Being a rock star has its perks, and not just the fame, fortune, and groupies. It also means not settling for off-the-shelf stuff, even when it comes to Italian sports cars. Eric Clapton wanted his own Ferrari, so he had the boffins at Maranello design one for him. Behold the one-of-a-kind Ferrari SP12 EC.
“The world-famous guitar player has been attached to one particular Ferrari model: the 512 BB, of which he has owned three over the years,” Ferrari said. “So his desire was to drive a car inspired by this model, with influences from the multi-award winning 458 Italia.”
The 512 BB (Berlinetta Boxer) was built from 1976 to 1984. The name derives from the coupe body, which Ferrari calls a berlinetta, and the horizontally-opposed, boxer twelve-cylinder engine. Unlike most Ferrari engines, which have a “V” configuration, the boxer’s cylinders lie flat and oppose each other like boxers in a ring. Ferrari eventually returned to upright engines, but the boxer layout is still used by Porsche and Subaru.
To turn a new 458 Italia into a child of the ‘70s, Ferrari mainly changed the styling. The 458’s headlights were straightened out, the next best thing to fitting the SP12 with pop-ups. Clapton’s car also gets the 512’s trademark front hood vent and gray lower body panels. The 458‘s aerodynamic grille and vanes are ditched in favor of a classic eggcrate design. The engine is reportedly the same 4.5-liter V8 from the stock Italia.
Despite having fewer cylinders, the SP12 EC should be faster than its namesake. The 512 BB had 360 horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque, allowing it get from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in 5.4 seconds. The 458 Italia’s V8 makes 562 hp and 398 lb-ft, good for a 0-62 sprint of 3.4 seconds.
Ferrari will not say how much Clapton paid for his special car, but some reports say it cost $4.75 million. It’s good to be a rock star.