Ferrari 512 BB LM

1981 Ferrari 512 BB LM

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-14, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari has had historical success with prototype racing cars (though none in a while), but their success with taking their road cars and turning them into race cars has been pretty spotty. Sure, the 550/575 had GT racing versions, and they’ve been a little more serious since the 458, but nothing really mind-blowing. Or that famous. Well, until you get back to this car.

Ferrari’s 512 BB went on sale in 1976, and the fuel-injected 512 BBi replaced it in 1981. Luigi Chinetti (the famed American Ferrari importer and founder of NART, the North American Racing Team), had been running home-grown 365 GT/4 BB-based race cars in the late 1970s. When they finally ran out of steam, Chinetti convinced Ferrari to develop a racing variant of the 512. Ferrari built four Series 1 cars in 1978. In 1980, they introduced the Series 3 512 BB LM. Sixteen examples were built, and this is number 10.

Ferrari didn’t run the cars themselves but sold them to various independent racing teams to operate. The S3 LM was powered by a 5.0-liter flat-12 making 480 horsepower. This car was the last Ferrari sold to or raced by Chinetti’s team, and its competition history includes:

  • 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans – 23rd, DNF (with Alain Cudini, Philippe Gurdjian, and John Morton)
  • 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans – 9th (with Cudini, Morton, and John Paul Jr.)

It was supposed to appear at Le Mans in 1983, but the team folded before that could happen. Instead, the car bounced between a series of collections and has been active in historic racing. No pre-sale estimate is yet available, but you can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Koenig Ferrari 512

1981 Ferrari 512 BBi by Koenig

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 25, 2013

Ferrari 512BBi by Koenig

The Berlinetta Boxer was Ferrari’s rear/mid-engined two-seater for most of the 1970s and 1980s. The 512 BBi was the last iteration of the Berlinetta Boxer and it was introduced in 1981. What set it apart was that it was fuel-injected.

But this car is slightly different. Willy Koenig was a race car driver in the 1960s through 1990. In 1974 he turned to tuning – and not your run-of-the-mill road cars either. Koenig Specials is his company (it is still around today) and they take outrageous cars and make them more, um, outrageous-er. Cars like the Lamborghini Countach, Mercedes SEC, road-going Porsche 962s and the Ferrari 512 – among others.

This car was tuned when new and spent most of its life in the U.S. before being sold to an owner in Europe in 2008. Most Koenig 512 BBis had their fuel-injected 4.9-liter flat-12 upped 110 horsepower in output from stock – to 450. This particular Koenig 512 had twin turbos strapped to it, pushing output to a ludicrous 650 horsepower. The top speed? A claimed 205 mph. To keep it on the ground, a Koenig body kit has been added as well and many other parts of the car upgraded to handle the power.

About 50 Ferrari 512s were modified by Koenig (either by the factory or by the owners). Koenig doesn’t build super specials like this anymore (although they do still build Ferrari accessories). This car is expected to bring between $100,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Did not sell.

Ferrari 512 BBi

1983 Ferrari 512 BBi

Offered by RM Auctions, Phoenix, Arizona, January 19-20, 2012

The Ferrari 512 BBi was the last of the Berlinetta Boxers built by Ferrari. The cars used a mid-mounted 4.4 (and later 5.0. for the 512) flat-12 (hence the name “Boxer”) – although a flat-12 is essentially just a 180° V-12. The first of the Berlinetta Boxers was the 1973-1976 365 GT4 of which just 387 were produced.

The 512 BB was introduced in 1976 and lasted until 1981 when fuel-injection was introduced to the line. The fuel-injected BBi was a car that could be more easily lived with on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure I could “live with” a 340 horsepower Ferrari on a daily basis if I had to.

It’s an attractive car that remain desirable – a must have for any Ferrari collector. Just over 1,000 BBis were made between 1981 and 1984. The average auction price for these cars over the past few years is almost right at $100,000. Some more, some less. For more info on this car try here and for more on RM in Arizona, here.

Update: Sold $96,250.