1978 Ferrari 512 BB

1978 Ferrari 512 BB
Coupe
Chassis #: 24445
High bid of $240,000 at 2015 Keno Brothers : NY Auto. (did not sell)
Sold for $253,000 at 2016 Scottsdale, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
With the introduction of the well-liked Lamborghini Miura and Maserati Bora, Ferrari decided to build their own mid-engine sportscar with striking looks. The result was the Berlinetta Boxer, commonly shortened to BB, originally introduced in 1971. A completely new car from the Daytona, the original 365 GT4 BB was a statement that Ferrari was looking to the future rather than resting on its laurels. In 1976, the successor was introduced, known as the 512 BB due to its 5-liter, flat 12-cylinder engine. With a top speed of 174 mph and a 0-60 time near five seconds, the 512 BB was a striking and unique addition to the Ferrari stable, and a worthy competitor to newer cars such as the Countach. Over the course of its production run, 929 examples of the 512 BB were produced between 1976 and 1981.

This car was originally delivered in Germany in 1978. In the 1980s, the car's interior was redone at great expense by Zender, a highly respected European restoration firm. It then moved to the United States where it was maintained by a handful of known enthusiasts on the West Coast.

In its present state, this Boxer is in very good condition. The red paint is excellent, and the custom black interior from Zender is in very good condition. The undercarriage is clean and the car has been well cared for by previous owners.

The Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer was produced between 1973 through 1984 with a total of 2,323 examples of all 'BB' models produced. This was a very important model for the Ferrari marque, and one that followed in the footsteps of the mid-engined road car, the 206 GT Dino. Mid-engine placement had been proven to be a useful technique in improving handling and performance; Cooper was one of the first marque's to showcase the potential in motorsports.

When Ferrari introduced their 206 GT Dino, they also introduced a model that stayed true to their heritage, with the 'cart before the horse.' The 365 GT/4 Daytona front-engined car was a phenomenal vehicle, equipped with a V12 powerplant, and soon became legendary.

The 365 GT4 BB, for Berlinetta Boxer, was introduced at the 1971 Turin Motorshow. It incorporated many design features from the P6 Show Car of 1968. Mounted mid-ship was a flat-12 engine which shared its design and construction with Ferrari's racing program. It was introduced to rival Lamborghini's Miura. The production version was shown at the 1973 Paris Motor Show with sales beginning that same year. A total of 386 were constructed with 58 being right hand drive.

The flat-12 engine was longitudinally mounted in the engine bay at a 180-degree angle with the gearbox mounted directly under the engine. The flaw in this design was too much weight in just one place and not evenly dispersed throughout the vehicle. Sixty percent of the weight was in the rear, as well as the engine sitting rather high since it was above the gearbox.

In 1976 at the Paris Motor Show Ferrari introduced their next iteration of the BB series, the 512 BB. This version brought changes to the vehicles design along with a five-liter power plant. The triple tail lights were replaced with double units.

In 1981 the 512 BBi was introduced. The 'i' signified a fuel injection system. The 512 BBi remained in production until 1984 when it was replaced by the Ferrari Testarossa.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2007
Raced in 1970 and 1971, the Ferrari 512 was a sports vehicle, related to the Ferrari P series of sports prototypes that was eventually withdrawn from competition after a change in regulations in 1968. A year later Ferrari decided to do what Porsche did six months earlier and build 25 5.0 L cars at one time to be homologated as sports car prototypes. The surplus vehicles were intended to be sold to racing customers.

The 512 S carried a motor with a new V12 with 560 PS output. Unfortunately not air-cooled like the Porsche's flat-12 the 512 was equipped with a variety of cooling pipes and a heavy radiator. Weighing more than 100 kg than the alloy-framed 917, the chassis was of sturded steel that was reinforced with aluminum sheet. Despite the weight difference, the Ferrari 512S and Porsche 917 were evenly matched.

Predictable teething problems and a weak suspension and transmission were the main issues with the Ferrari 512s in the beginning of 1970.

