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Wednesday, 9 March 2016
1977 FERRARI 512 BB - FOSKERS
1977 FERRARI 512 BB
The Ferrari 512 BB (also known as the ‘BB512’) was launched in 1976 as more of an update to the Berlinetta Boxer, rather than a new model. Its name didn’t follow Ferrari convention, instead borrowing the format used for the Dino and GT4 at the time, referring to ‘5 litre, 12 cylinder’, rather than the individual cylinder capacity.
The torquier 5.0-litre Ferrari flat-12 made the ‘new’ Boxer more responsive and flexible. A revised gearbox was a significant improvement over the 365 BB, and many of the latter were subsequently upgraded in period to use this transmission. Ferrari also reduced the pressure in the shift mechanism itself, making gear changes in the 512 BB slicker than in its predecessor.
On the outside, the exterior styling changes were minimal but noticeable. Wider rear arches accommodated the fatter nine-inch tyres, there was a more pronounced kink in the join between cabin and rear clip, and the Ferrari’s nose was revised with a shallow spoiler to reduce lift at very high speeds.
Another telling feature of the 512 BB is the pair of NACA ducts in the lower panels ahead of the rear wheels - these were added to funnel air to the engine bay. At the rear, the three tail lights on each side were swapped to two pairs of larger items; with precisely the same reduction in the number of tail pipes for the exhaust.
The reaction from the motoring press to the Ferrari 512 BB was that all of the smaller changes added up to a substantial improvement over the 365 BB. As Mel Nichols put it in his single-model book on the Berlinetta Boxer: ‘This was a Boxer with more charm as well as more fight, more poise as well as more spirit’.
This Ferrari 512 BB was ordered in early 1977, specified with Nero 20-B-50 paintwork, Beige (code VM 3234) leather and Corda carpets. A copy of the order receipt from Ferrari S.p.A. accompanies the car and confirms this original combination.
The Berlinetta Boxer’s first owner was a Malaysian businessman who lived in London at the time. He kept the car for just two months before selling it to renowned Ferrari collector - and current Chairman of the Ferrari Owners Club of Great Britain - Mr Nigel Chiltern-Hunt. While in his ownership, the Boxer was registered as ‘BB 25’ and was featured in Mel Nichols’ Berlinetta Boxer book that shows this registration plate.
Two years later, the 512 BB was sold on again, this time to a doctor in Surrey. At the time of the car’s first MOT test in 1980 - for which the certificate remains in the history file - the odometer read just 4586 miles. In 1982, this 512 BB became one of only two targa conversions by Emilio Garcia’s Autokraft business - and the only example in right-hand drive. Within the last year, it has been painstakingly reverted back to the original Berlinetta body style.
In 2007 the car was sold on to its fourth keeper - a prominent British businessman and cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He continued to spend whatever was required on this wonderful Boxer, driving it over some 2000 miles before selling it on to the fifth keeper in October 2011. Most recently, the car has received a full engine-out service and cambelt replacement at Foskers.
The documented history of this Ferrari 512 BB is simply outstanding. Within the substantial file of paperwork are service invoices, MOT certificates and sales records for virtually every year of the car’s life. The third keeper owned the car from late 1979 until early 2007, and he spared absolutely no expense in the maintenance of this wonderful Boxer. The 512 BB was used frequently, but only ever covered between 500 and 1000 miles each year. The total mileage is therefore remarkably low, and the odometer now reads just 26000.
This is a truly beautiful 512 Berlinetta Boxer that has magnificent provenance. It is presented in its original and arresting factory colour combination and is accompanied by a complete and continuous ownership and mileage record from new. The interior is entirely original, save for the superb new carpets throughout.
The Berlinetta Boxers are thrilling Ferraris to drive, not to mention exceptionally rare cars in right-hand drive. Furthermore, these flat-12s are appreciating every month, so from an investment point of view the 512 BB is fantastic choice.
For more information about this Ferrari 512 BB for sale in Kent, or to arrange an appointment, please contact our sales team on 01474 874555 or 07921 430430.