Coffee and a Concept: Ferrari Modulo

The Modulo won several design awards and was hailed by automotive writers and critics as a revolutionary design.

At the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari unveiled a new concept car called the Modulo. Designed largely by Paolo Martin of Pininfarina, the Modulo stole the show. It’s ultra-low, wedge-shaped bodywork and canopy-like glass roof were showstoppers, but the partially covered wheels and engine cover holes that revealed the large V12 powering the concept were indications that this was something special.

The underpinnings of the Modulo are from a Ferrari 512S, specifically chassis and engine #27, with conversions to the more powerful 612 Can Am specification. The chassis was then given to Pininfarina to design a car around. Martin worked out designs for the car and the build began.

Originally, the Ferrari Modulo show car was painted black, but was later repainted white to better showcase its shape.

The car features a V12 engine that outputs 550 horsepower, giving it a top speed of about 220 miles per hour. It’s 0-60 mph sprint time is a theoretical 3.0 seconds, but has never been tested.

Aside from the engine, which was already in use by Ferrari at the time, the Modulo’s design features that later saw production in other vehicles were the engine ports and unique windscreen angle. While the angle was modified for more realistic street use, the extreme cant became a hallmark of Ferrari supercars for a short while as the wedge design hit its popular peak. Unfortunately, it’s unusual canopy-style roof opening was never to be used in production.

The Modulo itself won several design awards and was hailed by automotive writers and critics as a revolutionary design. Today, the Modulo is owned by film producer James Glickenhaus and has undergone restoration to full operating condition. It makes regular visits as a featured exhibit at various automotive museums, including the Museum of Pininfarina in Italy.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at