top of page

1970 Ferrari 512 M Group 5

Girardo & Co. Ltd

1970 Ferrari 512 M Group 5
Girardo & Co. Ltd
info_icon.png

If you are interested in the content of this listing, please contact the Dealer. Contact details are indicated below in the section "Contact the Dealer." Should you require confidential support from SpeedHolics for your inquiry, kindly complete the section "I am Interested." This listing is provided by SpeedHolics solely for the purpose of offering information and resources to our readers. The information contained within this listing is the property of the entity indicated as the "Dealer." SpeedHolics has no involvement in the commercial transactions arising from this listing, and we will not derive any financial gain from any sales made through it. Furthermore, SpeedHolics is entirely independent from the "Dealer" mentioned in this listing and maintains no affiliation, association, or connection with them in any capacity. Any transactions, engagements, or communications undertaken as a result of this listing are the sole responsibility of the parties involved, and SpeedHolics shall bear no liability or responsibility in connection therewith. For more information, please refer to the "Legal & Copyright" section below.

info_icon.png

SH ID

24-0205012

info_icon.png

FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

info_icon.png

Sold

info_icon.png

United Kingdom

info_icon.png

Dealer

Engine number 5

 

Entrant in the 1971 World Sportscar Championship, scoring a class podium finish in the 1971 Zeltweg 1,000km

 

Campaigned in period by the storied Italian privateer outfit Scuderia Brescia Corse

 

Full red-book Ferrari Classiche certification, confirming it to be a fully matching-numbers example

 

Boasting an entirely traceable and fully-documented history, with notable previous owners having included the French comic artist Albert Uderzo and the prominent American Ferrari collector Ed Davies

 

The 12th of only 25 Ferrari 512s built – Maranello’s answer to the Porsche 917

 

Extremely eligible for the world’s most prestigious concours and historic motorsport events

