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bb512i or testarossa

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by steveirl, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. steveirl

    steveirl Formula 3
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    Dec 29, 2003
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    After owning many of the cars I always loved as a kid I have decided to take the plunge and buy a Ferrari, always loved the boxer and prices are tempting right now but the testarossa can be bought for much the same price, interested in hearing especially from those who have owned both not just with regard to driving but also maintenance and reliability. I am in ireland so very few people here to talk to! Glad to find this site, plenty of enthusiasts willing to answer even to a novice like me.
     
  2. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
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    May 28, 2003
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    Wow, I was about to post almost the exact same thing. I am in the process of picking up a 355 but I have been toying with the idea of getting a BB512i (or possibly Testarossa) as well. Crazy. Anyways, I would like to hear some impressions from some of my fellow Fchatters.
     
  3. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
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    As always, the answer "depends". If your interest is purely in driving a 12-cylinder for power and top end speed, the Testarossa is more car for the money. Very similar engine, very similar power and speed. The Testarossa has a few more creature comforts, and in general is slightly more comfortable to be in for a few hours.

    If, your interest is asset appreciation, today it appears that the Boxer has more upside potential.

    If handling is of more interest, the Boxer is easier to throw around than the Testarossa.

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Different styling. Both more angled and wedge-shaped than earlier models. Boxer more 3x8ish, Testarossa more Miami Vice-ish.

    There are few values available today comparable to the testarossa. A nice one can be had for $50k. A nice Boxer is likely $80k up.

    Maintenance is basically the same. Engine-out major service is the same. Both are reliable once you bring them back to original specifications (with the engine out service).

    I own both. Good luck.

    Jim S.
     
  4. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jim what about interior room? Does one have more headroom than the other?
     
  5. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    If I were looking at a boxer it would be a carb model,
    not an injected one.
    If I were into fuel injected cars I would skip ahead and get the TR.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  6. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2003
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    I've not owned either, but I like both cars and have followed them over the years.

    They both have a lot of power and torque, 5-speed, and a flat 12.

    The Boxer is a throwback of sorts. Compared to modern cars is pretty primitive as far as comforts but at the same time a more visceral, race car like feel. Good examples are going from $75k to $90k.

    The Testarossa is a very modern type of car. The A/C works, the windows go faster, and they're very reliable.

    HOWEVER, a lot of Testarossas out there are sleeping time bombs. They are very un-loved b/c of the styling and a lot of owners seem to neglect maintenance for one reason or another. Prices for them are dirt cheap right now as well. The '85+ models are selling for $50k and less. In 88.5 they went to a 5-bolt wheel and ABS so they're a little more desirable and higher priced. The 512TR is priced even higher.

    Got to www.qv500.com and read the summary of each to see what the differences are.
     
  7. Willis360

    Willis360 F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2001
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    Steve,

    You will find a lot of opinions about the cars. Ultimately, you will be the one to decide which is the best for you. Test drive both models. Nothing beats first-hand experience.
     
  8. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    Apr 23, 2002
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    Personal opinion:
    The Boxer is closer to the REAL Ferrari experience. Who needs creature comforts anyway?
     
  9. steveirl

    steveirl Formula 3
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    In just two hours six replies, brilliant! All the advice and opinion is appreciated, as far as the comfort goes its not an issue, I have a Porsche928GTS manual, very very fast and comfortable, and a Detomaso pantera which I have just fitted with a new 450hp motor, again very fast, reasonably comfortable and very loud. I love both equally tho they are worlds apart, I was always scared of ferrari because of the apparent fragility, but this site seems to say otherwise so its just down to deciding which to go for bb512 or testarossa, and then start looking.
    One other question, is it possible to fit more modern wheels and tyres to a boxer??
     
