The Salon Privé Sale 2017

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1979 Ferrari 512BB (Carburettor)

Lot No.: 215

Registration: UEY 686T
Chassis Number: F102BB28443
Engine Number: 00451
Number of cylinders: 12
CC: 4943
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Sold for (£): Unsold

Having reasserted itself at the top of the 'supercar' hierarchy with the first 'Boxer' - the 365GT/4 BB - Ferrari went one better with its successor, the 512BB introduced in October 1976 at the Paris Auto Show;. For the new car, 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 512BB 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 lubrication changed from wet to dry sump. Quoted power remained the same (but may have been more truthful) at 360bhp, and torque was improved to 332ib ft at 5000rpm which, coupled with revised gear ratios, made the 512 more tractable.  Styling changes were subtle, with a small chin spoiler added to the nose, NACA ducts added in front of the rear wheels, the rear arches made slightly bigger to accommodate larger rear wheels, and finally, four rear tail lights replaced the six on the 365. 

This very special 1979 Ferrari 512BB is 1 of only 101, UK supplied, right-hand drive cars and has recently been subject to a no expense spared restoration including a complete engine rebuild by Graypaul Ferrari. It has been enjoyed by one owner from new and has only covered 21,000miles. The coachwork is superb and the Rosso over Nero paintwork is pristine. The interior with its Nero hide is in excellent condition and the instruments and electrics, post-restoration, all function well. The transmission and running gear we understand are  “Very good” and the Graypaul rebuilt engine is described as being “As new”. The Boxer is set off by an unmarked set of traditional Cromodoras with three-eared spinners.  

The 512 Berlinetta Boxer was an all-round sports and GT car, combining blistering performance with a plush leather interior, electric windows, and air conditioning. Not only does it remain one of the most striking designs to carry the Prancing Horse, but it also sits well as a very usable classic Ferrari and with those 12 carb throats which could swallow a golf ball, represents the last of a rare breed: the carbureted flat-12 Ferrari. 

With just over 100 rhd, 512BBs arriving in the UK and probably less than half of that number remaining, this variant is sought after, not just by the Ferrari purist, but also by investors in the market. This sparkling, fully restored, one owner example has only covered 21,000 miles and, as they say, it really doesn't get much better than that.