1979 Ferrari 512512 BB
Year of manufacture1979
- Two owners from new; just 4,497 mi. at time of cataloguing
- One of 929 carbureted 512 BB examples produced
- Ordered new and federalized by the late Ferrari collector Donald L. Weber
- Sports subtle and appealing period modifications by Weber, including a Momo Prototipo steering wheel and velocity stacks
- Carefully maintained, including an engine-out service completed in October 2022; accompanied by history file, including correspondence and service records
The Ferrari 512 BB was never officially sold North America: Facing emissions controls, high fuel prices, and national speed limits, Ferrari did not allocate any of the examples of this compelling mid-engine wedge—equipped with a potent 355-horsepower 4.9-liter flat-12 engine—to US or Canadian markets. That did not stop determined enthusiasts from getting their hands on the sleek 512 BB, including Southern California Ferrari connoisseur Donald L. Weber.
Weber acquired this 1979 Ferrari 512 BB new via the storied Greenwich, Connecticut dealership of Luigi Chinetti. As with all “gray market” examples of the model, it underwent a federalization process; this was handled by Automotive Compliance, Inc. of Harbor City, California. Correspondence and paperwork on file detail Weber’s purchase of the Ferrari, as well as its import and subsequent successful federalization, adding substantial depth to its history.
After taking ownership of the Ferrari, Weber maintained its factory Rosso Chiaro exterior color. However, by 1985, he saw fit to undertake a limited series of well-considered modifications, enlisting Richard’s Interiors of Van Nuys, California to install red-dyed headliner, red carpets, and red door panels, as well as red piping on the black leather seats. A Momo Prototipo steering wheel, and velocity stacks atop its Weber carburetors in place of the stock air cleaner, give the car an appropriate degree of motorsports-inspired flair.
Weber retained the 512 BB for the rest of his life, with the car gaining only its second caretaker when it entered a large collection in 2021. It has seen only limited use, with its odometer reading 4,497 miles at time of cataloguing, yet it has benefitted from a high degree of care; in addition to routine maintenance, invoices on file dating from 2013–2014 indicate fuel and cooling system work, as well as an engine-out service; the carburetors were also cleaned and synchronized. An additional engine-out service was completed by Azaël Motorsport of Doral, Florida in October 2022. Beyond the replacement of timing belts, seals, and gaskets, ancillary components such as the water pump, clutch slave cylinder, and the throttle cable were rebuilt or replaced as necessary to ensure optimal performance. Most recently, a new set of Michelin tires was fitted.
Production of the 512 BB was limited, with just 929 examples produced prior to the arrival of the fuel-injected 512 BBi in 1981; it was, in fact, the final production carbureted Ferrari, adding milestone status to its appeal. Savvy enthusiasts like the late Mr. Weber have long cherished the model—and this exemplary 512 BB, with its low mileage, tasteful period modifications, and history file of correspondence, documentation, photos, and invoices, would make an excellent addition to any fine collection.
Please note that due to California emissions, this vehicle must be sold to a dealer or out-of-state resident.
Please also note that this lot is not accompanied by owner's manuals.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo23.