What in the world of cars is generally regarded as the most sacriligeous thing one can do? Yes, to improve a Ferrari. To some people a Ferrari is a car like a sculpture made by the master creator himself, not to be altered in any way or by anyone. But what if your name is Willy König and you just want to make a Ferrari with more horsepower and outrageous looks? Who's gonna stop you? Nobody....well except Ferrari who wanted nothing to do with König's creations.
If you know the Ferrari 512 BB you know it's not the type of car one can walk past easily without noticing it. Definitely an eye-catcher. But parked next to the version Willy König offered in the early-mid 1980s any car would look normal. Being wider, louder and more expensive than the standard version from Maranello, the Koenig-Specials Ferrari 512 BB must have been the most outrageous creation on wheels on offer in the early 1980s, even outdoing the Lamborghini Countach. With it's flared wheel arches, huge wing and ultra fat tires it was no wonder Ferrari-purists hated the car and wished Willy König was still racing Ferraris instead of mutilating them beyond recognition.
The bodykit for the Koenig Ferrari 512 BB(i) was drawn by Vittorio Strosek, the man behind most of the Koenig-Specials bodykits. It consisted of a new front bumper, rear bumper, flared rear wheelarches with fins, scoops on both sides for extra air (only on the Turbo-version), an integrated rear spoiler and usually a huge wing on top of that. The wider wheel arches were filled by fat Pirelli tires sized 345/35 VR15 (font tires were 225/50 VR 15).
Obviously Koenig didn't just modify the exterior, extra power and improved handling was what Koenig aimed for. He wanted the ultimate street machine and that's what he made. In the early 1980s the manually aspirated Ferrari engines were equipped with high performance parts to get the engine up to 450 BHP, but when in 1983 Koenig introduced the 512 BBi Turbo that figure was increased to a staggering 653 BHP. With a topspeed 330km/h it was one of the fastest cars of it's time.
Prices of the Koenig-Specials conversions were about 130.000 DM for a full conversion, but the price obviously could go up or down depending on specs.
Ferraris aren't always red: this black Ferrari 512 BB by Koenig-Specials proves that, and with the gold colored wheels it's looks great. Apparently this car was made for a customer whitin Germany, hence the "KA" licenceplate which refers to Karlsruhe. This particular car is a non-turbocharged BB which can be easily recognized by the two air scoops behind the roof; the turbocharged versions had larger airscoops on the sides of the flying butresses.
This pearlescent white Koenig 512 BB was made for a Sheik, again a non-turbocharged version. The car was bought new by him and crashed while still being a stock Ferrari. The wreck was brought to Koenig-Specials and converted into this 450 BHP monster.
The airscoops have glas windows so one can see the powerplant at all times.
The car has UK-licenseplates and is a right-hand-drive: the Sheik used it when in London.
If a customer wished, Koenig-Specials modified the interior of 512 BB(i) as well. This one has a Clarion G80 sound system installed and the interior completely re-upholstered in red leather.
Koenig-Specials' Ferrari 512 BBi Turbo on the Autobahn. Interesting about this photo is the window-sticker that's been retouched: it used to say "Koenig Ferrari", but the name Ferrari had to go......orders from Maranello. The air scoops on the sides of the "flying butresses" are typical of the Turbo variants, which needed way more air fed into the engine bay.
Top-view of a Koenig Ferrari 512 BBi Turbo. Big difference between this one and the normally aspirated BBs are the scoops on the sides of the car that let air in for the Turbo. The wing is of the late type, similar to that used on the Koenig Mercedes and Jaguar conversions.
The wheels used by Koenig-Specials were BBS racing wheels that were modified for road use. Still with the central locking system seen on racing cars (which wasn't allowed on German roads).
The Koenig-Specials Ferrari 512 BBi Turbo displaying it's musculency. Note that there's a NACA-duct behind the fins, just in front of the rear wheel arch.
A Koenig-Specials Ferrari 512bb that according to the advertisement (1989) used to belong to Jermaine Jackson, brother of Michael. The car appears to be black on black with golden BBS wheels.
Text: copyright Bram Corts 2013