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The Ferrari 512 BB is curiously quirky, and we can’t get enough

Once regarded as one of the ‘ugly ducklings’ from Ferrari’s vast line-up of exceptional models, the 512 BB has matured into a true collector piece and one that’s a real joy to drive.

Put yourself in the shoes of an engineer working for Ferrari in 1976, where you approach Il Commendatore himself with a vision of a mid-engine, short-bodied, powerful, but exceptionally agile road car. Enzo wouldn’t have it and expressed how he thought buyers couldn’t handle such a setup in a road car.

As the years rolled by, Enzo started to come around to the idea, having seen the layout dominate on both the racetrack and the showrooms, and decided to venture into this now widely used layout himself. The first of the "Berlinetta Boxer" series was the 365 GT4 BB, which was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1971. It was designed to rival the newly developed Lamborghini Countach and other models from the likes of Lotus and Maserati. After five years of success with the 365, Ferrari launched the car you see before you, the 512 BB.

Ferrari decided to resurrect the name of the earlier Ferrari 512 racer, where the name 512 refers to the car's 5-litre, 12-cylinder engine. The new engine impressed, giving the same power at lower revs, better torque, and a smoother delivery than the earlier version in the 365 GT4 BB. The Pininfarina coachwork differed only slightly from the previous model in certain details, making it look even more elegant but was also designed with functionality and engine cooling in mind. 

In today’s world of large wings and downforce-inducing accents, the 512 BB is remarkably smooth in its design, especially around the nose and tail of the car, which was the biggest change from the 365. It was a car that held its original designs extremely close, with the prototype looking almost identical to the car that was released, something of a rarity when it comes to supercars. 

Just 929 512 BBs exist, making this stunning Rosso over Tan example a real treasure. Covering just 27,279 miles since it was first registered some 40 years ago now, the condition of this one is a real treat both inside and out. Its rich leather Daytona-inspired seats contrast perfectly against the plethora of chrome switchgear, further confirming you are sat in a true piece of late 70s artwork. This example is also Ferrari Classiche Certified, only showcasing further just how refined this high-revving V12 Ferrari really is and would make for an excellent addition to a Ferrari-themed garage or collection. It is available now through Loris Kessel Auto SA.