Singer and guitarist Eric Clapton’s Ferrari SP12 EC was seen by me for the first time at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s a nice looking car, but the reported cost of £3 million is a bit much.
This one-off Ferrari was made for him by Ferrari’s secretive one-off Programme, which can make bespoke cars for special clients. Pininfarina was involved in the design work.
The car was created as a homage to his favourite Ferrari, the 512 BB, of which he has owned three. The SP12 EC is mechanically identical to the 458 on which it is based, with the 512 BB-inspired changes coming in the design of the bodywork. The hard points and basic structure of the donor car can’t be changed, so Clapton’s requests including oval headlights couldn’t be implemented hence why Enzo headlights are used.
It uses the same V8 engine as the 458. The name SP12 EC had originally believed to have been a reference to the car having 12 cylinders, like the 512 BB. However, once Clapton had been convinced by Ferrari that the 458 would be a suitable base car and not one of its V12 models, the name refers to its sequential number in the amount of commissions the One-Off Programme has had. The SP12 EC is the 11th, but as Clapton is superstitious and likes the number three, number 11 in the sequence was skipped and it takes the number 12 (one plus two).
Clapton took delivery of the car at the start of last year, but delayed registering it until the 12 plate came in to give him a number plate that could include the car’s name. Wow! How the rich and famous live!