1978 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer
Apple, Coco-Cola, McDonalds and Nike are brands recognisable the world over. So is Ferrari and interestingly the iconic Italian luxury sports car manufacturer was named ‘The World’s Strongest Brand’ in the 2019 Brand Finance Global 500 Report.
Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939 out of Alfa Romeo’s race division as Auto Avio Costruzioni the company built its first car in 1940. The Second World War halted Ferrari’s dream, which was finally realised in 1947, when the first car bearing his name, the Ferrari 125S, was built. From that day on Ferrari race cars dominated the world over, winning race after race and many world championships in Formula One, sports car racing and endurance racing. Ferrari built exclusive sports cars for the road too, but in the early days, this was primarily to fund his motor racing!
The Cavallino Rampate or ‘prancing horse’ was the symbol chosen by Ferrari and like the ‘golden arches’ it is recognised by just about every man, woman and child on the planet!
Twelve cylinder engines are synonymous with Ferrari. In fact, Enzo Ferrari’s very first car, the 1947 125S was powered by a 1.5 Litre V12 engine. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the majority of Enzo’s masterpieces were powered by V12 engines of varying capacity. Interestingly all of these cars had the engine located in the front. Cross town rivals Lamborghini introduced their stunning Miura in 1966, which was powered by a transversely mounted V12 engine located behind the driver. This spectacular car took the motoring world by storm and sent shock waves throughout Ferrari HQ in Maranello. Ferraris answer, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, was a fabulous motor car in its own right, but there was always something about the mid-engined sports car that gave it an edge.
It took until 1971 for Ferrari to unveil its first mid-engined sports car, the 365 GT/4 Berlinetta Boxer. The Boxer was very well received and it ultimately went into production and replaced the Daytona in 1973. Interestingly Ferrari opted for a ‘flat 12’ rather than a V12 engine configuration. The engine was mounted longitudinally rather than transversely as Lamborghini did with the Miura.
The Boxer was a great success for Ferrari and along with the Lamborghini Countach was one of the very real ‘supercars of the seventies’. The 365 GT/4 Berlinetta Boxer (387 cars built) was replaced by the 512 Berlinetta Boxer (929 cars built) in 1976, which was then replaced by the 512 BBi (1007 cars built) in 1981. The Boxer was ultimately replaced by the Testarossa (or ‘red head’ so named to commemorate the fabulous Ferrari race cars of the 1950’s – the Testa Rossas) in 1984.
Oldtimer Australia has had the privilege of selling a number of Ferrari 365 and 512 Berlinetta Boxers over the years and we know these cars very well. We are absolutely delighted to offer for sale this absolutely stunning 1978 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer or 512BB as the car is often referred.
Documentation on file from the Maranello Concessionaires Archives confirms that this particular car was ordered in December 1977 (order number 929). It was built in 1978 and finished in ‘nero’ 20-B-619 (black) with a beige leather interior (VM3234) and ‘corda’ carpets. There is an invoice on file dated the 10th April 1978 for GBP 21,863.71 to dealer Maltin Car Concessionaires Ltd in London. The car was sold to its first owner, Mr Stafford Pemberton Esquire on the 13th April 1978.
The car has an exceptional history file with a known and documented history from new. There is a copy of the original service book which records 10 services through until the 12th September 1985 (28,000 miles). There are subsequent service receipts on file from marque specialists including Modena Ferrari, Nick Cartwright, Kent High Performance Cars, Italia Autosport and JD Classics. The engine was rebuilt in 2002 by Kent High Performance Cars at 39,715 miles.
From 1984 through until 2010 there are receipts on file totalling almost GBP 80,000. There are also 15 MOT’s on file, the earliest being from 1986/1987, as well as UK V5 registration certificates and other documents.
Whilst in the UK the car carried the registration KCX954S. Interestingly, the car was owned from 2010 – 2012 by 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button.
The car was acquired in the UK in July 2012 by its current Melbourne based owner and subsequently imported into Australia. There is an Import Approval on file dated 23rd October 2012. Soon after arriving in Australia the car was complianced and registered in Victoria. At that time the odometer was 49,580 miles.
The owner of this Ferrari 512BB is fastidious to say the least and over the next few years he embarked on a journey of taking a very very good car to the next level. The car was taken back to bare metal and repainted by restoration specialists, Concours Restorations based in Geelong. The body was found to be in excellent condition with very little rust for an English car.
Since arriving in Australia the car has been religiously maintained by marque specialist Hughes Supercar Services. This car has received a number of subtle improvements to make it a more usable classic, including: a modern air conditioning system, EZ electric power steering, a clutch booster, modern electric radiator fans, a high powered starter motor and a modern Becker radio/CD with blue tooth & hands free. In 2018 Hughes Supercar Services installed a Gripper Differential, upgrading a recognised weak spot on a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer.
