Ferrari 512 BB

by Michael Satterfield

I was walking through the pits at California's Thermal Club race track when I stumbled upon this amazing Ferrari 512 BB. Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team (NART) 512 BB debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1975 before earning a sixth-place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring two months later. NART continued to use the car until 1978 when Ferrari stepped in to make the car more competitive.

The Ferrari factory modified four 512s in 1978, adding wider wheel arches, reusing rear wings from Ferrari 312T2 Formula One cars and massaging the flat-12 to produce 440 hp. The four cars, termed BB LM by Ferrari, were entered by Charles Pozzi, Ecurie Francorchamps, and NART in the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans, however, none completed the race. Ferrari would continue to develop the cars into the early 1980s, this one appears to be chassis 35527 which is the 23rd of only 25 such cars built to take on Le Mans.

The car was campaigned in period by the NART team and driven by Alain Cudini, John Morton, John Paul, and Philippe Gurdjian. Chassis 35527 contested Le Mans twice, in 1981, and 1982. In 1981 the car was raced under number 49 and failed to finish after in 1982, wearing number 72, the car was holding the 3rd place until a transmission problem slowed the car in the final hours of the race, even with the transmission issue the car finished in ninth place overall, and forth in the IMSA/GTX class.

For more on this car, you can check out this Bonhams Auction listing for it HERE.