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Entering production on Thursday 22nd December 1983 and completed 19 days later on Tuesday 10th January 1984 -one of 215 BBI’s to be made in 1984.Finished in Rosso Fer 300/6 with optional full beige hide VM3218 including the headlining, with rosso VM3171 “Daytona “pattern inserts with brown 890 dashboard with Testa di Moro (dark brown) carpets, later changed to Castoro (beige).Upon completion the car was trucked to Maranello Concessionaires in the UK ,being one of the final six cars from the 42 officially imported, of which 25 are understood to remain in the UK taxed or SORN’d, with only 48 right hand drive cars made in total. First registered, A126 EPG on 16th May 1984 to Maranello Concessionaires Limited as their own demonstration vehicle. This would almost certainly have been the last BBi run by Maranello as a demonstrator as the Testarossa was introduced later that year. (Further research should be able to locate some period road tests of this actual car. The car does feature on the front cover of Richard Nichols 1985 book “Exotic Cars” (ISBN 0-86124-219-X) as well pages 91,92 and 93 of the Marks and Spencer book, The Ultimate History of Ferrari by Brian Laban (ISBN 1-84273-850-X) The then list price (01.01.84) of £48,749.47 was added to with the option of full hide to the seats and head lining £391.07 plus delivery number plates and road tax.
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Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection on the 512 BBi replaced the outgoing model’s four, triple-choke Weber 40 IF 3C carburettors. Otherwise mechanically identical, the flat-12 featured lower maximum revs (6,600 rpm compared to the 512 BB’s 6,800 rpm) and the engine developed 20 bhp less, although top speed remained within a whisker of the 512 BB’s 283 km/h.
Externally the new model was recognisable by the re-designed rear bumper and wheels, the side NACA duct finished in black and the body-colour wing mirror. Inside, the classic Connolly leather seats featured a central wool textile insert and the car was fitted with air conditioning and central locking as standard.
The 512 BBi was introduced at the 1981 Frankfurt Salon, to replace the 512 BB model, the “i” suffix denoting a change from carburettors to fuel injection. Apart from the adoption of fuel injection, in line with the other models in the Ferrari range at the time, there were minor cosmetic and mechanical changes.
At the front the plain aluminium egg-crate radiator grille stopped short of the driving lights, which were now exposed in the grille extremities, with small rectangular parking lights mounted in the bumper section above them. At the rear the engine louvre arrangement was modified and a new shroud was provided to the exhaust system, which incorporated hazard warning lights. A new design of door mirror was fitted, changes were made to the interior, including a black spoked steering wheel, and the availability of “Zegna” wool cloth seat centres as an option. The road wheels became the same width front and rear, fitted with Michelin TRX tyres, which had the effect of increasing the front and rear track to 1508mm and 1572mm respectively.
The body was mounted on a 2500mm wheelbase chassis, which had factory reference number F 102 CB 100. All were numbered in the odd chassis number road car sequence, and the construction followed the same principles as its predecessor of a tubular steel chassis frame with a monocoque central cell. Again, as with its predecessor it was available in right or left-hand drive form, and again no USA market versions were built.
The standard road wheels were alloy five spoke “star” pattern, with a knock off spinner on a Rudge hub, although legislative requirements in some markets dictated the fitment of a large octagonal hub nut. The wheels covered large ventilated disc brakes with twin hydraulic circuits, and servo assistance. Independent suspension was provided all round, via wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, with twin rear units, together with front and rear anti roll bars.
The aluminium flat twelve-cylinder engine was of the same configuration as its predecessor with a cubic capacity of 4943cc, and 82mm x 78mm bore and stroke, with factory type reference F 110 A 000. It featured belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, with dry sump lubrication and a hydraulically operated clutch. The 512 BBi was fitted with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, and had the same claimed power output as the carburettor model.
The production period ran from 1981 to 1984, when it was replaced by the world market Testarossa model. During that period a total of 1007 examples were produced, in the chassis number range 38121 to 52935.
Taken from Ferrari's own website
Whilst the 365 BB was not seriously threatened by its rivals in terms of performance or market penetration, it was necessary to review its future in the face of ever more restrictive legislation concerned with pollution and noise. The feeling at Ferrari was that too much would be lost by trying to amend the 4.4 litre engine. A better solution would be to increase the bore and stroke dimensions. The larger engine meant lower maximum revs with inevitable loss of some power but a gain in torque-331lbs/ft at 4300 rpm compared to 311lbs/ft at 4500 for the smaller engine.
With the 5-litre engine came a change to dry-sump lubrication to counteract any oil surge problems that might arise from the increased cornering power of the bigger car. The original 9.5 in. single-plate clutch was replaced with an 8.5 in. twin-plate and final drive ratio was changed from 3.46:to3.2:1 to offset the lower maximum revs and keep the speeds in the gears close to those of the earlier model.
At the front the nose was lowered and redesigned to incorporate a spoiler to overcome the moderate amount of lift at high speed encountered on the 365 model. Another notable feature was the introduction of NASA ducts in the flanks to feed air to the rear brakes. At the back of the car the six round lights were reduced to four. A modification to the exhaust system cut the number of tail pipes back from six (in two groups of three) to four (in two groups of two).
In contrast to the treatment accorded the 365 Boxer more attention was paid to the preparation of competition versions.
For the 1978 running of Le Mans 24-hour race-3 cars –2 for the French Concessionaire Charles Pozzi and 1 for Luigi Chinetti-were prepared with factory assistance. Their weight was reduced to about 2425 lbs and, with careful tuning and assembly, engine power was raised to some 460 BHP. To cope with aerodynamic effects a larger spoiler was fitted; there was an aerodynamic
Duct on the front deck and a formula 1-type front wing was fitted at the back. A fourth car was prepared at Garage Francochamps for Jean Beurlys. It was to the same general specification but had its own aerodynamic arrangements. By being faster through the curves than the Daytona’s of previous years, it set appreciably better times than those earlier cars. In the race it suffered from gearbox problems.
A second series of cars ,more extensively prepared was put in hand .The use of fuel injection brought the power up to around 480 BHP at 7200 rpm along with an even greater gain in torque. The transmission was strengthened and its lubrication improved by the use of and independent oil radiator .Brakes and suspension were worked on. The aerodynamics were improved through wind tunnel studied which gave a new front end and a long rear of which the wing was carried by two fins. The cars weight was down to around 2370lbs.
The three cars produced –2 for Pozzi, 1 for NART-were entered for the Daytona 24-hour race of 1979 but serious tyre problems resulted in all of them retiring .At Le Mans later in the year they were joined by a fourth car, that of Jean Beurlys, which was identical to the first one, driven at the time by Michel Leclere ,was in collision with a slower car shortly after 7.00am and the other ,driven by Jean_ Claude Andruet/ Spartaco Dino, had got as high as third when it was forced into retirement around 9.00am with lubrication failure .Efforts have continued in the years since then but still without any notable success.
During 1981 there was a further development of the series through the introduction of fuel injection by the Bosch K Jetronic system already in use on other Ferrari models. Once again the move had come about as a result of increasing legislation affecting the automobile world. Fuel injection made it easier to meet the new regulations without any serious loss of power.340 BHP was available at 6000 rpm rather than 6500.
The most notable exterior changes were at the front where a smaller grille stopped short of the fog lights was let into the front bumper. At the rear red fog lights were set into the bumper.
Taken from The Complete Ferrari by Godfrey Eaton.
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