V12 Ferrari BB 512
Ferrari BB 512
Enzo Ferrari always believed that the carriage follows the horse, and so the car must follow the engine.
But it was seeing his front-engined cars being bested on the track by mid-engined rivals that, along with the persuasion of his engineers, finally convinced Ferrari to follow suit – first with the Dino racing cars, and eventually with the road-going 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer (BB).
This evolved in 1976 to become the Ferrari BB 512 – the epitome of what every Ferrari should look like if you grew up in the ‘˜70s.
With a 5-litre, V12 (hence 512) engine positioned behind the driver, an exquisitely-proportioned body, first bulging over the front wheels before tapering down to a point featuring those big orange indicators, the BB 512 oozes sex appeal.
Car magazine tested the BB in the year of its launch, pitting the Ferrari-claimed “fastest production car in the world” against a contemporary Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 911 Turbo.
The outrageously-styled Countach may have won Car’s unofficial “ultimate supercar” title, but they declared the Ferrari boasted “the finest engine on earth”.
“By god, it is an awesome wail, deep and unmistakably the end product of enormous strength.”
Road & Track magazine were even more enthused, describing the BB 512 as “the best all-round sports and GT car we’ve tested”.
“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.”
Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection was added in 1981, with a total of 1,936 models leaving Maranello before it was replaced in 1984 by the startling Testarossa.
Here’s a BB 512 smashing a Countach LP400 on the track: