1984 Ferrari 512 BBi Berlinetta Boxer
The Boxer line represented a remarkable departure for Ferrari. Those who had witnessed the debut of Lamborghini’s stunning Miura in 1966 had been anxiously awaiting Ferrari’s response, and the front-engined Daytona, while extremely high performance, could not match the raw impact of the Miura and later the Countach. The Boxer was Ferrari’s first mid-engined twelve-cylinder road car, and was powered by a horizontally-opposed longitudinally-mounted engine sitting atop the transaxle. Clothed in suitably rakish bodywork by Pininfarina, the Boxer was a stunner. The 512 BBi represents the ultimate development of the Boxer line and was distinguished from the 512 BB and 365 models that preceded it by the introduction of fuel injection, making emissions testing where required much less of a headache than with carburetors. Today, the Boxer remains a dramatic and exciting car that is a tremendous, visceral experience, especially compared to the much more subdued Testarossa which replaced it.
This particular example is a beautifully-preserved four-owner car that was imported to the United States new. Its original owner purchased the car through Algar Ferrari and picked it up from the factory in December of 1983 and drove the car around in Europe before importing it. He had it federalized by Amerispec, with the EPA release completed in April of 1984. Though the car was federalized, it escaped the unsightly additions of side reflectors and impact bumpers. The car comes with its original invoice from the factory, which notes that this example was finished without black Boxer trim in red with a black leather interior. There are also photographs of the car at the factory when it was delivered new in December 1983.
The first owner kept the car until August of 1989, when its second owner acquired it. He owned the car until December of 2005, when the car’s third owner purchased it with 15,539 kilometers. The car has regularly received major services (including belts) in February of 2005, May 2007, October 2015, and August 2021. The most recent service also included 12 new injectors, rebuilt CIS fuel distributors and warmup regulators, and new fuel pumps. The car has covered 19,000 kilometers from new.
The presents as a well-preserved unrestored car which still looks very nice. The body panels are straight and fit and operate well while the paint appears to be largely original with a few small marks that have been touched up over the years. The wheels are in very good shape, as are the spinners. The tires are correct Michelin TRX items with 2002 date codes.The trim is very nice throughout, as are the lights and glazing. The car has correct Cibié flat front head lamps and Cibié “airport” fog lamps. The overall impression of the car is of an honest well-cared for low mileage car that is aging gracefully.
The interior also appears to be substantially original. The seats have a nice even patina with light wear on the piping of the driver’s seat back. The carpets are very nice, as are the various leather trimmed items such as the headliner and center console. The dashboard is showing some shrinkage on the top as well, as is common on Boxers. The original Ferrari-branded Pioneer head unit, speakers, and equalizer are still in place.
The front compartment is in very nice shape as well. The spare cover is present, as is the strap for the tool roll, which is present, complete, and in excellent shape. The inner fenders are in very nice original condition and show no signs of damage. The engine compartment is also very clean, in keeping with a well-cared for largely unrestored car, save for the intake runners and manifolds, which were refinished and the foam on the underside of the engine lid also replaced.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a superb late-production example of this important model. The last of the Boxers, it is worth noting that BBi is noticeably faster than the Testarossa that replaced it, in addition to being arguably better looking and rarer. One thing that’s for sure is that the driving experience is wildly different from a Testarossa. While the Testarossa is civilized and nearly easy to drive, being most in its element as a comfortable long distance tourer, the Boxer has an intensity and hard edge to it that makes it much closer to the beastly character of a Countach or Miura. As a flagship Ferrari, it stands alone in that respect, and it demands a level of finesse from the driver that gives it a lot of appeal for the experienced driver.
This particular car has had just four owners, known history from new, and was federalized in an unobtrusive manner. Furthermore, it is very complete, beautifully preserved, well-documented, and has been fastidiously maintained. It does not have a California BAR sticker and is thus offered as a 49-state car.