1980 Ferrari 512
Year of manufacture1980
1980 Ferrari 512 BB Coupé
Coachwork by Pininfarina
Chassis no. 23009
Having reasserted itself at the top of the supercar hierarchy with the first Berlinetta Boxer - the 365 GTB/4 BB - Ferrari went one better with its successor, the 512 BB. 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 512 BB 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 365 GT/4 BB, and although lack of road space prevented the discovery of their test 512's capability, Ferrari's claimed maximum of 188mph (302km/h) 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."
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 512 BB 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.
Chassis 23009 was originally finished in Nero with very rare black and red Daytona leather seats. The car retains this unusual but highly attractive original colour scheme to this day.
The car was first registered in august 1980 in northern Italy and remained with its first owner until 2013 when it was exported to the UK and sold to its current Belgian owner. It is believed that the current mileage of just under 32,000 km is original, and the car remains in excellent original and unrestored condition.
The car was serviced in 2014 by a known specialist in London, including the replacement of timing belts, and the current owner subjected the car to the rigorous Classiche certification process. This certification confirms that the car retains its original specification, and matching numbers engine and gearbox.
With the value of V12 Ferraris from the 1960s and 1970s having increased dramatically, the potential of the Berlinetta Boxer series, and particularly original examples such as this one, is being increasingly appreciated. This example represents one the examples available on the market today.