• James Glickenhaus’ One-Off Ferrari Modulo Catches Fire, Damage Could Have Been a Lot Worse

It’s horrible and a relief at the same time

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James Glickenhaus’ one-off Ferrari Modulo sustained some damage recently after a certain section of the car caught fire while it was being driven around in Monaco last week. Fortunately, the fire didn’t engulf the entire car after Glickenhaus triggered the onboard fire suppression system shortly after flames started to appear from the car’s muffler. The system was able to extinguish the fire quickly, but not after the car’s rear end, including parts of the decklid, suffered a fair amount of damage. It’s hard to imagine a world without the one-off Ferrari Modulo concept so it’s a good thing that the damage caused by the fire isn’t bad enough that it can’t be replaced. Sucks for the company that supplied the muffler, though. Glickenhaus ended all association with the company after the incident, and, frankly speaking, we can’t blame him.

Remember when James Glickenhaus bought the one-off Ferrari Modulo Concept from Pininfarina back in 2014? Nobody thought that anyone could pry the Modulo off of Pininfarina’s vault, but James Glickenhaus is no ordinary man. This is, after all, the same person who was behind the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, a one-off Ferrari that was redesigned by Pininfarina at the behest of Glickenhaus. Clearly, if there was someone that could convince the Italian design house to part ways with the Module, it would be Glickenhaus. And so the purchase happened five years ago, and, at that time, Glickenhaus promised that he would turn the spaceship-looking oddity into an actual, fully functional road car.

It took some time, but the Modulo finally appeared on the road in 2018, looking every bit like the Jetsonian masterpiece that it was when Pininfarina created it back in 1970. As funky as it looks, the Modulo remains a Ferrari-at-heart. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter V-12 engine that produces 550 horsepower and it’s built on a modernized take of the Ferrari 512S race car’s chassis and aerodynamics. It took four years for Glickenhaus to complete the build and turn the Modulo into a fully functional car, so you can imagine how much care and attention he puts into ensuring that it remains in pristine condition, even if it does go on the road every once in a while.

Unfortunately, Glickenhaus’ decision to take it out for a drive recently in Monaco almost ended with the car burning to a crisp. An issue with the Modulo’s muffler sparked a fire that was could have engulfed the whole car if Glickenhaus didn’t act quickly and engaged the onboard fire suppression system. The quick reaction spared more damage on the Modulo, though it still sustained burn marks in the rear, including certain sections of the decklid.

Glickenhaus himself posted on Twitter to assure his followers that the Modulo is still in one piece, even if parts of it got damaged. Not surprisingly, he also added that the firm that designed the muffler is no longer involved in his company. “I followed procedure slowed to keep fire behind (the) car and activated onboard system which extinguished (the) fire,” Glickenhaus tweeted. “No serious damage. I checked (the) car and set off. We’ll drive her tomorrow thru Casino Square.”

All’s well that ends well, it seems. Glickenhaus hasn’t said if he plans to repair the damages sustained by the Modulo, but knowing this man, he’s probably already working on doing it. This is James Glickenhaus we’re talking about. Anything less than pristine isn’t good enough for him.

Oh, and one other thing that’s not good enough? The muffler company.

Further reading

1970 Ferrari Modulo
- image 325136

Read our full review on the 1970 Ferrari Modulo Concept.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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