17 May 1999
1983 FERRARI 512 BBi
Chassis no. 44937
Engine no. 44937
Red with tan leather interior.
Engine: flat-12, four overhead camshafts, fuel injection, 4942cc, 340bhp at 6800rpm; Gearbox: manual five speed; Suspension: fully independent by double wishbones and coil springs; Brakes: four-wheel hydraulically operated ventilated disc. Left hand drive.
The first Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer had appeared before its enthralled and delighted public in 1971 at the Turin Motor Show. It was the 365 GT4 BB, a mid-engined flat-twelve project car, and it was received - as no doubt was intended - as Ferrari's riposte to those who had been unwise enough to voice criticism of the Scuderia's illustrious front engined 365 GTB4 "Daytona" coupe, even to suggest it was "dated", after Lamborghini's rival mid-engined Miura burst into view. At the heart of the new car was the magnificent flat-twelve engine, the design which had returned Ferrari to the pinnacle of both Formula One and endurance sports-car racing and which now, suitably developed, it would take the Scuderia's road-going cars to new levels of achievement. The production 365 GT4 BB was first shown at the Paris Salon in 1973, the four-camshaft flat-twelve set high behind the cabin, its five speed gearbox snugly tucked beneath. There was much new technology, typified by the toothed belts which drove the camshafts for the first time on a Ferrari. Aerodynamics became particularly subtle as the type evolved; a rear spoiler was necessary to disturb airflow to allow the engine to breathe, there was a NACA duct to help ventilate the rear brakes. At the Paris Show three years later the replacement five-litre 512 BB was officially acknowledged, although a number had already been built and sold. There were flared wheelarches to clear wider rear wheels and a sightly longer tail. In 1981, at the Paris Salon, as the tradition was, came fuel injection and the BBi was born. The greatest gain was in refinement; with an exquisite gear change and magnificently furnished interiors, the 170 mph (274 kmh) BB 512i was a very civilised Grand Tourer.
This example appears to hve been sold new in Switzerland and was purchased by the present owner from an official Ferrari dealer in 1990. It shows a mileage of 26,000km and has been regularly maintained.
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