Now that we know more about Pininfarina, we can take a look at a contrarian ‘trapezium styled’ futuristic creation that resulted from the relationship between Pininfarina and Ferrari… the Ferrari 512S Modulo! This is a one-off concept car designed by Pininfarina’s designer Paolo Martin. The pearl light blue creation was unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, where it was definitely a highlight as the weirdest Ferrari ever!
The looks of the car are not like any other Ferrari, so why did they come up with an experimental one-off prototype like this? Maybe because the Italians wanted to show that they where at another level of designing cars, a step further into the future than others. They did that with this exponent of Italian styling. And it was appreciated, because the Modulo won 22 design awards for its “pure formal research, in its international geometricity”. The prototype was also selected to represent the best of Italian coachbuilding skills at the 1970 Osaka Expo and if that was not enough, it was also displayed as envoy of Italian design in Mexico City in 1971. In hindsight it appears that it was well worth taking the risk of breaking the traditional fetters and showing something to the world that was from another world! The chassis for the car was built by Ferrari in 1968. This chassis, originally a 612 Can Am with number 0864 and later renumbered 512S no.27, was given to Pininfarina after testing, with the instruction to turn it into a show car. It became an extreme special Berlinetta. This one-off prototype Ferrari, christened ‘Modulo’, had an experimental body and, despite all its awards, was not suitable for series production. But this futuristic car definitely influenced the traditional stylistic traditions.The Modulo is characterized by two overlapping body shells, separated by a rectilinear indentation on the waistline. Front assembly, canopy and trunk were joined in a single arching curve. The ample windshield was bordered by truncated come uprights that considerably lightened the extensive surface of the front assembly. The stylistic progression of the side windows was repeated in impression on the lower section of the module, in sheet metal. The rear assembly attracted attention by the fairing around the wheels, which joins up with the bodywork, creating a cylindrical motif of particular originality. Access to the passenger compartment is obtained by sliding the entire cupola, including the windscreen, on special guides.
The interior of the cockpit was spare, with two anatomically shaped and highly elongated enveloping seats, providing a correct driving position and perfect anchoring of driver and passenger. An interesting feature is represented by the adoption of two spherical turning elements working as orientable aerator and as a support for the main controls. The Modulo has an extremely low body and all four wheels are partly covered. Another special feature of the design are twenty-four holes in the engine cover that reveal the Ferrari V12 engine which develops 550hp at 8,500 rpm and has a top speed of 220mph and can do 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. The Modulo has a length of 4,480 mm, a width of 2,048 mm, and a height of a mere 935 mm. In 2014 Pininfarina eventually sold the Modulo to James Glickenhaus, who is restoring it to full operating condition. So, sometime in the future you might see this very special one-off Ferrari shooting by (if it goes at full speed you will probably think that it was an alien passing by! ; )). I hope you enjoyed this long Italian one-off concept week! Next weeks theme will be ‘Animals’ (and cars)! The smooth alien that I mentioned above is a fan of Martin Garrix’s track ‘Animals’ (electronic music), so that inspired me for this new theme… : ) I’m afraid my imagination went a bit on the run with that alien…Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos