1981 Ferrari 512 BB LM
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-14, 2021
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.