Ferrari 512 S Modulo, a futuristic concept capable of winning twenty-two design awards

Sportiness, elegance, innovation: these are just some of the many elements that unite the cars produced by Ferrari, famous all over the world for their unique characteristics, which make the Cavallino an institution of world motoring.

Let's go back to the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, where, among the many presentations, the concept of a completely futuristic model stands out, which according to many resembled a UFO: the prototype in question is the Ferrari 512 S Modulo, born from the hand of the usual Pininfarina, who designs this car which, essentially, must act as a research object for aerodynamic studies.

The concept of the Ferrari 512 S Modulo, more commonly known as Ferrari Modulo, after almost fifty years does not seem to have lost its charm in the least, and indeed it could be said that it has even increased: just think that in 2019, at the park of Villa Erba, the Concorso d'Eleganza of Villa Este was held, and during the traditional catwalk, the most futuristic designs were awarded, and the Ferrari Modulo, elected Most Exciting Design, or the most exhilarating.

Among other things, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo, a few years after its presentation, can already boast twenty-two design awards, proving that the concept is liked, and not a little.

The Ferrari Modulo has numerous peculiarities, such as covered wheels, a sliding passenger compartment and an extravagant wedge shape. The Pininfarina design was admired and acclaimed all over the world right from the start, thanks to the cutting-edge and incredibly sophisticated conceptual solutions: according to some official data, the car was designed to reach 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds, with the possibility of reaching a maximum speed of 354 km/h.

Today perhaps these data impress to a certain extent, but it is fair to reiterate that the model in question dates back to almost fifty years ago, and for the time similar data are nothing short of frightening.

The Ferrari Modulo stands out not only for its unusual shape, equipped with graphically mirrored solutions, but also for other innovations introduced: the car, for example, does not have doors, but the whole windshield, including the front part of the roof and of the windows, must be manually moved forward, in order to allow entry.

This system derives from research on access in cars of limited height, in this case specifically for cars that do not exceed one meter in height.

The interiors also feature completely futuristic elements: the controls are arranged on a particular sphere equipped with buttons facing the driver and positioned to his left. Despite the considerable width of the car, the distance between the driver's seat and the passenger seat is very close, and the gear lever is positioned in line with the dashboard.

Despite the enormous success achieved on an aesthetic level, the 512 Modulo will never go into production, thus leaving a bad taste in the mouth of its many admirers.

But the dream of seeing this prototype at work and fully functional pushes James Glickenhaus, a well-known American film producer, as well as a great car collector and owner of a small dealer, to buy the concept of a Ferrari 512 S Modulo from Pininfarina in 2014.

Having done this, Glickenhaus, together with his personal team, started a five-year restoration of the car, with the aim of transforming it into a fully operational car.

Today, what until a few years ago was nothing more than a simple concept, has been transformed into a fully functional prototype, equipped with a 5.0-liter V12 with 550 hp and 410 kW.

Taking advantage of the quadruple exhaust system positioned on the rear, the sound of the car is very full-bodied and heavy.

It is unclear whether Glickenhaus's 512 Modulo will ever receive the license to drive regularly on the road, but its owner has already tested it, taking it off after five years of hard work, and allowing the Pininfarina concept to come to life.


Coupé bodywork

Rear engine

Rear-wheel Drive

Length 4480 mm

Width 2048 mm

Height 935 mm

Wheelbase 2400 mm

Front track 1518 mm

Rear track 1511 mm

Multi-plate clutch

Double shell car body with modular element

Rack and pinion steering

Simone Pietro Zazza