You would be forgiven for thinking that the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer was a car of the 80’s whereas in fact it’s roots are from the 70’s. There is probably not a Ferrari fan who is not aware of the Testarossa, the car that replaced the BB. Yet many will be unable to name the BB in a line-up, or know much about it.
Note: SupercarTribe.com is not affiliated with Ferrari SPA.
For Friday’s Drool, we present an absolutely stunning Ferrari 512BBi, which was the third and final evolution of the car. The first was the 365 GT4 BB, which Ferrari launched in 1973. It was radically different to anything before it, and was the first road going Ferrari to offer a rear mid-engined layout. The was radically different to anything seen before, and still remains the basis for most Ferraris sold since. Cars like the 488 can trace it’s roots back to the BBs, although the BB had a V12 engine.
Three years later, Ferrari replaced largely the engine on the BB with a 5 Litre, V12. This of course required a new name, and the car became known as the 512 BB. Ferrari sold 387 of the original cars, but with the newer model they were able to sell 929 cars. Visually you can spot the difference as the 365 had six rear lights, whereas the 512 had only four.
But by 1981, the requirement was for cleaner emissions, and the wonderfully sounding carburettor models were updated and muffled with Fuel injection systems. It was all a necessary requirement, and although aurally something was lost, reliability was hugely improved with the new electronics. The model evolved to become the 512BBi and was sold up until 1984. It was the most popular version too, selling 1,007 units in the 3 years.
Other than the fuel injection, other improvements included wheel changes to accommodate new metric tyre sizes, small white running lights integrated into the front bumper, and rear fog lights in the rear bumper.
For years the BB remained unloved, shadowed by the Testarossa and not old enough to be a desired classic. I was offered a late BB about 10 years ago for £25,000 and rejected it. It was a cheap car, with little history, and in need of some mechanical spend. On the plus side, it had the benefit of being a rare factory wide body conversion. Today the value of that vehicle has risen at least 10 times that, and my prediction is that in 10 years it will be a million-pound car!
Finding a good one is increasingly hard to do, and the car offered by LBI Limited in the US is exceptional. Here is what they have to say about it:
The 512 BBi on offer here is a 1983 model- VIN number ZFFJA09B000048165 and engine number 00717 . It is finished in Rosso Corsa red over tan interior; the same as it left the factory. The car currently registers 17,955 miles, which are believed to be correct, backed up by included documentation as well as the overall condition of the car. This 512 is the recent recipient of over $20,000 of both mechanical and cosmetic refreshing, all of which is documented by included receipts. This servicing did entail the all-important timing belt and tensioners, both of which were replaced in April of 2017.
I have always loved the BB, and this is the last and best of them. It is the perfect spec, and at a fairly reasonable $280,000, it is well priced too. If you are looking for a usable classic, they don’t get much better than this. I wish I could have told that to my ten-year younger self! Oh well, I can all but now Drool.
The car is available at LBI Limited.