, which was completed in September 2010 (see bill for £13,653 on file). Work carried out included re-gassing the air conditioning system, replacing the tyres and rectifying various minor faults.
The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer  Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745
The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer  Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745
The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer  Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745
The property of Jenson Button,1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer  Chassis no. 23745 Engine no. 23745
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