Driveway Find: Ferrari 512 BBi Berlinetta

There are some cars that don’t necessarily surprise us anymore when they turn up as a rotter in someone’s driveway; a Buick Grand National, for instance, is an eminently collectible car but it seems to end up in project-grade form more often than you’d expect. A Mustang of any generation has a good chance of ending up a forgotten specimen. But a Ferrari 512 BBi Berlinetta Boxer? That’s just unheard of, given the rarity and value of this limited production Flat-12 supercar. A YouTube personality who has gained some notoriety for rescuing a dilapidated Testarossa was granted permission by an elusive owner to check out the 512, and you can watch the full video here on YouTube. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jamie G. for the find.

The 512 BBi is a rare car in and of itself, but this one is made more so by being a right-hand drive example (of which just 200 were made) and one of just 42 to wear the BBi moniker. The video description goes one step further, claiming this is the only car to wear white paint. I can’t attest to the accuracy of those numbers, but given how few have popped up for sale in white over the years, I have to believe it’s a rare color. Of course, you’ll have to wash all the moss off to be sure of its condition, and the video host does expose rust in places, such as the panel behind the taillights. Overall, however, it’s not nearly as rusty as I’d expect for the duration that it’s been standing.

The interior is in far better condition than I’d expect, featuring blue leather with white piping. The seats don’t even look that dry, despite the car being parked outside for the last 15 years. The video features a picture of the car in happier days, when it was apparently in near-pristine condition like most vintage Ferraris are. The history on the car is murky, other than having one belonged to a Saudi price and now seemingly in the second owner’s hands who has no interest in selling the car on. The clutch pedal is frozen solid, and the brakes are likely seized as well. All the switchgear still works inside, and looks largely original aside from some period aftermarket stereo equipment.

The dusty, spider-webbed covered flat twelve reminds me why I choose to drag very simple vehicles out of junkyards, as despite their condition, they are relatively straightforward to diagnose. The level of reconditioning that is needed will require very deep bank accounts to fix, and you can’t help but wonder if the owner at one time had the sort of scratch that allowed them to own a car like this, but not enough to maintain it. The video host claims he tried valiantly to buy it, but that the seller wouldn’t budge; I have a feeling the right amount of cash would loosen the death-grip that is keeping the car in this dilapidated state, but sometimes simply believing you’ll drive it again someday is enough to reject the offer, no matter how high.

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Comments

  1. Wifewontlikeit

    Well, I will go first. 984 Ferrari 512 BBi. $ 319,000 21,688 Miles @ Ferrari of San Francisco + 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi. $ 229,950 with 13,222 Miles. So big money, big fix. The engine compartment looks like mice. Not Nice…!

    7
    • Big L

      Here is the rub. Big money car not a great Ferrari example based on today’s performance standards and maintenance requirement in comparison to a newer model. Rare/scarce but not a great driver if it fun you are looking for. Example – change the clutch pull the engine!! Had a 365 GT/4 BB in the family back in the day. Luigi on full time salary was a must to keep it running. If you want a car for display cool. You want a car to drive there are much better choices in the Ferrari line at 1/2 the cost and way better choice if you want to tool around and maybe track every once and a while. 458 for example :)

      8
    • Howard A Member

      While I got a chuckle out of the handle, my EX-wife didn’t like “it”, and I told her to hit the road. While she “got the gold mine, I got the shaft”, ( thank you Jerry Reed) I never looked back. Pretty sad when the most awesome car in the world ends up like this. I can only imagine repair would be astronomical, still, who buys a Ferrari and complains about the price? Enzo must be spinning in his grave,,,

      2
  2. H5mind

    There are loads of crazy people out there. They tend to do crazy thing’s, like let a valuable Ferrari rot away in their driveway. I hope both receive the care they need.

    21
    • Steve Douglas Member

      Seeing this kind of careless foolishness drives me bonkers.

      10
  3. gaspumpchas

    Woo doggies—a moss covered Berlinetta- how could anyone neglect a car like this? The amount of coins it would take just to get it runnning would be staggering. Guess the owner has the BJ syndrome.Just when you think you saw it all. Enzo must be rolling over in his grave. Good luck and stay safe!
    Cheers
    GPC

    3
  4. Luke Fitzgerald

    I love kooks like this – doesn’t seem as common as it used too (saying that, this car beats just about everything from that past….). Bit disappointing – interior hasn’t been dismantled and appears intact and there’s no hint of it being used for storage.

    2
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Life is strange. So is this.

    7
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    The abuse this one has encountered reminds me of something that I heard back in the 60’s. Family had inherited several farms and a bunch of cash, unfortunately they spoiled the kids rotten. Didn’t matter what the kids did (twins), the parents would bail them out. Sr. year of High School and each got a brand new car and that’s where this story really begins. One got a Dodge, one got a Plymouth and they used to race a lot but neither had the edge. Don’t know what lead up to it but they pulled the cars into the middle of the farm yard and bricked the footfeeds and waited to see which blew first. The idiots did it and from what I heard they ended up wrecking both cars before they were done.

    2
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      I have a neighbor that sounds like he is “bricking the footfeeds” every evening with his huge Lincoln town car, with an exhaust system from a Peterbilt. I keep waiting for the engine to basically implode from the RPMs.

