HomeCar CultureItaly honors Pininfarina with postage stamp

Italy honors Pininfarina with postage stamp

Image of Modulo concept car selected to celebrate design company’s 90th anniversary


It seemed only fitting that when Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development decided to honor Pininfarina’s 90th anniversary with a postage stamp, that Pininfarina would be selected to design that stamp.

After all, Pininfarina is best known for its automotive designs, though it also does vehicle assembly.

The stamp, issued on October 8, features the Modulo, a Ferrari-based Pininfarina concept car unveiled 50 years ago. The stamp is part of Italy’s “The Excellences of the Productive and Economic System” series of stamps and is valued at £1.10.

Plans call for an initial printing of 400,000 of the stamps by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato S.p.A. First-day cancellation examples are available at the philatelic counter of the post office of Cambiano (Turin), Pininfarina’s hometown.

“Automotive design meets the fascinating world of philately and gives life to a miniature work of art,” said Pininfarina chairman Paolo Pininfarina at the issuing ceremony. “This further recognition is a wonderful gift for our anniversary. It is proof that, after 90 years, we continue to live in the collective imagination as a symbol of Italian style, that combination of elegance and innovation the rest of the world identifies with our country.”  

Noting that the Modulo was considered “the car from the future,” Pininfarina chief executive Silvio Angori added, “As designers we are always called on to anticipate tomorrow on the basis of our dreams and to interpret technology in an emotional way. This will continue to be our mission, even when we reach 100.”

In addition to being displayed at auto shows, Modulo was selected to represent Italian coachbuilders at Expo 1970 in Osaka, Japan. 

“It soon became the archetype of automotive design of the 1970s: from that moment on, a number of supercars would find their inspiration in the lean, descending front hood, the low roof and the wedge profile,” Pininfarina added in its news release about the stamp.

“Developed on a Ferrari 512S chassis and just 93 cm tall, the Modulo is characterized by two overlapping body shells, separated by a rectilinear indentation on the waistline,” the company continued. 

“The front, canopy and trunk are combined in a single arching curve; the broad windscreen is bordered by truncated cone pillars that greatly lighten the sweeping surface of the front assembly. Access to the cockpit is gained by sliding the entire cupola, including the windscreen, on special guides. 

“The interior of the cockpit is basic, with two anatomically shaped and very elongated, wrap-round seats for a correct driving position and a perfect anchorage of driver and passenger. Two unique rotating spherical elements act as a swivel ventilator and support for the main controls.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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