  10. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 10, 2003
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    Hi Steve,
    For the most part you will have to drive both cars. The testa is more modern and easier to live with on a day to day basis. I have an 86 and runs hard with all the other models...I have heard of guys with difficulty in 91 's and TR's. Regardless you need to research the car and make sure service is uptodate !!! High miles car with good records will probably be a better car than the gargage queen.

    As for testa that are ticking time bombs, it has to do more with guys that are not to keen on follow the service guides and both 12cyls are somewhat costly to maintain. Be careful and ask the right questions.The older cars do require a bit more patience but have more character than the new ones (my opinion). I picked the testa over a 355 back in the day just because it is or was there flagship car at the time and the sound of the 12 in a borla, or tubi exhaust is something that can never be heard from an 8 unfortunately. Its really a matter of preference and driving experience. The Testa will make life more modern, the boxer will thrill you in an era of real interactive driving.
    Good Luck.
     
  11. khayes

    khayes Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Testarossa's are outrageous, attention getting, loud, expensive and fun. They aren't the easiest cars to drive but Wow, there is nothing like the thrill of driving one of these Italian beasts.

    I love my red 86 TR and highly recommend them. I drove mine for an hour yesterday and had my picture taken by three different people around town and had one cop offer to let me drive as fast as I could if I would just give him a ride.

    I took my daughter in it to the local Hot Rod show and she told me afterwards that my car in the parking lot was the best looking car that she had seen all day. Then, she wanted to hear what my new Tubi would sounds like near red line.
     
  12. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Dave M. - leg and head room are comparable. I want to reiterate that once service has been performed (to assure that everything is as it should be), both cars have been extremely dependable without unforseen adventures.

    Jim S.
     
  13. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
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    I hope you gave it to him :)
     
  14. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    Jul 22, 2003
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    WARNING! DO NOT TRY TO MODERNISE A BOXER.

    The boxers are heavy classic cars with marginal braking ability ( I own 512BB carb). Giving improved tyre grip to a boxer, especially if you go for large diameter wheels and low profile tyres will be totally detrimental to ride quality and feel. The standard boxer is quite a chuckable truck, and it's rarity makes it for me, the most appealing.

    Also, early testarossa interiors are absolutely dire in terms of quality and longevity. My unrestored 512BB is the most comfortable car I have ever driven, and it's interior is in perfect "patina".

    If you have the money, upgrade to a 512TR or M, and then you have a better choice.

    The BBi's have a fairly lazy engine, and are great for touring, but having only 2 small throttle butterflies costs you in the response dept. The carb BB is awesome, and the trossa 4 valve has some better breathing than a BBi.

    The TRX tyres of a BBi are ridiculously expensive, and increasingly unobtanium, so the 15" of a Carb car make a better option there too.

    DIY servicing is MUCH easier and more satisfying on any Boxer, than a Trossa...but the Trossa will need less of it.

    It depends on what floats your boat.......If you're a Porsche man, I'd guess the TRossa will please you more due to it's "refinement" (a relaitve term in Ferrariland, but for thrills and exclusivity....the BB every time (carbs only for me though).

    The ultimate raw machine would be a 365BB. Only real downsides are wet sump only (oil surge/overheating on track), and heavy cable clutch that is very easily abused to uselessness. TRossa and 512 suffer clutch abuse too, but it's a little easier with a twin plate hydraulic.
     
  15. coachi

    coachi Formula 3

    May 1, 2002
    2,108
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    I own both. If I were to pick a daily driver, it would be my TR (86 model) as it is comfortable and seems more reliable. Also in my case, the brown dash does not reflect the sun, while my tan leather boxer dash is horrible on sunny days. But if I am asked which one I treasure more... it is definitely the boxer. It is a gorgeous black with tan and it is currently having its 30,000 engine out belts, tensioners...etc...all at a 5400 odometer reading. I obviously have made a queen out of that boxer...it is fuel injected (not necessarily a good thing) and if I had to do it over again, I would have put more miles on it. My 86 TR has 10,000 miles on it and is due next for that belt/tensioner replacement. I have no doubt that the Boxer is worth more and will be worth much more in the years to come. However, if you love your cars no one will love them more and you won't ever sell them unless you fall out of love with them. I have spent a year of my life tinkering with my Boxer because it was not running right, but FOA fixed it in no time. If that did not discourage me from ownership of a Boxer, nothing will. Either way, the flat 12 is a different animal and they are both worth owning. As for the TR, I should trade itr up to a 512M...(I hate pop up lights) but...you can always buy a better Ferrari than the one you own...:)
     
