Monterey | Lot 229
1979 Ferrari 512 BB
$224,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
13 August 2021
- Offered from the collection of Ron Tonkin
- Finished in Rosso Corsa over tan
- Powered by a 5.0-liter flat-12 engine factory-rated at 355 hp
- One of just 929 carbureted examples produced
- Under 10,400 miles indicated at time of cataloguing
Going toe-to-toe with Lamborghini’s Miura meant that Ferrari had to produce a mid-engined car. The 365 GT4 BB was unveiled at the 1971 Turin Auto Show and offered unique new styling, a mid-engine layout, and a flat-12-cylinder engine. After four years of production, Ferrari sought to up the ante and shoehorned a larger engine into the gorgeous BB platform.
The 512 BB featured the same Leonardo Fioravanti lines and Scaglietti coachwork, albeit with a larger and now dry-sump 5.0-liter flat-12 engine pushing a factory-rated 355 horsepower. It was also equipped with rack-and-pinion steering, Weber carburetors, four-wheel disc brakes, improved cooling, a wider track, and an extended, updated rear end with spoiler. As the last carbureted flat-12 engine offered by Ferrari before production transitioned to the fuel-injected BBi, this variant is cherished by many enthusiasts as the most potent production BB that money can buy. With fewer than 1,000 examples produced—and none allocated to the United States market—each example which found its way stateside was done so through gray market licensed importers.
This 1979 512 BB is a left-hand drive, Italian-market example completed at Maranello in September 1979 and clad in the classic Ferrari color combination of Rosso Corsa over tan leather. It was imported to the United States when new via Trend Import Sales of Los Angeles, California. The car was then delivered to the personal collection of Ferrari dealer Ron Tonkin of Portland, Oregon via Ferrari Compliance, Inc. It was then registered under the plate “KRC 444”.
Service invoices on file show regular maintenance provided by Tonkin’s staff for even the smallest grievances. The car’s lower body cladding, originally black, was painted Rosso Corsa in May 1984 during cosmetic repairs and refinishing furnished to the car. This menacing 512 BB is presented today wearing several period improvements which include a stunning set of color-matched wheels, equalizer with CB radio system, and woodgrain sports steering wheel.
In preparation for sale, this captivating Rosso Corsa 512 BB has been treated to a comprehensive servicing by Ferrari Master Technicians on staff at Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo.