Eric Clapton Jake Walters

Let’s say you’re an aging music legend with millions in the bank. You’ve been putting out solo albums since 1970, dropping hit after hit, but your most recent release in 2010, although warmly received by critics, did mediocre numbers. What to do? How about saying eff it and going out and buying a really nice car? That’s (not quite) exactly what 67-year old Eric Clapton did.

A huge Ferrari fan, the British bluesman purchased a car through the Italian company’s One-Off Program. Meet the SP12 EC, an entirely custom-built machine based on Clapton’s favorite Ferrari, the 512 BB.

Produced between 1976 and 1981, the Ferrari 512 BB (which stands for Berlinetta Boxer) was an update to the 365 GT4 BB. The 512 BB came equipped with a 360-hp 5.0-liter flat-12 engine, mounted midship (which was a shift in Ferrari engineering at the time).

Performance estimates have the 3,519-pound Ferrari hitting 60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a 188 mph top speed -- impressive for its day. Only 929 512 BBs were produced in Italy, with fewer surviving today. Clapton has owned three of them.

The new SP12 EC, although based off the completely modern 458 Italia, is a throwback to the vintage Ferrari. The tapered front end, front grill, hood vents and two-tone paint all pay homage to the 512 BB. The rear bumper features design lines similar to the '70s-era 512 and the taillights are circular, albeit there are only two.


Pininfarina, the Italian firm charged with penning the original 512 BB, designed the new SP12 EC, along with Centro Stile Ferrari. Engine specs haven’t been announced yet, but more than likely, the Italia’s 570-hp 4.5-liter V-8 engine powers the new classic.

So how much did this custom Ferrari cost? Rumors have Clapton paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million -- chump change for a guitarist who is worth an estimated $185 million. Socio-economic disparities aside, the SP12 EC looks wonderful tonight, just as it will every other night.



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