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1969 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta Speciale

1969 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta Speciale
By Nick Christensen
Posted: Feb 17th 2013, 7:44 PM

The 1969 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta Speciale concept by Pininfarina helped transition Ferrari design from vintage brick-like shapes to a much more modern wedge style that still can be seen today in models like the Ferrari 458. The 512 S Berlinetta Speciale Concept was first shown in 1969 at the Turin Auto Show in Northern Italy. Despite the 512 moniker, it didn't have a 5.0L V-12 engine. Instead, it was actually built on a damaged Ferrari 312 P Spyder racecar with a mid-mounted 3.0L (2990 cc) V-12. The wedge shaped body was penned by Filippo Sapino and featured a flip-up canopy roof. This style was a radical departure from the Ferrari designs of the past and strongly influenced the look of future Ferrari cars. Note this one-off concept shouldn't be confused by the 1970-1971 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta Speciale racecars with the same name. To add to the confusion, most 512 S Berlinetta Speciale racecars were later converted to M (modificato) specifications. Therefore, their names changed to Ferrari 512 M.

The 512 S Berlinetta Speciale concept is an important car because it was one of the first wedge-shaped designs created by a top designer during his brief employment at Pininfarina that ultimately led to two of the most popular Ferraris ever. This modern wedge shape was a first for Ferrari, but not for the automotive world. Other brands explored the same idea as seen with the Lancia Stratos Zero, Masterati Boomerand and Lamborghini Bravo. The designer, Filippo Sapino only worked for Pininfarina for a few years. He is also credited for the Ferrari 365 GTC/4 design. Ironically, Sapino is much more famous for being the Chief of Ghia, another top Italian design firm (owned by Ford), where he penned the Ford Pinto and Escort. The 512 S Berlinetta Speciale concept directly led to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer (365 GT4 BB, 512 BB, 512i BB and BB LM) from 1973 to 1984 and then the Ferrari Testarossa (Testarossa, 512 TR and F512 M) from 1984 to 1996.


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