J_D's Racers: 1/18th BBR Ferrari 512 BB LM - 11/09/20 - DX 1:18 Collectors - DiecastXchange.com Diecast Cars Forums - Page 33

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J_D's Racers: 1/18th BBR Ferrari 512 BB LM - 11/09/20


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#801 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 01:58 PM

Modena long experienced conflicts over where Scuderia Ferrari would focus its racing efforts: F1 or sports cars. Enzo wanted to focus on sportscars but Fiat saw more promise promotionally from F1. In 1972 Ferrari had swept the World Championship for Makes with the F1-engined 312PB and barely lost to Matra in 1973, but Fiat pressured Il Commendatore into dropping the endurance campaign for 1974 to focus 100% on F1. Admittedly, the results seemed to justify that decision as Ferrari went from 6th place in the 1973 Formula One World Championship for Constructors to a close 2nd in 1974 and then winning the next three years and four of the next five, as well as three drivers titles.

Despite that shift in priorities, there were plenty of privateers who wanted to race Ferraris so that, one way or another, the Prancing Horse still appeared in sports car events around the world, even if the results weren’t up to historical standards. Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) was party most often responsible, often premiering the use of a new model Ferrari in racing – primarily in the U.S. endurance races at Daytona and Sebring and IMSA GT/GTO events. That’s how the 365 GT4/BB (for Boxer Berlinetta, even though the car was actually a flat-twelve) got its start in top-level competition in 1975. Unfortunately, it was overweight, had poor weight distribution which hurt its handling and just was no match for the Porsche 911 RSRs and BMW 3.0/3.5 CSLs competing in the same class.

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The #111 N.A.R.T. Ferrari 365 GT4/BB driven by Milt Minter/Eppie Wietzes finished 6th in the 1975 Sebring 12 Hours (behind the winning BMW 3.0 CSL and four Porsche Carrera RSRs).


Its successor was the BB 512 in 1976, which the factory finally took an interest in developing for its customers to race. In 1978 Modena produced four updated 512s (newly christened 512 BB Competizione) which were lighter, had more power, redesigned bodies, roof-mounted spoilers and rear wings from the F1 312T2. These specifically targeted the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans and were for Ecurie Francorchamps, Charles Pozzi (Ferrari France, represented by Thomson-JMS Racing) and, as always, N.A.R.T.

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The #87 N.A.R.T. Ferrari 512 BB Competizione driven by Jean-Pierre Delaunay/Jacques Guérin/Gregg Young DNF’d in the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans

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The Pozzi-Thomson JMS Ferrari 512 BB Competizione of Jean-Claude Andruet/Spartaco Dini went out from the 1978 Le Mans 24 with engine failure.

Running against Porsche 935s in the special IMSA class, they didn’t challenge and none finished, but they attracted so much attention that Ferrari would produce 25 of their updated successor, the 512 BB LM.

The 512 BB LM was a major redesign of the BB Competizione, with fuel injection and more power (peaking at 500 bhp). The chassis was pared of over 200 pounds, but the new, Pininfarina-designed body, streamlined for Le Mans, added the same amount so the savings were nil. Handling was compromised by positioning the flat-twelve engine on top of the gearbox to reduce the chassis wheelbase and the gearbox was not enforced sufficiently to deal with the additional power, so reliability was never good.

The car debuted in the 1979 World Championship for Makes season opener, the Daytona 24 Hours, two from JMS Racing-Pozzi and one from N.A.R.T. Qualifying was not encouraging as the three BB LMs would start 13th, 15th and 16th behind eleven 935s and a Ford Mustang II Cobra. During practice, the #67 driven by Claude Ballot-Léna experienced a scare when a Michelin tire blew on the banking, though he stopped without significant damage.

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The N.A.R.T. #68 and JMS Racing-Pozzi #67 Ferrari 512 BB LMs in the pits at Daytona, 1979.

During the race around the two-hour mark, however, as the 935s were falling out in droves with engine and turbo issues, the three Ferraris were running like clockwork until the N.A.R.T. #68 driven by Jean-Pierre Delaunay had a tire go on the banking, causing a crash that destroyed the car. It was decided to withdraw the other two as the Michelin tires were apparently unsuited to the banking and it would be dangerous to continue on them. Oddly enough, a five-year-old 365 GTB/4 would finish the race in 2nd overall as the 935s self-destructed left and right!

