The 365 Berlinetta Boxer was Ferrari’s first true mid-engine, twelve-cylinder production car. It marked a significant step for the company as Enzo Ferrari had heretofore remained staunchly loyal to a front engine layout for his road cars, in spite of competition from the mid-engine Lamborghini Miura and Maserati Bora. But the junior-class 246 Dino was selling well and mid-engine Ferrari racing cars were racking up success on the circuits of the world. Enzo finally bowed to the pressure and unveiled a prototype of the 365BB at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. The car featured a mid-mounted flat-twelve that sat on top of the gearbox, allowing for very short overhangs and wheelbase. The body, styled by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti, was less ostentatious than Lamborghini’s wild machines, but it still had an aggressive beauty and excellent proportions. Production began in 1973 as the 365 GT/4 BB. Three years later, the car was updated to 512BB specification with tweaked styling and a new engine. Now with a full five liters, it had significantly more torque, thereby improving the drivability. In 1981 it gained Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection for even greater reliability and low-speed tractability. The Berlinetta Boxer started Ferrari down the path of mid-engine V12 supercars that lasted through the late 1990’s with the Testarossa based 512M.
Handling is akin to a large kart, though with a bit more “sting” in the tail thanks to the mass of that huge 5-liter engine and gearbox combination. Classic Pininfarina style and that thumping great flat-twelve behind your head make for a thrilling driving experience. Comfortable seating and amenities such as air conditioning help to make it a fine grand touring car as well. Curiously, the BB was never officially imported to the US Market, though many cars arrived here as semi-official gray market imports. Particularly in late, fuel-injected form, these are usable and well-mannered performance cars that have become highly sought after by Ferrari aficionados, making the Berlinetta Boxer a very hot commodity.
We proudly present this 1983 512 BBi in exceptional, unmolested original condition. The original and current owner purchased it via Joe Marchetti to be used as a practice car for the 1984 Mille Miglia in Italy. The owner’s plan was to pick up his new car at the factory in Maranello, but a labor strike meant that would be impossible and another car had to be found. A last minute arrangement was made and this car was found at famed Zurich dealer, Lucas Huni, AG. The owner toured with the car through Switzerland and Italy, and then shipped it to the US where it underwent Federalization by Amerispec. Amerispec did the conversion of the front and rear bumpers and also stiffened the doors, as a result, some paintwork was done on the car at this time. Since then, it has been stored in a climate controlled garage and used very sparingly, now displaying a mere 9,973 KM from new – an astonishing 6,196 miles over the course of 30 years.
It shows today in exceptional, nearly-new condition in the attractive and rare color combination of white over a tan leather cabin. Cosmetic condition is befitting its ultra-low miles, showing extremely well inside and out with some paint imperfections visible as a result of the cars age. The owner stated that only time it was ever in the rain was on the trip from Zurich in 1984! Even the plastic sill protectors are still intact, an item that was usually removed prior to delivery. The undercarriage appears nearly showroom new, with the factory applied Cosmoline still visible on the suspension. Included in sale are the original owner’s manual, radio manual, service information book and warranty book, all in the original Ferrari pouch. Also included are the spare keys and tool kit, though the jack is currently missing. The original Pioneer stereo cassette and Pioneer speakers are still present in the car. It is well documented with full importation documents from Amerispec, and service records dating from 1996-2015.
Mechanically speaking, this is not a neglected barn-find. It has been properly stored and was fully serviced in March of 2015 at great expense. Recent work includes:
- Timing belts and associated seals
- Clutch assembly with improved soft-action
- Hood and boot hydraulic props
- CV Joint Boots
- Rebuilt water pump assembly
- Replaced fuel pumps
The recent work means it is ready for use and needs nothing to be enjoyed on the road. This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a genuine, documented one-owner Berlinetta Boxer in superb condition. Truly outstanding in every way, few 512BBi’s can compare in terms of originality, history and low mileage.
For more information on finding a classic Ferrari 512 BBi, contact us today and learn more about our car consignment program.