Ferrari pays tribute to Eric Clapton with SP12 EC

Ferrari has built a special new model in homage to one of its most loyal customers — legendary blues guitarist Eric Clapton.

The one-off model uses design cues from Clapton's all-time favourite Ferrari — the 512 BB — which have been integrated into the modern body shell of a 458 Italia.

Clapton, who has owned three 512 BBs over the years, told Ferrari Official Magazine that his dream was to own a Ferrari with the vintage feel of the classic model but with the modern capabilities of a car like the 458.

The SP12 EC's silhouette still remains unmistakably that of a 458 Italia, however its subtle differences include the straight headlights featured on the 512 BB as opposed to the sharp, pointy ones of an Italia. The bonnet, radiator grille and grey lower side panels are also taken directly from the 512 BB, while the 458's usually chunky rear has been trimmed and flattened.

The SP12 EC also does not lack in performance like the supercar of yesteryear — fitted with the Italia's 4.5-litre V8, with 419kW and 540Nm of torque to rocket the car to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

The SP12 EC was designed by the Ferrari Style Centre, who collaborated with Ferrari engineers and fellow car-stylers Pininfarina to make the project a reality.

Clapton, who also had a hand in his new car's design process, likened the experience to "being in front of a gigantic blank canvas that had to be painted on."

He also told the magazine that it was "one of the most satisfying things I've ever done."

Ferrari has not revealed how much Clapton paid for his exclusive vehicle but most reports are suggesting it was somewhere in the league of $5 million. Ouch!

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