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The eventual 2nd place overall Ferrari 365 GTB/4 of John Morton/Tony Adamowicz was prepped by famed dealer and race-owner Otto Zipper, who died the night before the race. For the race, a black strip across the hood was added to honor Zipper.

Le Mans in 1979 would see four of the BB LMs entered by the usual suspects, Jean “Beurlys” Blaton (formerly of Ecurie Francorchamps), N.A.R.T. and two by Pozzi/JMS Racing. Accidents took out the N.A.R.T. and one of the Pozzi cars, engine trouble the other Pozzi entry while the Belgian 512 BB LM was the only survivor in 12th behind four other IMSA-class cars (three 935s and a BMW M1).  

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One of the two Pozzi/JMS Racing 512 BB LMs, the #63 driven by Ballot-Léna/Michel Leclère/Peter Gregg went out of the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans due to an accident.  

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The 12th place #61 Ferrari 512 BB LM of Nick Faure/Steve O’Rourke/Bernard de Dryver/Jean “Beurlys” Blaton (the official entrant) was the only one of its model to finish the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Other teams entered their 512 BB LMs in select international events over the next year with the only significant result a 7th in the 1980 Silverstone 6 Hours World Championship race by a British team. With Le Mans coming up, six 512s were entered, one by N.A.R.T. (which ended up a non-starter after an engine failure in practice) and three by Pozzi/JMS Racing. Of the remaining five entries, two would finish, the #76 Pozzi car in 10th (3rd in IMSA behind – of course! – two 935s) and the British car from Silverstone in 23rd.  

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Two of the three Charles Pozzi/JMS Racing Ferrari 512 BB LMs in the town for pre-race inspection (Top) and in the pits (Bottom) for the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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The Lucien Guitteny/Gerard Bléynie/Jean-Paul Libert #75 during the race before its accident that prevented Libert from having a turn at the wheel.


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The #75 after its race-ending accident.


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The #76 was the only Pozzi 512 BB LM to finish the race, in 10th, for Jean Xhenceval/Pierre Dieudonné/Hervé Regout.


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The #77 Jean-Claude Andruet/Claude Ballot-Léna Pozzi Ferrari went out early with ignition trouble.


Though the Ferrari 512 BB LM would continue to be campaigned by privateers up through 1985, it never achieved any results worth cataloging. It had the misfortune of never having full factory support as a competition car so its development was left to customers, in addition to the fact that it debuted during the era of the ultra-powerful – and numerous - Porsche 935s and was always competing with a substantial power deficit as a result.

Having said that, this was one of the more beautiful race cars ever conceived and deserves being commemorated just for that. This BBR rendering does it justice with all the bells and whistles a diecast collector could ask for. Tampos are nicely done and applied with no flaws. The details are excellent (a simulated hose for washer fluid on the windshield washer!), the removable front deck and clamshell rear deck reveal all the juicy innards of the car. The engine compartment, though heavily plastic, still nicely displays the functionality of the flat-twelve engine and the transmission/suspension detail. Wheels can be removed with some effort (though I continue to complain about the shortness of the supplied tool that makes maneuvering it difficult). The cockpit interior is nicely detailed and visible through the opening doors.

One complaint, which I have heard echoed from other owners of this beauty, is that the front deck doesn’t seal properly at the left front corner, leaving an unsightly gap not present on the opposite corner. I didn’t install the roof antenna, having had bad luck with other installations because of my clumsiness, but it’s present - even though the 1:1 doesn't have one (!).

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Edited by Jersey_Devil, 12 November 2020 - 10:38 AM.

I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

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#802 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 02:11 PM

Oh yeah.
My fix for today!
Thanks man.

  :drool5: :10:

#803 OFFLINE   snowman

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 02:48 PM

Fantastic review of this great car (and amazing model - One of the stars of my collection).

While I remember the blue and yellow cars from '79 (the first Le Mans I attended), the only photo I have of one of these in a similar livery is this one from 1983, in red!

http://www.sportscar...co.uk/lm833.jpg

M

Edited by snowman, 09 November 2020 - 02:55 PM.


#804 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 03:03 PM

When I acquired mine, I was so in awe at the detail that I simply unboxed it and put it in an individual display case, and haven't touched it since.

Great write-up, as usual, Red!

#805 ONLINE   vulpex

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 03:06 PM

:eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
Great write up as always and as you said: The 512 BB LM might not be amongst the most successful racers from Maranello but it looks soooo good!! :drool5:
In this case the beauty is the beast!