  16. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    Go with the Boxer. Having owned and driven a TR for over 25k miles and now owning a BB512i, I can tell you that the Boxer gives you a much more raw experience. The service requirements are basically the same except the Boxer has less electronis to go bad. But, some Boxer parts may be more difficult to find.
     
  17. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Depends opn your budget. 512BBi parts may be more expenbsive & harder to find. I really like the old BBs.

    Is a 512TR in the budget ? I have 2 & they are VERY nice :)
     
  18. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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    coachi, what did FoA find was wrong with your Boxer making it not run right ? I think I saw it there when I test drove a 575m a couple of weeks back. FYI, my BB512i has a brown dash so I have very little dash glare, but I still use a dash mat for sun protection . You should get a dash mash for yours which will eliminate the glare even on your tan dash.
     
  19. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Ferraris are definately Not fragile although they require a lot of expensive maintenance. Ive driven the wheels of my 308 & 512TRs, sometimes literally, like when the axle snapped on the 308.

    Back in the 50s Ferraris made their legend because they were the most reliable sportscars, Thats why they won so many races.

    Try Kinesismotorsports.com for custom wheels for a BBi, I'm sure they can make custom wheels for just about anything.

    Where do you live in Ireland ?
     
  20. GaryReed

    GaryReed F1 Rookie

    Feb 9, 2002
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    Another source for aftermarket 17" Boxer wheels (close to Ireland, too) is Compomotive in England. http://www.comp.co.uk

    Their US distributor quoted me $1,950 for a set of four custom machined "TS" wheels that would accept the Boxer center lock hubs.
    They look kinda like 288GTO wheels. I'm considering buying a set.
    Here's a picture of their standard five-lug version of the wheel.
     
  21. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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  22. coachi

    coachi Formula 3

    May 1, 2002
    2,108
    SC USA

    It was a bad fuel pump relay, so one side was not getting any fuel....but since there is a corssover between the two sides, it was showing proper fuel pressure, albeit it took longer to achieve. By the time they got the car, I had tinkered with it too much and they had to reset idle, timing, and the fuel distributors...they did all that for less than 500 bucks...so I had them change the belts and tensioners and the associated liquids and will pick it up on the 9th if all is well.

    By the way, I do have a dash mat and it is on the car, but it too is tan (mistake) and it too reflects... I guess I have to dye it black :)
     
  23. coachi

    coachi Formula 3

    May 1, 2002
    2,108
    SC USA

    It turned out to be a simple relay...no fuel was going to the right bank...but the corssover was indicating proper fuel pressure...they had to reset the idle, the fuel mixture on the FD's and the timing, as expected since I was tinkering with those to try to make the car run. Less than 500 bucks. So I had them change the camblets and tensioners and associated fluids and will pick it up on the 9th.

    By the way I have a dash mat on the car but it too is tan (mistake); guess I will have to dye it black.
     
  24. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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  25. steveirl

    steveirl Formula 3
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    live in wicklow on east coast of Ireland, Ferraris are rare in this country so i am looking in the UK, as for considering a 512TR, yes it would be in my budget, selling here for around the same as bb512, interestingly two 512TR advertised have had deposits taken on them when I called! hoping to travel to Uk next week to look at a rosso bb512i and a chiaro blue 512TR.
    I am a little unsure about the earlier carbd bb512 as I know several guys running Panteras with Quad webers and they are really difficult to keep in tune, is the boxer the same?
     

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