From May 24th to June 3rd, enthusiasts will have the unique opportunity to bid on Pininfarina’s first-ever NFT collection at RM Sotheby’s. The basis is the radical concept car Modulo from 1970, which was designed in the design house.
The assembled audience must have gasped loudly and collectively when the Pininfarina Modulo was unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. Designer Paolo Martin, who also designed the Rolls-Royce Camargue and the Lancia Montecarlo, among other things, had created a veritable spaceship for planet Earth: a hyper-futuristic “rounded wedge” with two overlapping bodyshells with fully covered wheels and a glass one Canopy that swings forward to allow entry. At the rear was a second glass canopy with 24 openings that contained the Ferrari V12 engine and a 512S chassis that gave the 900-pound Modulo a theoretical top speed of around 354 kilometers per hour.
Only the previous year had a person set foot on the moon and now it seemed as if space travel had landed on the home planet. A car that looked out of this world. What could be crazier? For example, if the chance arose to actually own a Modulo yourself, albeit virtually. This is the offer that Pininfarina and RM Sotheby’s are making next week: between May 24th and June 3rd it will be possible to bid to buy the first NFT Collection offered by the legendary Italian design house.
For their investment, the winning bidders will receive one or five unique NFT digital art “packages” celebrating the Modulo in “a blend of design, music and technology.” The bundle includes a digital booklet containing Martin’s original drawings for the concept car, which have been kept in the Pininfarina archive for more than 50 years and have never been shown to the public before.
There are also two physical prints of these works, each signed by current Pininfarina CEO Paolo Pininfarina. Additional elements include five digital art renderings and five one-off video-animated NFTs by renowned artist Sasha Serota. Serota, a Los Angeles-based singer, musician and audio engineer who also produced Justin Bieber’s debut album Purpose, placed each of these five video animations in one of the five decades of the modulo. He calls them modulo 70, 80, 90, 00 and 10.
Not only is there an additional, also unique digital representation of the Modulo, the winning bidders will also receive a series of “live” VIP experiences such as a private tour of the Pininfarina Museum, a meeting with the car design department of the legendary styling company and an “immersion” in the virtual laboratory of the creative people.
“Pininfarina and the NFT community are a good fit because they share the same values and innovative design that also make up our core,” says Paolo Pininfarina. “This project is an exciting endeavor for Pininfarina because it brings a historical vision to life in the metaverse while providing real-world benefits.”
“Our international reputation is built on innovation and beauty, and we’ve never been afraid to radically challenge convention and embrace new technology. The Metaverse is where Pininfarina can continue to innovate and change without limits, and where we can bring our unique DNA to not only established enthusiasts, but also to a new generation of enthusiasts,” Pininfarina is confident.
As many Classic Driver readers may know, Pininfarina sold the real Modulo in 2014 to film director and producer James Glickenhaus, who began a new career as an automaker. The boss of the super sports car brand and endurance racing team Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus already had a garage full of rare and valuable classic cars before he bought the Modulo for an undisclosed sum. At the time, the car could only be exhibited statically, but Glickenhaus had it carefully restored and transformed the Modulo into a fully drivable hypercar. In 2019, as in Geneva, it also caused breathless amazement among the audience at the Concorso d’Elegance Villa d’Este, but shortly afterwards the rear caught fire when Glickenhaus was driving on the hot, traffic-clogged streets of Monaco.
A quick reaction saved the magnificent creation from being completely destroyed. But the result was a scorched and burned rear end – the suspected cause being that the exhaust system was poorly routed. Anyone who bids for the Modulo NFT collections does not have to worry about this, you can also pay with a cryptocurrency.
However, RM Sotheby’s warns that it will be necessary to have a digital wallet “capable of supporting and accepting the NFT.” If that “wallet” cannot afford the investment, then so is access to the NFT impossible. So you could also lose your car in the Metaverse…