LMC is very proud to offer for sale this 1981 Ferrari 512BB.
The increasing demand for mid-engine sports and Grand Touring cars in the late Sixties initially went unanswered by Ferrari, who was basking then in the success of the front-engine 365 GTB Daytona. But when the front-engine layout began to look dated, Ferrari answered the call with a mid-engine design of his own, using not the time-honored V-12 but a 4.4L/380 HP version of the flat-12 “boxer” engine first seen in the 312B Grand Prix racers of 1970. The flat-12 enjoyed substantial advantages over the conventional V-12, most significantly its low center of gravity and reduced harmonic vibration. Since it implemented the Daytona’s reciprocating internals it was relatively cost effective for Ferrari. It was also more compact, a factor most appreciated by Sergio Pininfarina, whose job it was to package the engine, running gear and ancillaries and still leave room for two passengers. Dubbed the 365 GT4/BB (for Grand Touring, 4-cam Berlinetta Boxer), the new car first appeared at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. While the choice of engine was logical, it nonetheless surprised the public, but Pininfarina’s design was sensational, with taut, dramatic lines presenting a smoother, more chiseled look than the earlier mid-engine Dinos. In 1975 the 365 GT4/BB gave way to the 512BB, the name marking a return to the Dino nomenclature signifying its 5.0L 12-cylinder engine. The larger 5.0L flat-12 produced less horsepower at 360, but was more flexible thanks to a wider torque band. While appearing similar to its predecessor, the 512BB incorporated significant exterior changes, including a front spoiler, NACA intake scoops in the rocker panels, four tail lights instead of six and a slightly longer tail section with more louvering for improved cooling. The wheelbase and front track remained the same, but the rear track was increased two inches and wider 9-inch wheels were used. These changes combined to make the 512BB absolutely stable and predictable at speed, prompting Road & Track to declare the 512BB “the best car we have ever tested.”
Sold new in Belgium in July, 1981 and flown from Brussels to Boston via Lufthansa flight 911, and flight 420 on September 18, and 20, 1981, this ‘81 Ferrari 512BB remained in the same family ownership until 2016. Auto Palace of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania converted it to U.S. specification in October 1981; and was then returned to its original European configuration shortly there afterwards. It wasn't long until the owner decided to put the car in long-term storage, completely unrestored. Driven a total of only 2,477 kilometers (1,526 miles), it retains its original factory applied Nero paint, all original Tan leather interior, V-12 engine and 5-speed transmission. The parts removed for the specification conversion are included with the sale and comes with tremendous documentation that includes; the original import shipping manifest and title application, 512BB parts invoice, a letter to Auto Palace from the original owner, the original Massachusetts license plate, certificate of origin from Ferrari, original owner’s manual and warranty booklets, Massachusetts registration and a letter of testimony from the original family dated 2016.
This milestone Ferrari 512BB has become a true blue-chip classic, one whose value and prestige will only grow in the years to come. Between the car’s ownership history, color combination, originality and condition make this is certainly one of the best original 512BBs left in existence anywhere. Complete with full documentation from new it just add to its rarity, and extreme collectability.