Produced between 1973 and 1984, the Berlinetta Boxer, or the Ferrari 512 was the name for a series of vehicles produced by Ferrari in Italy. A huge venture for Enzo Ferrari, the Boxer was a mid-mounted flat-12 engine that replaced the FR Daytona and succeeded in the Ferrari stable by the Testarossa.

Though Enzo feared that the mid-engined road car would be too difficult for his buyers to handle, he eventually agreed to his engineers request that he adopt the layout. In the late 1950s this attitude began to change as the marque lost its racing dominance to mid-engined competitors. The result of all this was the mid-engined 4, 6 and 8 cylinder Dino racing vehicles that Ferrari eventually allowed for the production Dino road cars to use the layout also. While the Daytona was launched with its engine in front, the company moved its V12 engines to the rear with its P and LM racing vehicles. Finally in 1971 a mid-engined 12-cylinder road vehicle came on the scene.

Released at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, the first Boxer was the 365 GT4 BB with the production intent to rival Lamborghini's Miura. In 1973 it was finally released for sale at the Paris Motor Show. A total of 386 units were sold with only 58 of them being right hand drive. The most prestigious of all Berlinetta Boxers, this was the fastest and most rare model.

The Boxer was as unique as possible, though it shared its numerical designation with the Daytona. Like the Dino, the Berlinetta Boxer was a mid-engined vehicle that housed the now flat -12 engine mounted longitudinally rather than transversely. Sharing the internal dimensions of the Daytona V12, the engine was spread out to 180_ as on Ferrari's 1970 Formula One car. Mounted above a five-speed manual transmission the engine produced 344 hp at 7200 rpm and 302 ft_lbf of torque @ 3900 rpm. This engine also used timing belts instead of chains.

In 1976 the 365 was updated as the Ferrari 512 BB, resuming the name of the previous Ferrari 512 racer. A total of 929 of the 512 BBs were produced. Though peak horsepower was off slights to 340 hp @ 6200 rpm (redline 7000 rpm), the engine was larger at 4942 cc. Due to a larger displacement and a longer stroke, torque was now up to 46 kgf_m from 44 kgf_m at 4600 rpm. To achieve a lower center of gravity dry sump lubrication was used. New external features were a front spoiler, added NACA side air vents that ducted air to the brakes, four tail lights instead of six and wider rear tires.

In 1981 the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injected 512Bbi was released. The end of the series, the new fuel injected motor released cleaner emissions and 340 hp at 6000 rpm and produced 333 ft_lbf of torque at 4200 rpm. New updates included badging and a change to metric sized wheels along with the Michelin TRX metric tire system, red rear fog lamps outboard of the exhaust pipes in the rear valence and small running lights in the nose. A total of 1,007 512Bbi units were produced.

A total of 25 512S Ferrari's were produced within the first nine months with even chassis numbers from 1002 to 1050. In 1970, 19 of those units were raced, with five of them being spyders. At the end of the season, the 1020 was converted as a 512M and sold to NART which entered it in competition a year later.

By Jessica Donaldson

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$3,000-$85,000
1978 512 BB
$85,000-$109,800
1978 Ferrari 512 BB Base Price : $85,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Ferrari
1983Renault (1,491,853)Chevrolet (1,175,200)Toyota (1,068,321)2,366
1982Renault (1,491,853)Chevrolet (1,297,357)Toyota (1,068,321)2,223
1981Chevrolet (1,673,093)Renault (1,295,713)Toyota (1,068,321)904
1980Chevrolet (2,288,745)Renault (1,492,339)Ford (1,162,275)2,381
1979Chevrolet (2,284,749)Ford (1,835,937)Renault (1,405,330)2,308
1978Chevrolet (2,375,436)Ford (1,923,655)Renault (1,240,941)1,939
1977Chevrolet (2,543,153)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,840,427)1,427
1976Chevrolet (2,103,862)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,861,537)1,427
1975Chevrolet (1,755,773)Toyota (1,714,836)Ford (1,569,608)1,337
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)1,337
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)1,772

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