During the late 1960s and early 1970s, automakers were engaged in a pitched battle to see who could design the ultimate wedge-shaped car. To help design their entry, Ferrari approached Carrozzeria Pininfarina. The result was the 512 S Modulo concept that debuted at the 1970 Salon international de l’automobile Genève. Standing a mere thirty-seven inches high, the 512 S amazed and inspired at the same time.
The Modulo featured several design innovations including overlapping body shells that were joined at the waist by an encircling band and a trapezoidal shape that placed the two seats at the center of the car. Entrance was gained through another innovative design feature: a sliding cupola, windshield and all, moved along a special guide track to completely expose the passenger compartment. This feature is best expressed in the 1967 concept sketch rendered by Paolo Martin.
The debut of the Modulo is often cited as the opening salvo in the battle to produce the car with lowest profile. Many elite automakers continue that struggle today.
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