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2004 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Owned by Eric Clapton Offered for Sale

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 10/5/2018 Andrew Wendler
a car parked in front of a house: The auction of Slowhand's grand tourer is an under-the-radar opportunity to own a V-12 prancing horse at a reasonable (for Ferrari) price.© Provided by Car and Driver The auction of Slowhand's grand tourer is an under-the-radar opportunity to own a V-12 prancing horse at a reasonable (for Ferrari) price.

Although guitarist Eric Clapton's appreciation of the Ferrari marque began in the wild and woolly era of postwar Grand Prix racing, his passion for roadgoing Ferraris was kindled by his great friend, the late Beatle guitarist George Harrison. As Clapton said in his 2007 autobiography Clapton, “One day in the late '60s, he arrived at my house in a dark blue Ferrari 365GTC. I'd never seen one in the flesh before, and my heart melted. At that point, it was like seeing the most beautiful woman on earth, and I decided there and then that even though I couldn't drive, I was going to have one, too." Clapton apparently had similar feelings about Harrison's then-wife, Pattie Boyd, whom he would marry in 1979. Although Clapton divorced Boyd 10 years later, his love for the prancing horse persisted, Clapton owned several Ferraris over the ensuing years, including this 2004 615 Scaglietti, to be offered at auction by H&H Classics in the U.K. on October 17.

Issued as a replacement for the Ferrari 456, the 612 was Ferrari’s second all-aluminum vehicle after the 360 Modena. It was constructed using a space frame produced in conjunction with Alcoa. The bodies were produced at Ferrari's Carrozzeria Scaglietti and then transported to Maranello, where the mechanicals and interiors were installed. This true two-plus-two grand tourer was larger and softer than the 456 it replaced, and its comparatively zaftig shape-for a Ferrari-polarized some purists at its launch.

a car parked on the side of a road: Side (2).JPG© H&H Classics - Car and Driver Side (2).JPG

Clapton didn't seem to be of that opinion, however. He ordered this right-hand-drive 2004 615 Scaglietti to his specification. Details include red brake calipers, heated front seats, Scuderia enamel wing shields (known as fender logos to us Americans), rear parking sensors, a passenger airbag defeat, and a leather headliner. The cult of celebrity is a given at this point, so there's a silver badge on the dashboard.

Finished in Blu Mirabeau and trimmed in a suitably contrasting beige leather, it features a front, mid-mounted 5.4-liter V-12 engine rated at 533 horsepower, teamed with a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox. So equipped, the 612 Scaglietti was said to be capable of 4.2-second zero-to-62-mph time and a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

Eric Clapton Ferrari© H&H Classics - Car and Driver Eric Clapton Ferrari

In addition to this 612 Scaglietti, Clapton has also owned a Dino, a 275GTB, an Enzo, more than one 512 Berlinetta Boxer, and a 250 Lusso, which is said to be his favorite. So enamored of the 512BB was Clapton that in 2012 he commissioned a one-off homage based on a 458 Italia. Clapton, who keeps a home in Ohio, has in recent years been spotted driving a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster woodie wagon along the shores of Lake Erie.

A two-owner car, RX54 BCK registers 29,252 miles on the odometer. It was purchased by the current seller in 2016 for approximately $102,000, and auction estimates peg the hammer price as the equivalent of $71,500 to $97,500; new examples sold in the neighborhood of $250,0o0 in 2004.

The car has spent the previous two years in the temperature-regulated Auto Vault of Great Dunmow Essex, a firm that specializes in storing high-value automobiles-and which has started the Ferrari every week and driven it half a mile each month.

Though it may not inspire the same rabid cravings as some of the maker’s more exotic models, this is arguably one of the most pristine examples of a 2004 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti extant, even without the added incentive of its celebrity provenance. As current market conditions continue to elevate vintage Ferrari values into the stratosphere, this could be a rare opportunity for a savvy buyer to get a genuine Ferrari V-12 without signing a contract in blood. The car goes up for auction on October 17 at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

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