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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 and 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 more 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 332lb 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, slightly bigger rear arches to accommodate larger rear wheels, and finally, four rear tail lights replaced the six on the 365.
This Ferrari 512 BB was supplied to Adplas Ltd of London by Cooper Car Sales of Leicestershire, in 1977 finished in Rosso over Nero, with Nero upholstery, a classic colour combination for these cars. It’s set off by an unmarked set of traditional Cromodoras with three-eared spinners wearing lightly used Pirelli P4000s. The car sits well, looks fabulous and sounds equally as good. Ferrari only built 101 in right-hand drive and more than half of this number are with us no more which makes this a very rare car.
The car has remained in the UK its entire life, all detailed in the history file, and has covered just 33,500 warranted miles. Our vendor purchased the car in 2012 from William Loughran Ltd. who were offering it on behalf of a London based gentleman named Mr Chadwick who had purchased the car in Buckinghamshire privately from Mr Skipworth. Pleasingly, the list of keepers, all in the UK, is traceable right back to Adplas Ltd of London in 1977 when the Ferrari was brand new. Accompanying the car is the original order form, sales brochure, book pack and service book, tool kit, jack and bag, and a large collection of invoices. Definitely one for the collector.
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 gleaming, golf ball size, carb throats dominating the engine bay, represents the last of a rare breed, the carburetted flat-12 Ferrari.