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*Update* Here is some more to add to the mystery. A video was added to Youtube on March 22 showing the car being removed from the same glass box that is in the photos from yesterday. It is driven outside and into a car trailer. There is still no official proof that this car is owned by Clapton, but it is certainly a very real car. The video provides a walk-around of the entire car and lets you hear it at idle. At 38 seconds into the video, you can nearly see the badge. It appears to read 'SP12 EC'. SP12 indicates that this is the twelfth car that Ferrari has built as part of the Special Vehicles Program. Do any of our more Ferrari knowledgeable readers what EC stands for?
A Ferrari 458 Italia-based one-off meant to look like a Ferrari 512BB was on display at the UK launch of Ferrari 458 Spyder on Wednesday night at H.R Owen, a premium car dealer in London. The car was under glass to keep it from being touched, but evidence points to a high probability that this car was ordered by Eric Clapton as part of Ferrari's Special Vehicles Program.
The users at Ferrari Chat broke the story having found out that Clapton had ordered a 512bb-inspired car. One of the Ferrari Chat users reported in October 2011 seeing the car and said that it was two-tone with dark red the predominant color, had a horizontal front grill and matte black carb covers at the rear.
Another user said in January 2012 that Clapton had received the car, but it would be displayed some time in March.
All of these items are on the car shown at H.R Owen. So it appears that this is Clapton's car.
The photos above were taken at the event by Michael P Sanwald who posted them to Twitter.
The car is part of the Ferrari Special Vehicles Program where wealthy buyers can specify unique cars to Ferrari as long as they use current Ferrari running gear. There may be suspension or brake changes, but the basic chassis and engine have to come from a current Ferrari. The other examples of these cars include the Ferrari 612-based P4/5 and the F430-based SP1.
EncyclopediaFerrari458 Italia458 Italia
V 8 (90º vee)
275 cu in
7, Double Clutch
570 hp @ 9000 rpm
Fuel consumption (combined)
17.68 US MPG
$ 290.713* based on United Kingdom prices
annual ownership cost