Lot 142

1979 Ferrari 512 BB

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$275,000 - $300,000 USD 

United States | Miami Beach, Florida

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Chassis No.
27117
Engine No.
00371
Documents
US Title
To be offered on Saturday, 10 December 2022
  • Offered from The Rey Collection
  • Two owners from new; just 4,458 miles at time of cataloguing
  • One of 929 carbureted 512 BB examples produced
  • Ordered new and federalized by the late Ferrari collector Donald L. Weber
  • Sports subtle and appealing period modifications by Weber, including a Momo Prototipo steering wheel and velocity stacks
  • Carefully maintained, including an engine-out service completed in October 2022; accompanied by history file, including correspondence and service records, and owner’s manuals

The Ferrari 512 BB was never officially offered for sale in North America: In an era of strict emissions controls, high fuel prices, and national speed limits, Ferrari did not see fit to allocate any of the examples of this compelling mid-engine wedge—equipped with a potent 355-horsepower 4.9-liter flat-12 engine—to the US or Canadian markets. Of course, that did not stop determined enthusiasts from getting their hands on the sleek 512 BB, including Southern California Ferrari connoisseur Donald L. Weber.

Weber acquired this 1979 Ferrari 512 BB new via the storied Greenwich, Connecticut dealership of Luigi Chinetti. As with all “gray market” examples of the model, it was required to undergo the federalization process that brought in line with United States laws; this task was handled by Automotive Compliance, Inc. of Harbor City, California. Correspondence and paperwork on file detail in depth Weber’s purchase of the Ferrari, as well as its import and subsequent successful federalization, adding substantial depth to this particular chassis’ history.

Once he had secured ownership of the Ferrari, Weber maintained its factory Rosso Chiaro exterior color. However, by 1985, he saw fit to undertake a limited series of well-considered modifications, enlisting Richard’s Interiors of Van Nuys, California to install red-dyed headliner, red carpets, and red door panels, as well as red piping on the black leather seats. The fitment of a Momo Prototipo steering wheel, and velocity stacks atop its Weber carburetors in place of the stock air cleaner, give the car an appropriate degree of motorsports-inspired flair.

Weber would retain the 512 BB for the rest of his life, with the car gaining only its second caretaker when it entered The Rey collection in 2021. It has seen only limited use, with its odometer reading 4,458 miles at time of cataloguing, yet it has nevertheless benefitted from a high degree of care; in addition to routine maintenance, invoices on file dating from 2013–2014 indicate fuel and cooling system work, as well as an engine-out service; the carburetors were also cleaned and synchronized. Careful maintenance has continued under present ownership, including an additional engine-out service completed by Azaël Motorsport of Doral, Florida in October 2022. Beyond the replacement of timing belts, seals, and gaskets, ancillary components such as the water pump, clutch slave cylinder, and the throttle cable were rebuilt or replaced as necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Production of the 512 BB was limited, with just 929 examples produced prior to the arrival of the fuel-injected 512 BBi in 1981; it was, in fact, the final production carbureted Ferrari, adding milestone status to its already immense appeal. Savvy enthusiasts, such as the late Mr. Weber, have long cherished the model—and this exemplary 512 BB, with its low mileage, tasteful period modifications, and history file of correspondence, documentation, photos, and invoices, as well as its owner’s manuals in pouch, would make an excellent addition to any fine collection.