The Ferrari 512 BB LM is what happens when Ferrari takes their V12 512 BB and turns it into a full-fledged race car. With aggressive new sheetmetal and tons of extra power, the LM wound up a formidable track opponent. Although its track success would be mixed, the 512 BB LM is today regarded as a special piece of Ferrari history.
So Much More than a Spoiler and Some Stickers
The complete transformation from street to track vehicle started with aerodynamic enhancements. New pieces were designed by Pininfarina and tested in a wind tunnel to ensure they would work. Gone were the pop-up headlights, while the tail end gained an enormous wing. Compared to the standard car, the 512 BB LM almost looks like a different car, the changes were so thorough. In fact, the car measures in at 41cm longer than its road-going variant.
Moving on from the exterior, the mechanical elements were similarly updated. For starters, engineers stripped out various luxuries to save weight – Ferrari lists the dry weight at just 1050kgs. Next, the suspension was tightened up for track use and the cooling system was modified to increase engine performance.
Of course, power was another area that Ferrari addressed as the created the LM. The 5-litre, 12-cylinder engine had been modified with an electronic fuel injection system that would later make its way to the 512 BBi. The effect was profound, as the 512 BB LM ended up making an extra 110bhp over the standard 512 BB. Total output was listed at 470bhp.
Legacy and Production
Between 1979 and 1982, just 25 Ferrari 512 BB LMs were built. Only 19 of those, however, would ever enter a race. Through their various races, the best result would be a 5th place finish at the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Today, the 512 BB LM is regarded as an impressive feat of engineering for its time. When one occasionally makes it was up for auction, you can expect the price to range from $800,000 to over $2 million, depending on its history.