www.QV500.com - Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer Part 6: 512 BB LM Series II


26683, 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours

Ferrari’s Series II BB LM's were constructed over the winter of 1978 so as to be ready for 1979's season opener, the Daytona 24 Hours. This second batch of LM's were to feature many important developments over the almost standard-by-comparison Series I's, these early cars having all retired during 1978's Le Mans. Taking advantage of newly revised regulations, length was increased by 16-inches, entirely new bodywork being designed while the chassis was heavily modified to reduce weight and increase rigidity. It seemed Ferrari were finally getting serious about the Boxer competition programme.

Output was increased to 480bhp, the Weber carburettors of Series I LM's being replaced with Lucas fuel injection. There were lightweight polished conrods, high lift camshafts, a free flow competition exhaust and increased compression, exotic manufacturing techniques being used throughout. Pininfarina crafted the all-new bodywork and spent a great deal of time perfecting it in the wind tunnel, the final design bearing almost no resemblance to Ferrari's production version other than around the cockpit. The Series II was markedly longer than Ferrari's stock model and a good deal wider, its stretched nose featuring a reprofiled valance that housed headlights under clear Plexiglas. Gone were the retractable items and distinctive supplementary light covers that gave the road car its unique identity. Pininfarina stretched the tail as far as the regulations would permit, the massive rear overhang providing obvious handling and stability benefits at high-speed tracks like Le Mans and Daytona. The tail facia was dominated by an aluminium rear wing and huge meshed grille that allowed hot air to escape from the engine bay. With lightweight panels and a stripped-out interior, weight was reduced to around 1150kg. An incredible performer, down the Mulsanne Straight during 1979's Le Mans 24 Hours, these cars were able to top 204mph. Only nine were ever built by Ferrari’s Customer Assistance Department before the Series III was introduced, the chassis numbers and partial histories of which are listed below:
26681 1979, sold new to Charles Pozzi
26683 1979, sold new through Luigi Chinetti for Preston Henn
26685 1979, sold new to Charles Pozzi
27577 1979, sold new through Ecurie Francorchamps for Jean Blaton
27579 1979, sold new to Scuderia Samocar - never raced
28601 1979, sold new to Scuderia Bellancauto
29507 1979, sold new to Alois Ruf
29509 1980, sold new through Alberto Pedretti's Wide World of Cars to Bob Donner
29511 1980, sold new through Alberto Pedretti's Wide World of Cars to William Gelles