This Ferrari SP12 is one of a kind
Perhaps his name doesn’t get mentioned as much as rock legends Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, but Eric Clapton certainly belongs in that tier of rock royalty. His contribution to music is cemented in blues legacy and his music is as blissful to listen to as it was in 1965 when Cream debuted with their first release. Clapton is commonly known in music circles as one of the greatest guitar players in history and Rolling Stone Magazine voted him No.2 behind his late friend Jimi Hendrix.
Clapton is one of a kind, so it only makes sense that he wants to drive a one of a kind car. After years of owning dozens of Ferraris, he decided to take his fandom to the next level because In 2012, Clapton and Ferrari collaborated to create a ‘one-off’ custom car based from the 458 Italia and 512BB.
It was a mutual celebration, Ferrari in their respect of his legendary career, and Clapton, for his loyalty to the Italian car makers. The car was to be called the Ferrari SP12 EC, which is short for ‘Special Project 12 Eric Clapton’. This is not the first car Ferrari has made specially upon request, as enormous sums of cash can do that for you, and in this case, $4 million.
This collaboration in fantasy is captivating on paper but the two partners did not always see eye to eye. Clapton desperately wanted a V12 engine but Ferrari disagreed and instead opted for the V8. The guitarist also wanted oval headlights but again, could not get his request, and so Enzo headlights were featured.
The SP12 title may be confusing to some as this special project car was actually the 11th Ferrari created, not 12th, but Clapton’s lucky number is 3, and 1 + 2 + 3 so they went with 12, hence the title, SP12. After Clapton received the delivery of the car, he even waited a number of months to drive it as he waited for his desired number 12 plate to be available. This meticulous attention to detail really adds to the cars allure and its integrity because Clapton made sure it was absolutely perfect. It make sense, after all the star has built a career from creative perfectionism.
When the revered Italian manufacturer was approached by the legendary musician, Ferrari were honoured, “Just like music is created, applying the right notes in the right places build a musical score, so was the creative process behind the SP12 EC,” said a spokesman in beautiful, albeit broken english. Under the hood, the SP12 was almost identical to the 458 Italia whilst the body was heavily influenced from the 512BB, blending two cars that represent a contrast of beauty and power.
So despite its bumps and disagreements, the pair must have been pleased with the final product. The uniqueness of this car truly was special, ultimately living up to its name. The idea of having an opportunity to design a Ferrari from a scratch is pipe dream most of us will never experience but it is still unquestionably enjoyable to watch unfold as a spectator.
From Clapton’s perspective, he confirms his joy for this project,”This is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.” It must have been quite special then, Clapton has played in front of hundreds of thousands of people on stage, won 11 Grammys, amongst other awards, and is in the guitar realm of god status, yet for him the Special Project 12 is held just as high in his lifetime of accomplishment. This Ferrari may not belong in the top tier of cars but that was not the intention, this was just a dream come true.