Italian car designer





Paolo Martin, an Italian car designer who has worked for Bertone, Pininfarina, and Ghia, is best known for the Ferrari Modulo concept car he created while at Pininfarina.

Martin's original design for the Modulo was sketched in the corner of a drafting table in the space of a few minutes. Pininfarina's management was skeptical of it.

The following August, when the company was essentially shut down for summer vacations, Martin came in on his own time to build a three-dimensional mockup of his design, utilizing Styrofoam and a variety of makeshift tools.

Management took a look the result--and remained wary. The mockup was left under a cover in a corner of the photographic studio.

A few months later, however, with the 1970 Geneva Motor Show approaching and Pininfarina needing a concept car for it, Martin was handed a drawing of a Ferrari chassis and told to adapt his design to its dimensions.

He still was not given a completely free hand: the chief engineer kept substituting a conventional glass rear window for Martin's sheet of black metal with large circular cutouts, but each time Martin replaced the glass with his original design. The finishing touches to the car's paint were made on the truck to Geneva.

Still wary of public reaction to the design, Pininfarina did not give the prototype a place of prominence at the show.

Things changed dramatically once the car was unveiled. The Modulo dazzled the public as well as the automotive press, and went on to win 22 international design awards.