This is a beautifully presented and fully sorted example of Ferrari’s iconic Berlinetta Boxer. The paint work is in excellent condition all round. It has recently been ceramic coated and it has an incredible high gloss finish with a strong depth of colour. The car has had the nose and all four wheel arches wrapped in clear protective film. Blemishes are very hard to find, however, the car is no trailer queen and it does get driven so there are a few . . . but you have to look hard! The most noticeable mark is a small chip below the front left indicator, which is most likely in the film rather than the paint. There are a few small chips on the front bumper and front spoiler. All of the exterior trim, lenses, glass and wheels are in excellent condition and compliment the paintwork nicely. The car is running a set of correct Michelin XWX tyres. Apart from giving a Boxer the ‘right look’ a good set of XWX’s make a massive difference as to how these cars drive.
Inside the cabin this car is also beautifully presented. The interior, which was re-trimmed by Sussex Trimming in England prior to the car being exported to Australia, remains ‘like new’. All of the instruments and controls are crisp, clean and in working order. Open the front and rear clams and the engine bay and front storage compartment are both exceptionally clean and well kept.
Whilst this Ferrari 512BB is impeccably presented, as with any Ferrari it is really all about the drive and that mighty engine! The flat 12 on this car starts easily and it soon settles into a smooth idle. On a beautiful sunny Brisbane morning everything warms up quickly and you are ready to go. First impressions are that this car is a really well sorted example. It is incredibly tight on the road and the engine pulls like a train. The lightness of the EZ power steering is immediately noticeable at parking speed but once you are on the move it is precise and direct. The suspension feels firm but balanced and there are no rattles or squeaks. The gearbox feels really tight and with a firm precise movement of the gear lever through the gate the car changes up and down through the gears easily. The air conditioning blows ice cold, the car is comfortable and it is just a delight to drive.
The car was shown at Motorclassica in 2016 and it won the Modern Classic Sports & Performance Over 3 Litre class. A photo of the car at Motorclassica is featured in the January 2017 issue of Thoroughbred & Classic Cars.
This car is part of a significant classic car collection and after 8 years of ownership the owner has decided to offer this fabulous Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer for sale.
We have handled a number of 365 and 512 Boxers over the years and none have presented any better than this car.
The car has Ferrari Classiche certification.
Accompanying the car are books (in the correct pouch), an incredibly comprehensive history file, an original spare parts manual, an original sales brochure, a complete briefcase style tool kit, jack kit, space saver spare wheel, a rare and desirable Schedoni 512BB luggage set (understood to be 1 of only 28 pieces ever made), seat covers, a car cover and a number of spare parts. There’s even an original set of Michelin XWX tyres from 1978!
It should be noted that the warranty card in the book set is not original to this car. Perhaps it was inadvertently switched with another car during a service at some stage. Importantly there is a photocopy of the original warranty card on file.
Whilst any Ferrari Boxer has a presence on the road, there’s no doubt this ‘black knight’ has a presence on the road like no other!
Today the odometer reads 56,057 miles, which is documented as genuine.
- A UK delivered, factory right hand drive example that is ‘matching numbers’.
- It is finished in its original and STUNNING colour combination of ‘nero’ (black with a beige interior.
- Ferrari Classiche certified.
- Book set in the original wallet.
- Original tool kit and jack kit.
- Schedoni 512BB luggage set.
- Known and documented history with maintenance records from new.
- Previously owned by Jenson Button.
- A former class winner at Motorclassia.
- A fully sorted example that is ready for its next owner to use and enjoy.
Perhaps the best and most respected classic car magazine available today is Octane. One of the more interesting columns is “The Aesthete” written by Stephen Bayley. In issue 206, Bayley writes “ . . . people think that ‘BB’ stands for ‘Berlinetta Boxer’, but it does not. The 512 is not a Berlinetta (it means ‘little saloon’), nor is it actually a boxer. Let me get this right, but I think that a Boxer engine is where two con-rods share the same crank throw. The 512’s is a V12 that has been flattened. The erudite suggest ‘BB’ for bialbero, Italian for twin-cam. But that’s hardly a unique feature. They could have called it Poston 512. Or a Sump 512.
Instead, designer Leonardo Fioravanti has explained that ‘BB’ stands for Brigitte Bardot, the ‘eternal female’ whose appearance in a wet dress in Roger Vadim’s Et Dieu Crea la Femme of 1956 was a landmark, if that’s the right word, in cinema.
Let the debate begin . . .
- Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer
- 56,051 miles
- 4943 cc