Ex-Clapton 250 GT ‘SWB’ inspires Ferrari’s latest Tailor Made project

At the Techno Classica show in Essen, Ferrari’s Tailor Made department has revealed a personalised California T, inspired by the ex-Eric Clapton 250 GT ‘Short Wheelbase’…

Despite not even possessing a driver’s license at the time, rock legend Eric Clapton fell for Ferrari in the late 1960s. In his autobiography, ‘Slowhand’ recalls when he was visited by George Harrison in his dark blue 365 GTC. “I had never seen a Ferrari before, but I fell in love instantly.”

It wasn’t until 2001 that Clapton took custody of the 250 GT ‘SWB’, chassis number 2335GT. Its first owner had complained to the factory about both the incorrect specification of his car and the service he’d received, prompting Enzo Ferrari to install the more powerful ‘Competizione’ engine from the Le Mans class-winning ‘SWB’ – as well as a raft of other special upgrades – as a gesture of goodwill.

Inspired by the famous 250, Ferrari’s Tailor Made department in Maranello has personalised a California T Handling Speciale for its show stand at Techno Classica in Essen. Resplendent in Grigio Scuro, the car features the same burgundy stripe as the 250, as well as aged ‘Heritage Bordeaux’ leather seats, complete with ribbing akin to that on the old car. A one-off creation, the car is said to demonstrate how the spirit of classic Ferraris can be projected into the present. We’d have loved to have seen more extensive customisation – of the bodywork, for example. Nevertheless, it’s a tasteful homage to a significant 1960s Ferrari, and we’re pleased to see the company embracing its illustrious past. 

Photos: Ferrari, Tom Shaxson for Classic Driver © 2015

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