Description

That most golden of eras Sure, Group C was a mind-bending kaleidoscope of colour and speed. And yes, GT1 was a formula which quite rightly deserves the renaissance it’s currently enjoying. But there’s really only one winner when it comes to sports-car racing’s most dramatic, dangerous and downright sexy of eras and that’s Group 5 of 1970 and 1971. Duking it out for glory in the fiercely contested World Sportscar Championship were the likes of Jacky Ickx, Jo Siffert, Brian Redman, ‘Quick Vic’ Elford and the brothers Rodríguez. These charismatic men were not just racing drivers, they were gladiators. Each and every time they buckled into their furious Group 5 prototypes – with socking-great five-litre engines behind, vast fuel tanks either side and tubular chassis ahead – they risked their lives for glory. The Ferrari 512 – the Porsche hunter There are, of course, two cars most closely associated with the halcyon Group 5 years: the Porsche 917 and the Ferrari 512. To say there was no love lost between Maranello and Stuttgart would be an understatement-and-a-half. This was all-out war, waged between the most advanced automotive weapons in the world. Ferrari’s bespectacled chief engineer Mauro Forghieri pulled off something of a miracle with the 512 S. When Porsche introduced its 917 in 1969 and, with it, its serious intentions to dominate Group 5, all that stood between Enzo Ferrari and the retention of his company’s pride on the world stage was a hefty injection of funding and 25 cars to present to the FIA and satisfy the minimum production requirements to race. A sacrifice was needed and a sacrifice was made – Il Commendatore committed to sell half of his precious company to Fiat, thus awarding Forghieri with the cash to get to work on the new prototype and a challenging five-month timeframe with which to finish it. “To say there was no love lost between Maranello and Stuttgart would be an understatement-and-a-half. This was all-out war, waged between the most advanced automotive weapons in the world.” Naturally, he and his crack team of engineers rose to the challenge. Ahead of the 1970 World Sportscar Championship curtain-raiser at Daytona in late January, Ferrari presented the required 25 512 Ss to the FIA in Maranello – 17 complete cars perfectly parked side by side and eight ready-to-assemble kits. The Porsche 917 was a great looking car. But the Ferrari 512 S made even it look frumpy. The soft-cornered and sculpted soap-bar body was the work of ingegnere Giacomo Caliri and crafted for the first time from glass-fibre. It tightly hugged a lightweight tubular chassis, itself cradling a five-litre V12 engine derived from the 612 Can-Am car with four valves per cylinder and which produced 550HP. The sound that emanates from said engine can only be as ungodly. The Ferrari 512 Modificata The rate of development in the endurance racing arena in the early 1970s was nothing short of staggering and, ahead of its second year of competition in 1971, Ferrari introduced the evolved 512 M, the M denoting Modificata. Only around 15 of the 25 512 Ss were upgraded to M specification, a radical transformation centred predominantly around the closed coupé glass-fibre bodywork, which was drastically reworked in the wind tunnel at Stuttgart University. That the angular new frock and stark Kamm tail was more than a little reminiscent of the Porsche 917 K was perhaps of little surprise given the Germans’ performance throughout the 1970 season. The relocation of the spare wheel from the nose to the tail meant a more efficient oil radiator could be mounted in its place, along with improved cooling ducts for the front brakes. The suspension – more specifically the geometry and uprights – were entirely revised, accommodating wider wheels with larger brakes. And the cylinder heads, cylinder liners, valves and camshafts of the five-litre V12 were upgraded, resulting in an ample power increase from 550bhp to 610bhp at an ungodly 9,000rpm. From an engineering standpoint, the goal for the 512 M was also to reduce weight. We reckon that the ingegneri in Maranello would have been pretty pleased with the 41kg they managed to shave from the 512 S. Especially when Jacky Ickx debuted the new car at Zeltweg and smashed the Formula 1 lap record he’d set just a few weeks prior. It goes without saying the 512 M was a drastically improved competition car, although for the privateer outfit the cost was perhaps prohibitive. The revised tail section alone carried a princely price tag of 2.5m Italian lire! Chassis number 1024 Have you seen the grainy photo of the 25 box-fresh 512 Ss lined up at the Ferrari factory in January of 1970, awaiting inspection by the FIA? It’s often circulating on social media, reshared by those popular ‘period-correct’ accounts. The example Girardo & Co. is privileged to be offering is one of those cars pictured, more specifically chassis number 1024. Chassis number 1024 remained with the Works, unused, until April of 1971, by which point it had been upgraded to full Modificata specification. The owner of the Italian privateer racing outfit Scuderia Brescia Corse, Dr. Alfredo Belponer, acquired this 512 new, as evidenced by the Ferrari factory invoice, numbered 1068/71. In addition to the car, priced at a princely 27m Italian lire, Belponer also bought 15m-lire’s worth of spare parts and tyres totaling 4m lire. While he maintained a low-profile in his day-to-day life, Dr. Belponer was a familiar face to Italy’s supercar concessionaires. By 1971, his collection already housed such great