- 1980 Ferrari 512 BB
- Classiche Certified
- Rare UK-market RHD example
- Extensive service history with marque specialists
With its dramatic styling and sonorous flat-12 engine, the Ferrari 512 BB was undoubtedly one of the most charismatic ‘poster cars’ of the 1970s, and the superb example now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub must be one of the best available.
Included in the history file is the original order form (reference number ‘BB/121’) from UK distributor Maranello Concessionaires, for a right-hand-drive 512 BB in Rosso Chiaro with Nero VM8500 leather and red carpets. That order was placed on 15 January 1980 and Ferrari’s invoice for chassis number 32097 was sent on 13 June.
The 512 BB was eventually supplied to its first owner – BJ White, based in Hampshire – on 1 August. Inclusive of VAT, Road Fund Tax and a full tank of fuel, his new supercar cost him exactly £31,000.
The interior was retrimmed by Rardley Motors in 1990 and is now Pelle Crema and Rosso, while the history file documents all of the work that has been done on the Ferrari during the course of its life – from the 4000-mile service at Modena Engineering on 28 September 1981 all the way up to the present day.
Rardley Motors carried out a documented speedometer change at 35,983 miles in 1993, and the old speedo has remained with the car.
In 2012 and 2013, the 512 BB was overhauled by JL Engineering in Glasgow. The engine and gearbox were stripped and rebuilt, the steering rack was also rebuilt, the radiator was recored, and various other jobs were carried out, all of which is catalogued in the paperwork.
More recently, the Ferrari has been cared for by Graypaul Nottingham. The suspension has been refurbished and powder-coated, and fitted with new bushes, while the brake calipers have all been rebuilt. The clutch assembly was also replaced in 2016.
Now presented in immaculate condition, this Ferrari 512 BB has been awarded Classiche Certification and is supplied with its original wallet and handbooks, plus both tool kits. With only 101 right-hand-drive UK-supplied 512 BBs having left the Maranello factory, it offers a rare opportunity to acquire one of the definitive supercars of the 1970s.
The Ferrari 512 BB was a natural development of the 365 GT4 BB, which had replaced the front-engined Daytona. Introduced at the 1971 Turin Motor Show and put on sale two years later, it was the first mid-engined road car to carry the Ferrari name and – like the Scuderia’s contemporary Formula One cars and sports-prototypes – featured a flat-12 powerplant.
The 4390cc unit used belts rather than chains to drive its overhead camshafts, and it was mounted longitudinally with the five-speed gearbox positioned underneath. The clean, angular Pininfarina styling – which was the work of Leonardo Fioravanti – laid down a template for mid-engined Ferraris that would last until well into the 1980s. Beneath it lay a blend of unitary construction around the cabin and a tubular structure elsewhere, and the bodywork was made of steel – apart from the doors and the nose and tail sections, which were aluminium.
Inside, air-conditioning was standard and road-testers complimented the comfort levels and general ease with which this latest two-seater supercar could be driven. It came at a price, though, with only a handful of ultra-exclusive cars from Mercedes and Rolls-Royce costing more.
Only 387 examples of the 365 GT4 BB were built before it morphed into the 512 BB in 1976. This new model featured an enlarged 4942cc engine that had gained dry-sump lubrication but was still fitted with Weber carburettors. Low-down torque was improved and power output was quoted as being 340bhp at 6200rpm. Esteemed motoring journalist Steve Cropley later wrote that the updated model was ‘indisputably more refined, easier to drive and just as fast’.
There was a competition-spec version, too – the BB LM, which was raced by the likes of legendary Ferrari concessionaires NART and Ecurie Francorchamps. A Charles Pozzi-entered BB LM managed to finish fifth overall at Le Mans in 1981 with the all-French driver line-up of Claude Ballot-Léna and Jean-Claude Andruet.
The fuel-injected 512i was introduced in 1981 and represented the final stage in the development of the Berlinetta Boxer before it was replaced by the Testarossa in 1984.