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Coachwork by Designed by Pininfarina. Coachwork by Scaglietti
Yet to reach its full potential as a collectible, Ferrari’s mid-engine Berlinetta Boxer was a groundbreaking model in engineering and design, as this example sensationally attests. Sold new through Auto Becker in Dusseldorf, Germany, this Berlinetta Boxer was equipped by the factory with a top-of-the-line Blaupunkt radio and two-tone sport seats with handsome red lateral inserts.
As demonstrated by a placard attached to the doorjamb, this Ferrari was later imported to the US by Amerispec, the well-known US-regulations compliance firm founded by Dick Fritz, the onetime mechanic for Luigi Chinetti. As Maranello never offered a US-legal version of the carbureted Berlinetta Boxer, Amerispec became an integral importer and supplier for American enthusiasts who wished to experience the model’s spry performance characteristics. As a 512, this Boxer benefits from being fitted with the larger 4.9-liter engine, which prompted the model’s revised nomenclature (now denoting a five-liter, flat 12-cylinder unit) from the prior 365 cc single-cylinder displacement of the original 365 BB. Acquired relatively early in its time in America by a Vermont resident, this Ferrari was more recently serviced by some well-known dealers in New York.
As reflected by invoices, the car visited Ferrari of Long Island in December 2000, and received a new clutch and timing belt from Gran Turismo of Holtsville, New York, in August 2001, at which point the odometer displayed 14,852 km. When taken to Ferrari of Long Island in March 2011, the Boxer still displayed just 15,297 original kilometers, an accrual of less than 500 km over 10 years.
In mid-2013, this Ferrari was discovered by the consignor, a San Antonio, Texas-based marque enthusiast who has owned several other Boxers and was impressed by the state of upkeep and minimal use exhibited by this strong example. As one of the legitimate Dick Fritz-imported Boxers with a carbureted engine, this Ferrari features considerably more punch than the fuel-injected 512 BBi examples that followed, offering a throatier exhaust note and a more sporting character.
Currently displaying approximately 15,700 original kilometers, and mounted with proper Michelin XWX tires, this Berlinetta is accompanied by tools and original owner’s manuals in the proper Prancing Horse- embossed folio. When recently driven by a Gooding & Company specialist, the car was noted to drive very nicely, with smooth shifting and responsive acceleration.
An elegant predecessor to the flat- twelve Testarossas that would follow, this beautifully maintained and minimally used 512 BB promises ongoing enjoyment.