Never one to rest on his laurels, Ferrari set out to make a good thing even better by introducing subtle improvements to the successor of the 365 BB. Engine displacement was increased to five litres by enlarging both bore and stroke, while in addition the compression ratio was raised and dry-sump lubrication adopted. The result of all these changes was a useful increase in torque which, coupled with revised gear ratios, made the 512 more tractable.
Changes to Pininfarina's inspired coachwork were, not surprisingly, few: an air-dam spoiler beneath the nose, brake-cooling NACA ducts ahead of the rear wheel arches, four rear lights instead of six and revised air intake boxes, while slightly fatter rear tyres meant that the width of the 512's rear grew by just over 25mm. The running gear likewise came in for only minor revision, gaining stiffer springs/anti-roll bars and altered damping rates, while the already excellent all-round ventilated disc brakes remained unchanged. Inside, the 512 remained virtually the same as before but for the welcome adoption of multi-way adjustable seats in place of the fixed originals.
Road & Track magazine had achieved a speed of 175mph (280km/h) in the preceding 365GT/4 BB, and although lack of road space prevented the discovery of their test 512's capability, Ferrari's claimed maximum of 188mph was felt entirely realistic. The fact that this was down 4mph on the Lamborghini Countach's 'fastest ever' maximum was considered unimportant. 'That's because, taken on balance, the Ferrari 512 Boxer wins a more important award, as the best all-round sports and GT car we've tested. If we had to pin the reasons down to one it would have to be that the Ferrari doesn't forget the driver. 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.’
This car, chassis 22251 began its life with a starring role on the Ferrari stand at the 1977 London Motor Show before being sold via the Ferrari agent Cooper Car sales to the first owner in Melton Mowbray, Leics. Presented in its original traditional livery of rosso chiaro with beige hide, 22251 has been meticulously looked after all its life. A very reassuring and extensive file shows continuous ownership and service history regularly carried out by marque specialists for all the UK based owners. The Ferrari ‘red book’ certification, original stamped handbooks and leather wallet of course also accompany the car. A chance to acquire one of the last of the classic carburettored V12’s that still represent great value and importantly give a fantastic driving experience.