cars as a Ferrari 250 GTO, Aston Martin DB5 and Maserati Ghibli Spyder. The 512 M was the proverbial cherry on the cake. “In addition to the car, priced at a princely 27m Italian lire, Belponer also bought 15m-lire’s worth of spare parts and tyres totaling 4m lire.” Chassis 1024 made its competitive debut under the Scuderia Brescia Corse banner in the 1,000km di Monza on 25 April – round five of the 1971 FIA World Sportscar Championship. Marsilio Pasotti, more commonly known by his pseudonym ‘Pam’, was assigned as the lead driver. Born in the Brescian town of Lumezzane in 1939, Pasotti began his motorsport career in the late-1950s, quickly establishing a strong reputation with his deft displays in small Abarth-engined Fiats 850s. Since a second driver was required for the Monza race, Belponer enlisted one Carlo Facetti, the legendary Italian engineer and racing driver. A former factory driver for both Alfa Romeo and Lancia, Facetti won the European Touring Car Championship in 1979 and the Stratos Turbo Group V he designed for the Lancia Works team took outright victory in the 1976 Giro d’Italia. The promising partnership of Pasotti and Facetti quickly bore fruit in qualifying, when a time of 1min40.280sec was good for 14th overall on the grid. Alas, for reasons unknown, chassis 1024 did not take the start of the race. A staggering 70,000 spectators descended on the Autodromo Dino Ferrari in Imola a few weeks later for the Coppa di Shell, the first round of that year’s Interserie Championship. The formula had been conceived the previous year, touted as Europe’s answer to the fiercely competitive Can-Am series in the United States. In the Scuderia Brescia Corse Ferrari 512 M, ‘Pam’ was one of 22 starters including a Works-entered Ferrari 512 M driven by Arturo Merzario. Two 30-lap heats preceded a 60-lap finale, for which Pasotti qualified chassis 1024 seventh overall. This time around the car did take the start, although transmission niggles put paid to progress three-quarters of the way through. The next round took place at Zolder in Belgium a month later, where chassis 1024 was the only Ferrari listed on the entry list. Top-ten finishes in both heats meant a twelfth-place start for the finale – a position Pasotti duly converted, crossing the line an impressive eighth overall. The penultimate round of the 1971 World Sportscar Championship, the Zeltweg 1,000km, took place at the Österreichring in July. Once again, ‘Pam’ required a co-driver and Dr. Belponer had just the man in mind: Mario Casoni. Over the course of his career, there was hardly a great sports-racing car Casoni didn’t pilot. Ferrari 250 LM, Ford GT40, Porsche 917, Lancia Beta Montecarlo. Casoni raced them all, accruing no fewer than eight outright victories before he hung up his helmet in the 1980s. In the top-flight five-litre category, chassis 1024 was part of a quadruplet of Ferrari 512 Ss looking to beat the five Porsche 917 Ks in attendance. Friday and Saturday’s qualifying sessions were bountiful for Scuderia Brescia Corse, with chassis 1024 lining up 12th. At 170 laps, it was a long race, the war of attrition made considerably worse by drizzle, cold temperatures and dense fog hung low in the Swabian hills. “‘Pam’ and Casoni finished the race a spectacular second in class and fourth overall. For a privateer effort in a world-championship endurance event and against the might of several factory teams, it was a truly stellar result.” Amazingly, ‘Pam’ and Casoni both seemed to revel in the inclement conditions, grabbing their brute of a Ferrari by the scruff of the neck and finishing the race a spectacular second in class and fourth overall. For a privateer effort in a world-championship endurance event and against the might of several factory teams, it was a truly stellar result. The 200 Meilen von Nürburg beckoned next for chassis number 1024. On the gnarly high-speed streets of the Norisring, consistency proved to be key for ‘Pam’ and the Ferrari 512 M. Two sixths and a fifth read the headline in Monday’s newspapers, chassis 1024 crossing the line once again as the first Ferrari home. For most people, an enforced summer break means a week spent on a beach or a golf course. For Dr. Belponer, it meant taking chassis 1024 to the Trofeo Valle Camonica – Malegno – Borno hill-climb, a small domestic event in which the 512 M destroyed the competition to win outright. Two rounds of the 1971 Interserie Championship remained: another at Imola and a curtain-closer at Hockenheim in Germany. Pam finished both finales in eighth, concluding what was a successful year in a highly competitive series. This Ferrari 512 M concluded its period competition career at the 1,000km de Paris- the 14th and final round of the 1971 Championnat de France des Circuits. Just as he had for every one of chassis 1024’s preceding outings, Marsilio Pasotti took the wheel, joined for the second time by Mario Casoni. Despite qualifying an impressive seventh, the pair was forced into retirement. Dr. Belponer’s Scuderia Brescia Corse outfit was a popular staple of the paddock for many years and the consistent results scored by ‘Pam’ and this 512 M was indicative of its serious intentions. Chassis number 1024 was honourably retired at the end of 1971. Belponer kept hold of the car for two more years, selling to the West Coast of America in 1974. It didn’t stay across the pond for long – by 1975, the Ferrari had been acquired by Dr. Jean Aussenac in Paris. Aussenac was not afraid to use this 512 M as intended, exhibiting it at a number of Club Ferrari