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Berlinetta Boxer

Berlinetta Boxer Published: 12th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Berlinetta Boxer
Berlinetta Boxer
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£125,000-£300,000+ - 1970’s character - Appreciating asset - Demands driving respect

BB stands for Berlinetta Boxer and (Dino excepted) it was the first proper mid-engined Ferrari supercar, albeit this boasting the iconic flat 12 engine that was also being successfully used in sports car racing and Formula 1 at the time. Initially known as the 365 BB, replaced by the 512 BB, these cars are legendary and values reflect this.

Driving

The BB is rather like a Porsche 911 of the same era insofar it needs – make that demands – respect when pressing on. Performance is brutal and well up to modern supercar standards and apart from its muscle the best thing about that flat 12 engine is the sonorous soundtrack that comes as standard. It can sound even better if one of the numerous aftermarket sport systems are fitted as the mild steel set up rusts. The 365 was criticised for its lorry like clutch so if your dream buy has a light action it points to the later 512 assembly (and flywheel) has been fitted, which is a bonus as the earlier single plate affair can be all washed up in less than 12,000 enthusiastic miles.

Best models

The original 365 GT4 BB is the most sought after because it’s the design in its purest form despite packing ‘only’ 344bhp from its 4.4-litre flat 12. The later 512 of 1976 with its larger 4942cc unit added 15bhp but aficionados prefer the sparkier freer revving flat 12. The four Weber 40 IF carbs gave way to fuel injection – again enthusiasts like carbs best. The UK market was served by 58 365 GT4s, 101 512 BBs and 54 512is although several more LHD cars joined the scene. Don’t forget LM race tuned upgrades which may have been fitted, although you need to make sure the mods are the genuine ones…

Values

BBs cost Aston DB money and values are rising at the same pace. A top 365 GT4 can command between £250-£300,000 with average examples perhaps half this and even projects are spoken of in six figure terms; think carefully as restorations are Aston-expensive. The 512 typically trails by £30-50k although LHD cars can be usefully cheaper if you shop abroad.

Buying advice

Body is aluminium over a steel frame, mounted on a stout ladder-style chassis. Unless seriously neglected, the structure should be pretty sound but check the panels for damage and poor past repairs plus watch for reaction between the two surfaces. The steel sills rot but are relatively cheap at £750 a pair. The bumpers are fibreglass so look for wounds and scuffs. More serious is a poor fitting rear clamshell, perhaps due to it opening at speed and warping it – not unknown. The interior trim (leather seat inserts on the 512) is average and watch if a retrim lacks the authentic embossed ‘Daytona’ stripes on the seats as this can devalue the car.

The engines are bullet-proof; smoking when cold is a characteristic but should dispel once warmed up and the oil pressure should read a solid 6bar minimum. The transmission is classic Ferrari with no go second gear until the oil has warmed but if it is still poor then a rebuild can cost £5000 (and the first 365s are the most prone to failure) but happily a poor gearchange is usually only a matter of adjustment. Brakes are only adequate so don’t be surprised on what you may regard as a poor performance – they’re all like this but parts (try Superformance) aren’t a problem.

 



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