I urgently need to do a shooting with mine...

#806 OFFLINE   Uzair

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 06:38 AM

Red, you should become an author, publish some books. You writing is not just chock full of information but flows very well, i find it soothing to read.

The 512 BB LM strikes me as probably the most beastly and rugged looking cars Ferrari has ever built, eschewing the usual svelte lines and curves for an oversized front and rear with wide haunches. (Gosh I just sounded too much like a motoring journalist). It is great that BBR chose to render it in diecast, and boy howdy what a diecast! Tons and tons of details on and in a very heavy and well sculpted diecast body. The shutlines are excellent (take note AUTOart) and I can't spot the gap you mention on the front left of the bonnet. Just look at the windshield wiper! Looks damn near like the real thing, much better than any wiper I've seen from AUTOart or CMC.

I've got two of these, the #75 European University and the plain red with white roundel. On the #75 the blue livery with gold trim is very striking and makes the model a stand out even among a lot of CMC and Exoto models.
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#807 OFFLINE   Arnage

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:09 PM

Thanks for the write up I learnt a lot about the car. What a great model you have. I wanted the red one for the longest time but so far haven’t found a good deal.
See my collection here
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#808 OFFLINE   Jersey_Devil

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 11:57 PM

Thanks for the kudos, everyone! Odd as it may seem, this was not even on my "want" list until very recently when I started to focus on quality diecasts of cars I previously hadn't paid much attention to. I was familiar with it, of course, but was unimpressed by both its racing history and the list of drivers, either of which are usually what drives my desire for a model.

But with the increasing lack of quality diecasts to chose from, it started to appeal to me and I bought it because it was PRETTY. There, I said it! Stone me now for starting a relationship based only on looks.... :giggle:!
By the way, Arnage, I don't know about your budget, but I always keep an eye out for models I want and on eBay, for instance, will watch some even if they are out of my price range because periodically I get those "because you're watching this auction" discounts that sometimes are substantial. The key attitudes you must rely on are PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE: scour the internet and you might find out-of-the-way shops with prices from another time and another era that will get you what you want at better prices than the usual sources. Good luck!
I just want someone whose baggage goes with mine [from "Rent"]...
- Red

My 1/18th collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...16/#entry557038

My 1/43rd collection thread: http://www.diecastxc...d-riverside-300

#809 OFFLINE   drivinghermad

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 02:27 PM

Stunning from start to finish. I love this car, i have the red version in 1/12 and it is so special. Thanks again for taking the time to do your homework and posting it, top stuff. :10: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :drool5: :drool5: :drool5: :drool5: :drool5: :agreed: :yahoo: :occasion14:

#810 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 04:21 PM

Ferrari 512 BB LM

Look everybody, you can buy a real one!  :yahoo:

#811 OFFLINE   simondc07

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 08:51 PM

View Postibj40, on 11 November 2020 - 04:21 PM, said:

Ferrari 512 BB LM

Look everybody, you can buy a real one!  :yahoo:

Sorry postage to Australia killed the deal for me.

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#812 OFFLINE   simondc07

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 08:57 PM

Great read Red , your research and use of historical photos is always most pleasing. The 512BB Ferraris in both road and race specification are amongst my favourites. The 512BBLM is just a footnote in the marques racing history but with factory suppport I am sure could have been a viable alternative to the Porsche 935s.

The livery of this BBR made it a must have for me at release and the details are excellent overall. Congratulations on the addition - I agree, she is a beauty!

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#813 OFFLINE   240Z

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 08:44 AM

Incredible text, beautiful photos, wonderful model...thank you veru much :danke:

#814 OFFLINE   snowman

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 08:08 AM

View Postibj40, on 09 November 2020 - 03:03 PM, said:

When I acquired mine, I was so in awe at the detail that I simply unboxed it and put it in an individual display case, and haven't touched it since.

Like this, you mean? :smile:

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M

Edited by snowman, 18 November 2020 - 08:10 AM.


#815 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 10:45 AM

View Postsnowman, on 18 November 2020 - 08:08 AM, said:

View Postibj40, on 09 November 2020 - 03:03 PM, said:

When I acquired mine, I was so in awe at the detail that I simply unboxed it and put it in an individual display case, and haven't touched it since.

Like this, you mean? :smile:

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M

Yeah, kinda.

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