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Ferrari builds one-off for Eric Clapton

Strange Brew: Eric Clapton with his Ferrari SP12 EC, a 458 Italia-based tribute to the 1970s 512 Berlinetta Boxer.

Bespoke Ferrari SP12 EC designed in collaboration with Pininfarina for Eric Clapton

29 May 2012

MUSICIAN Eric Clapton has received a one-off Ferrari, based on a 458 Italia and styled with themes taken from his favourite Prancing Horse product, the 512 Berlinetta Boxer produced from 1976 to 1984, of which he has owned three examples.

The SP12 EC is the latest creation of Ferrari’s One-Off Programme, which produces bespoke vehicles for elite Ferrari fans.

It was created by Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina, which was responsible for penning the original 512 BB.

As a thoroughly modern take on the 512 BB, the right-hand-drive SP12 EC’s silhouette remains similar to the 458 on which it is based but features numerous references to the classic flat-12 Ferrari.

These include horizontal bars on the front and rear grilles, and a contrasting-colour bonnet vent and faired-in headlights designed to mimic the layout and shape of the 512 BB’s pop-up items.

Details like the retro-styled protruding fuel filler cap, rectangular door handles and red upper/matte-grey lower two-tone paintwork add authenticity – as does the grey roof spoiler – while spindly five-spoke alloys and kicked-up integrated tail spoiler provide a modern take on classic Ferrari features.

Topping off the referential styling cues are vented C-pillars, but with larger openings sufficient to meet the cooling needs of the 458-derived 4.5-litre V8 engine that produces up to 165kW more power and 90Nm more torque than the 5.0-litre 12-cylinder unit (which was a 180-degree V12 rather than a real boxer) of the 512 BB.

Apart from the musician’s initials, mystery surrounds the naming of the SP12 EC, as the number 12 does not relate to the car’s cylinder count.

British journal Autocar suggests the car is the 11th Ferrari to be specially commissioned but that the superstitious Clapton did not want that number and believes the number three (1+2) is lucky.

Autocar also says registration of the car was delayed so it could get a British ‘12’ number plate.

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