1978 FERRARI 512 BB 'KOENIG SPECIAL'

This Ferrari 512 BB ‘Koenig Special’ is a great survivor from the era of excess, which benefits from a recent mechanical overhaul, and presents in good order. Under the rear clamshell cover is a sonorous 4.9-litre naturally aspirated flat-12, which drives the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. The odometer indicates 39,909 miles.

Delivered to the UK in May 1978, this 512 BB was originally finished in Argento silver with an interior of Blu Nuvola (VM 3015) Connolly leather, and may originally have been used as a demonstrator for Maranello Concessionaires.

It is thought that the Koenig conversion at Emblem Sports Cars was carried out in the mid-1980s, as the colour change from silver to black is officially dated to September 1985. This particular car was fitted with the full Koenig Specials body kit, including the aggressive rear clam with wider wheel arches and NACA ducts, the flared side skirts, and the deeper front bumper with its prominent air splitter.

From September 1985 through to November 1997, this car was registered to a Mr Berkeley at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk, and there is detailed documentation of extensive refurbishment and restoration at Ferrari specialist Terry Hoyle from April 1995 through to December 1995. It was acquired by The Brunt Collection nearly three years ago.

Today, its black paintwork presents in generally excellent condition, with a glossy shine across the panels, and only minor blemishes in the finish. The Carello light lenses are all correct for the model, and as can be seen below, the pop-up headlight units work as they should. Overall, the exterior impression of the car is very good. Its substantial 17-inch five-spoke alloys were supplied and fitted in 2011 by Images Wheels, at a cost of £2,244, which also included ceramic coating.

During a thorough inspection at DK Engineering in 2018, rust was found on the underside, and their opinion was that there may be some more corrosion behind the bodykit, so this may need to be attended to in the future. A more significant portion of rust was cut out and replaced during DK’s overhaul, while other local surface rust was removed with a wire wheel to bare metal, treated with zinc primer, and given an underseal coating.

While it left the factory with a blue interior, the cabin has since been re-trimmed in light grey leather, which was most likely done at the same time as the Koenig conversion. The seats use the original 512 BB frames and backs, but there is more substantial cushioning, which adds a useful extra level of comfort for the driver and passenger. The steering wheel has been changed to a three-spoke Momo sport item, but the gear knob, handbrake, and other switchgear all appear to be of the original type. There are smart grey carpets fitted, and the leather across the dashboard is also in great shape.

While it has received routine annual servicing in-house as part of The Brunt Collection, this 512 BB Koenig received a significant mechanical overhaul at Ferrari specialist DK Engineering in September 2018, when the mileage stood at 39,716 miles. The air boxes were removed, and the carburettors were stripped and refurbished, including the top sections, resetting the float heights, and adjusting the mixtures. The distributor was stripped and re-shimmed, with the engine then re-timed and carburettors re-balanced; followed by a full oil service and with a new set of spark plugs fitted.

Various small oil and coolant leaks were rectified, and new inlet joiner pipes were fitted to the fluid reservoirs. A worn fuel hose was replaced, and high-performance braided brake lines were also fitted throughout. The steering rack was replaced and fitted with new track rod ends, the upper front ball joints were renewed, and the rear anti-roll bar ‘D’ bushes were also replaced. DK’s technicians also noted that the speedometer over-reads by approximately 30% due to the larger 17-inch rear wheels fitted, so the next owner may wish to fit a separate digital speedometer to have an accurate readout visible. Four new Pirelli tyres were fitted, with the total invoice for the overhaul coming to £16,992.

A previous invoice in the file from Ferrari specialist Barr-Tech in July 2013 shows the timing belts and auxiliary belts being replaced at that visit, along with the header tank, engine mounts, and the air-conditioning compressor and dryer. The radiator was removed, re-cored, and reinstalled, and a new clutch and release bearing were also fitted. Its shock absorbers were stripped and refurbished, and lowered springs were installed at the front.

The most recent MOT test was on 9 April 2021 at 39,909 miles, which resulted in a clean pass with no advisories. Its wheels are shod in Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres on the front axle, and substantial 335-section Pirelli P Zero Asimmetrico items at the rear, which are all still in excellent condition.

Accompanying the car is the original brown fabric pouch containing the 512 BB owner’s manual and warranty booklet, plus a history file containing some more recent invoices, as well as copies of registration documents that help to trace the ownership details back to 1985.

This Ferrari 512 ‘Koenig Special’ is an eye-catching custom classic, which was the subject of a cosmetic conversion very early in its life, and which presents in very good order today. With only 101 right-hand drive examples built, the 512 BB is a rare breed even in standard form, but original Koenig cars are few and far between. While the next owner could make further improvements to this 1970s supercar, it should prove to be a thrilling classic to unleash on the road, where its dramatic styling and incredible soundtrack will set pulses racing.

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Please note: the cherished plate shown on the vehicle is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to an age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

Car Overview

  • 39,909 miles
  • manual
  • RHD
  • Black
  • Light Grey leather
  • 4.9L flat-12
  • VINF102BB24043


Lot Overview

  • Lot #03093
  • private Sale
  • Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Seller

  • Nigelbrunt

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