Here is a deeply bizarre Ferrari — a one-year special that even tifosi will have trouble naming.
The F512M was a run-out special for the Testarossa and 512TR, which dated to the mid 1980s, or earlier, mechanically.
This superficial update brought the 512 into the new Ferrari name scheme: starting with F for the names, and ending in M for modificata.
The nose dropped the very-tired flip lamp look for the 1990s vogue of flush-mounted clear lamps, plus a rounded grille to mirror the smiley droop of the 456 and F355’s faces.
A fresh tail treatment also brought more rounded edges to the corners of the machine versus its sharp 80s details from before, while also painting up all the bumpers for the first time. Body-color for the engine cover was also a welcome addition for the 1990s. Quad round taillights completed the revamp in back.
This car is one of 75 units brought to the USA, and just five in Fly Yellow. 501 were made in total.
Overall, however, this car is a strange curio in the flesh. It looks too unfinished to be a real Ferrari, to some eyes.
To others, the giant flat rump of the Testarossa and its flat 12 deserved the modernization program — if only to send the engine layout to retirement on a high note. Ferrari switched back to V12 engines for the 550 for 1996.
1995 Ferrari F512 Modificata
1995 Ferrari F512M
28-29 January 2016
1995 Ferrari F512 M
- Chassis no. ZFFVG40A2S0100154
440 bhp, 4,943 cc 48-valve horizontally opposed 12-cylinder engine with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. Wheelbase: 100.3 in.
- One of just 75 examples delivered to the United States
- Freshly serviced; clean CARFAX report
- Original leather-wrapped tool kit
By 1994, Ferrari’s Testarossa had been in production for 10 years. As exciting and beautiful as it was, it was undoubtedly aging. The competition from Lamborghini, Porsche, and even Acura, with the NSX, was becoming tougher. While the 550 Maranello was in development and waiting to take the reins as Ferrari’s 12-cylinder flagship, Ferrari would release one more iteration of the Testarossa platform to keep its competitors at bay, the F512 M.
Compared to the evolution from the Testarossa to the 512 TR, the jump to the F512 M was much more radical than Ferrari’s previous evolution. The most evident exterior change was to the nose; the F512 M was fitted with fixed headlights rather than the older retractable units. The front bumper and grille were restyled to bear a resemblance to the F355 and the 456, with new turn signal indicators and fog lamps. The rear also carried cues from its siblings, and it was fitted with round taillights, which were similar to those of the F355 and would become signature Ferrari design cues for years to come. Inside, the F512 M received some minor changes as well, such as a new, more modern steering wheel, adjustable aluminum pedals, a more refined air-conditioning system, and updated trim. New five-spoke alloy wheels were also fitted to complete the look.
The F512 M’s mechanicals received a number of changes as well. Its suspension was updated with gas-filled shock absorbers, and a Bosch ABS system was fitted. The engine retained the same cubic capacity and fuel-injection system as the 512 TR, but it also received a number of upgrades internally, resulting in a rise to 440 brake horsepower. Titanium alloy connecting rods and new forged aluminum pistons were fitted, along with a lightened crankshaft, which helped to increase the compression ratio to 10.4:1. A new stainless steel exhaust was also installed, once again helping to raise horsepower.
By the time production ceased in 1996, as Ferrari was introducing the 550 Maranello, 501 examples had been produced, with a mere 75 allocated for the U.S. market, which was a seemingly miniscule amount for a market that generally commanded the largest allocation of any Ferrari production model. As such, the car instantly became collectable in the United States.
Offered with a clean CARFAX report, it is one of just five of the 75 F512 Ms built for the United States believed to have been finished new in Giallo Modena. Outside, it wears its original paint, which is described to be in excellent condition. Inside, it has Nero leather hides and comes complete with its original leather-wrapped tool kit. It has traveled just 23,900 miles from new, and a complete engine-out service, including belts and fluids, was performed in March 2015 by Exotic Midwest Motors of St. Louis, Missouri. The consigner describes it to be extremely well maintained and in spectacular condition.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Cliff ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.