France meetings at the famous Mas du Clos racetrack in Saint-Avit-de-Tardes. Fellow Parisian and decorated French comic-book artist Albert Uderzo became chassis 1024’s next custodian in 1981. He continued to share the car throughout his 16-year tenure as owner, including at Ferrari’s 40th-anniversary celebrations at Spa-Francorchamps in 1987. This Ferrari made the journey back across the Atlantic in 1997, briefly joining the collection of Charles Arnott, before being bought by Ed and Leslie Davies in Florida. The Davies are among the world’s foremost Ferrari enthusiasts and collectors, having owned all manner of historically-significant Prancing Horses, from 250 GTO and 250 Testa Rossa to both long- and short-wheelbase 250 California Spyders. “As one of the first big cars we consigned to the Leggenda e Passione auction, there was so much excitement about it internally. None of us were surprised when chassis 1024 garnered a really strong price that day.” Max Girardo Chassis 1024 became a regular fixture at Ferrari Historic Challenge rounds across the world at the dawn of the New Millennium, and even featured in several issues of Cavallino magazine – America’s premier publication devoted to the Prancing Horse. It was during the Davies’ ownership that chassis 1024 was submitted for – and duly received – Ferrari Classiche certification, confirming the engine and gearbox to be the originals. In 2008, RM Auctions staged its momentous Leggenda e Passione sale at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, comprising a mouth-watering collection of Ferrari automobilia and cars. Our very own Max Girardo was the auctioneer on the rostrum that day when lot number 317, this 1970 Ferrari 512 M, crossed the block. “I distinctly remember the atmosphere that day at Fiorano was electric and there was a collective intake of breath when the 512 S was called to the block,” Max recalls. “The car had been the star of our single-car Salon Rétromobile earlier that year and I recall the extraordinary amount of interest we generated in Paris. As one of the first big cars we consigned to that sale, there was so much excitement about it internally. None of us were surprised when chassis 1024 garnered a really strong price that day.” The American banking magnate and classic car collector Harry Yeaggy was the winning bidder, though it wasn’t long before it changed hands once again, winding up in the stable of its penultimate owner, Steven Read, in California, alongside such special Ferrari competition cars as a 312 PB and a 250 LM. Keen to experience the rush of driving a five-litre V12-powered Ferrari sports-racing prototype at racing speeds, Read acquired a FIA Historic Technical Passport for chassis 1024 and entrusted Tim Samways’ Sporting & Historic Car Engineers outfit in the United Kingdom with fastidiously preparing it for historic motorsport. To preserve the precious original powerplant, a facsimile was commissioned with Ferrari engine specialist Roelofs Engineering in the Netherlands. Over the course of the next six years, this Ferrari competed at a raft of prestigious events across the world, including the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca and the Le Mans Classic. In 2021, for the second time, Max had the distinct pleasure of finding a new home for chassis 1024 – this time the car returning to Europe, where it remained on display in an exquisite collection until the spring of 2023. Closing statements It doesn’t require much to understand how many strings this Ferrari 512 M counts on its bow. Of the 25 Ferrari 512s produced, very few can boast of having never been heavily damaged in the period and an entirely traceable and fully documented history. The generous history file which accompanies chassis 1024 is unlike any other we’ve seen for a Ferrari of this ilk. In addition to copies of the original sales invoice, factory certificate of origin and homologation papers, there’s the original French title from 1982, a wealth of extraordinary high-resolution colour and black-and-white period images spanning its entire competition career, and copies of the myriad magazines in which chassis 1024 has featured. “Of the 25 Ferrari 512s produced, very few can boast of having never been heavily damaged in the period and an entirely traceable and fully documented history.” What’s more, there is the all-important report issued by the acclaimed Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, verifying the car’s provenance. And countless invoices attesting the exhaustive maintenance and preparation this Ferrari has enjoyed, especially in more recent years. Furthermore, chassis 1024’s period competition history shines, having been campaigned by one of the most famous European privateer outfits, Scuderia Brescia Corse, in endurance motorsport’s top-flight global series. The fact this car retains its original matching-numbers chassis, engine and gearbox, as evidenced by its full red-book Ferrari Classiche certification binder, is the proverbial cherry on the cake. It also goes without saying that this 512 M is a car which is highly eligible for the world’s most prestigious historic motoring events, from automotive beauty pageants including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to race meetings such as the Le Mans Classic and the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona. Provenance is everything for any historic competition car, let alone a sports-racing prototype from the halcyon Group 5 era of the early 1970s. Suffice to say, chassis 1024 has it in spades.