Ferrari was criticised in the late 1960s for not jumping on the bandwagon and making a mid-engined road car like rivals Lamborghini. It had been slow to put the engine behind the driver in Formula 1, but when it did so the result was the immortal T156 - shark nose - that took Phil Hill to the 1961 World Championship.
By the decade's end, Ferrari had all the experience it needed of mid-engined cars and knew the snags as well as advantages. When Ferrari launched the Berlinetta Boxer in 1973, the layout was fully understood, although the position of the engine was of less concern than creating a worthy successor to the front-engined Daytona, and that was a very hard act to follow.
The Berlinetta Boxer was a compact car, 50mm shorter than the 308, so it could actually be used for driving say, over Alpine passes at high speed. And it was beautiful, its Pininfarina body remaining in production for a remarkable 12 years.
The 512BB had a new multi-tubular frame and its all-independent suspension reflected Ferrari's racing experience. At its heart was a flat-12 dohc engine, which again owed its development to Ferrari's competition programme.
Early models were built with a 4.4-litre engine, but later cars had a carburettor-fed 5.0-litre engine that produced 360bhp and, more importantly for use on the road, a maximum 333lb/ft torque in the mid-rev range.
Ferrari claimed a top speed of 282 km/h with 0-60mph attainable in 5.5 seconds For once, these figures probably erred on the conservative side.
In 1981 the model was up-dated with Bosch fuel injection, becoming the 512BBi. Maximum power remained unaffected but there was more available at lower revs and torque increased still further. - The Boxer has it all, the speed, the handling, the lovely shape, the well done cockpit and, most important of all, a reputation for reliability - enthused Road & Track magazine.
Contact me via email
or by telephone:
We buy, sell, broker, locate, consign and appraise exceptional classic, sports and collector automobiles.
Jaguar, Ferrari and Maserati expertise, though we can offer a wide variety of superior motor cars for sale.
Contact us when you are serious about buying or selling a fine antique, vintage, prewar or race car. Geneva, Switzerland-based, we serve clients world-wide.