  7. Mitchell Member

    Clean it up, sort it mechanically and take it to Cars and Coffee events

    2
  8. Jcs

    What the hell?

    2
  9. Skorzeny

    Pretty much my favorite Ferrari. Sad.

  10. JACKRBT

    This one can’t drive 55.

    3
  11. Marco

    I guess I just don’t get it. Every Ferrari should be treated with at least a little respect. Says a lot about the owner.

    2
  12. Bob McK Member

    It is so hard to believe that anyone would let a car like this turn into this condition. Perhaps he or she just has too much money.

    1
  13. Ron

    This is hands down my favorite car ever. It is a shame that someone could not have at least parked it in a nice warm and dry garage. Hell, my 65 MGB has been in my garage for more years than I care to say, and it is in better shape than this one. With that said, I would consider trading him even up for my MGB.

  14. Randy

    … explains it all — car in England.

    2
  15. 1Ronald

    An article on BB and no year? Is the owner keeping that a secret also? This choice was available when I got my 308 and I still prefer the looks, the lines, of my 308 to the BB. Yes, it really grates on you when others want to buy your baby and take it away from you. Understand how the BB owner feels. Regardless of looks, it’s still his.

    1
  16. Twostroke

    Wow the level of stupidity that barn finds hires, is amazing. Do you ask them at the interview, have you ever owned a car, picked up a wrench, what is a screwdriver? Moss? That’s mold dumbass. And five minutes and a 50/50 bleach water and a pressure washer it’s gone. Easy fix, if you aren’t from Barn Finds…lol. This crowd that responds is the take it to the dealer for a squeak in the car crowd, not the get it done yourself crowd, that’s painfully clear…lol

    4
    • Gaspumpchas

      I wont glorify your post by commenting and defending myself against your personal tirade. Mold or moss is a moot point. It says in the BF rules no personal attacks If you cant fit in, stay away. go back under the rock you came out of. Hmm maybe your moniker describes your personal performance? 2 strokes and your done?
      Go away.

      11
    • M.C.S.

      Twostroke-

      No offense, but what is wrong with you? Why be so nasty, and over absolutely nothing?

      I assure you, most Barn Finds staff know a thing or two about cars, and how to work on them.

      4
    • John

      Wow the level of stupidity from a know-nothing is staggering. What site do you write for, or would you rather recline in the Laz-Y-Boy and criticize others? Don’t bother, I know the answer.

  17. Fogline

    I knew someone that had stashes of E Types all over the place – many in open car ports. His plan was to keep them there until they were worth a fortune. No upkeep. No protection really from the elements. This was 35 years ago. Wouldn’t be surprised if he still has them and if the guy who owns this Ferrari thinks the same way. Going to be worth $1 Mil some day – especially since it is white, right?

    1
  18. JoeNYWF64

    Those have to be the largest front turn signals ever! If that’s how the wiper
    & cheap plastic door mirror is supposed to sit, i would remove the former permanenty, never drive it in the rain, & replace the latter with a proper metal GM or Ford 70’s racing mirror.

    1
  19. Maestro1 Member

    I think one of your comments should be removed, we all know which one,
    and the Ferrari situation is rally bizarre. Go there if you want it, look at it carefully, get it up in the air to see its bones and assume it won’t run. To get
    it back from the grave you will be North of medium five figures and be sure to live near a wrench who knows these cars. It will never disappoint you.

    3
  20. Jeff Sanders

    I would think that this car holds enough value to basically pay for itself in repairs and restoration. Find a lender to put out a loan on the car with the expectancy of payoff after restoration and sold to a real enthusiast and investor (say like Leno). That way the person can kill 2 birds with 1 stone, by having it restored and getting to own and drive Enzo’s masterpiece before selling for a profit. No way does this car require more than $100,000 in restoration. Then again I’m just a dreamer, I don’t know if these things are even possible…but it sure sounds better than devaluation of neighbpring properties because of the neglect going on here.

    1
  21. TimM

    Hey honey I’m going to leave my Ferrari in the driveway for a few years to rot away!!!

    2
  22. Scott

    Are we sure its white?

  23. stephan

    Wow-what a testey rosey owner. If I had a dime for each car I looked at in the past and the owner wouldn’t sell.. well I would have the bucks to buy this gem.that will end up as a pile of rot ten years later….wash the thing.If you put your attitude into elbow grease you will be happier and live long and prosper.

    1
  24. hemidavey

    Enzo couldnt care less about road cars. He only liked one thing, Formula One. It is sad to see this cool car wasting away. I wouldnt touch it, go buy one that looks and runs good. This will break you financially and 512s had tons of problems to begin with.

    1
  25. RandyS

    I don’t get while some people think a ferrari engine is voodoo magic and requires “Luigi” to repair it. IT’S JUST AN ENGINE, no different than any other DOHC engine. While I do agree that most parts would be expensive compared to a typical SBC, that ferrari engine is no more complicated to repair than a 1990 Miata engine. Bust out the metric sockets and jump in the deep end.

    2
  26. chrlsful

    funny RS, that’s not what I said about my 1st carb rebuild. Next degree da cam. Then there was the auto transm. Now I’m on my way, I guess…

    Break em out (after some research) and jump in the deep end…

  27. Araknid78

    sad

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