The late 1970s and 1980s was an amazing time to be a car enthusiast. Things were changing in the car world and that period saw the beginnings of the exotic-car era, led by Lamborghini and Ferrari.
Reading Road & Track magazine during that period was basically looking at the Sears Christmas Wish Book catalog, with cars from Italy and Germany tested on a monthly basis. This was the era that brought us the Lamborghini Countach, the Porsche 930, and a car that is both my all-time personal favorite and the Pick of the Day, a 1983 Ferrari 512 Boxer.
The 512 Boxer was developed by Ferrari to compete with the Countach. Before the mid-engine 365 and 512 Boxers were introduced, all top-spec roadgoing Ferraris were front-engine cars. With Lamborghini’s introduction of the Miura and their follow-up with the groundbreaking Countach, Ferrari was caught flat footed.
The upstarts at Lamborghini saw the future first and gave us our first 12-cylinder mid-engine super sports cars, and ushered in the exotic-car era with a bullet.
The first Ferrari 12-cylinder road car with the engine behind the driver was the 365GT/4 BB. The BB stood for Berlinetta Boxer which meant it was a hardtop car with a flat 12, or “boxer” engine. That car was replaced in 1976 with the 512 Boxer which had a number of improvements including more stylish taillight assemblies and, more importantly, and engine that was enlarged from 4.4 liters to 5.0 liters.
The engine enlargement was largely due to the need to cope with more-aggressive emissions requirements while keeping performance up, but the Ferrari 512 Boxer was not slow even by today’s standards, with a top speed in excess of 170 mph. Very few cars could compete with it.
The look of the Ferrari 512 Boxer is one of Pininfarina’s best designs of the ‘70s and ‘80s, with a dramatic clamshell front and rear.
According to the Farmingdale, New York, dealer advertising the Ferrari on ClassicCars.com, this 512 BBi is one of only 1,007 examples produced before it was replaced by the Testarossa. The car is said to have been imported from Europe and delivered to New England. From there it was sold to New York.
The Ferrari is in pristine original condition, the seller says, having covered only 24,752 kilometers (about 15,800 miles) from new.
The 512 Boxer is a car from the golden age of the exotic car and is the stuff dreams were made of when I was in my teens. This Ferrari is offered for $314,900, which is a market-correct price for such an excellent, all-original example.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.