Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury | Lot 17

1984 Ferrari 512 BBi

$325,000 - $400,000 USD

€280,000 - €345,000 EUR

£235,000 - £290,000 GBP

United States | Las Vegas, Nevada

24 October 2021

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  • 12% of the hammer price up to and including $250,000
  • 10% of the hammer price in excess of $250,000
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Chassis No.
  • One of approx. 1,007 examples built
  • Expertly refinished in the original factory color combination
  • Consistently maintained and restored, including 2020-21 attention from GTO Engineering
  • Modestly used example currently displaying 20,354 miles

In 1981 Ferrari equipped its 12-cylinder horizontally opposed “boxer” engine with fuel injection, resulting in the most advanced variant of the Berlinetta Boxer yet: the 512 BBi. Because the model did not meet US emissions standards, American enthusiasts were forced to individually import so-called “grey market” examples of the cars on their own.

By 1983 Ferrari recognized this shortcoming by establishing a program wherein American buyers could take delivery of their BBi in Europe and then import it through an official dealer, who would in turn facilitate the federalization modifications necessary to legally drive the car in the U.S. By the time 512 BBi production concluded in 1984, just 1,007 examples had been built, and they remain prized by tifosi for their sharp coachwork design and mid-evolution perch between the early 365 Boxer model and the forthcoming Testarossa.

This beautifully presented 512 BBi claims a life of dutiful care and modest use by a handful of owners. Remarkably well-documented, the Ferrari was ordered new in June 1983 by Donald Medalie, but his order was cancelled and transferred to Thomas Shelton, the principal of Shelton Ferrari in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Copies of original Ferrari order sheets indicate the car was optioned with a Pioneer radio and instruments in miles, while it was cosmetically finished in black paint over a beige interior. Reportedly delivered in Italy to Mr. Shelton, the 512 was exported from Rotterdam in February 1984 and arrived in Florida ten days later.

As clarified by copies of federalization paperwork, the Ferrari was submitted to European Automotive Compliance in Fort Lauderdale for conversion to US emissions standards, which was completed by October 1984. The 512 was then sold to Atlantic Vehicle Leasing, which titled the car to Rogers Automotive International of Jacksonville, Florida. The BBi was driven by Jerome Fletcher of Ponte Vedra Beach for approximately two years, and he returned the car to Shelton Ferrari for a 1,500-mile service, as demonstrated by invoices on file. By 1986 the berlinetta had been sold to Pete Taylor of North Miami, and he continued to have the car tended by Shelton Ferrari.

Around 1990 the Berlinetta Boxer was acquired by Robert Clark of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Clark regularly submitted the Ferrari for attention to the well-known marque specialists at FAF Motorcars in Tucker, Georgia, and correspondence indicates he attempted to research the car’s history. The 512 remained in his possession for at least 16 years before passing into the care of Tim Pruban of Park Ridge, Illinois, in April 2009. Around this time the car underwent a major mechanical restoration by Motorcars of Distinction in Riviera Beach, Florida, that cost in excess of $88,000.

In October 2009 the Ferrari was sold to a respected enthusiast based in Southern California who retained possession for at least 12 years. The BBi was consistently serviced and maintained as needed, including several bouts of work at Cavallo Motorsports in Carlsbad, California, and GTO Engineering in Los Angeles, who invoiced $12,000 worth of work in July 2020. Just as significantly, the owner commissioned a bare-metal repaint in the original color in 2015 that cost $35,000, and a restoration of the interior in July 2016 that cost an additional $12,000.

This Ferrari benefits from a life of only modest driving use, reported to have 15,700 miles on the odometer in April 1993, which has steadily accrued to a reading of 20,354 miles at time of cataloguing. Accompanied by a toolkit and owner’s manual, and documented with copies of Ferrari order invoices, export paperwork, federalization agreement, EPA recognition, and service invoices through several ownerships, this well-maintained BBi presents wonderfully with its beautiful refinish and reupholstery in the original factory color combination. Equally well-sorted in mechanical respects, the berlinetta boxer would make an outstanding acquisition for any Ferrari enthusiast, and is ideal for presentation at marque events or enjoyment on the open road, resounding with the singular qualities of Maranello’s legendary flat-12 engine.

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