[ENG] Speedline for Ferrari 550 SL1363 : A swan song for the Modular.

It is only fitting that i address a term that defines the wheel-as-object-of-interest by itself.

The modular wheel. It is a 3 piece wheel but with gusto. To put it in plain english, a 3 piece wheel for some exotics, mainly Ferraris.

3 piece wheels are good and beautiful but not the most telling for non-enthusiasts.

« What is the point of having several pieces of wheels for your race car ? Isn’t it compromising for safety ? »

There was a need to find a word that would convey its main advantage.

In french we say « demontable » (meaning something that can be taken apart, the term « split rims » is close in meaning) but still it wasn’t obvious enough.

Ferrari enthusiasts and / or Speedline Marketing dept got the bull’s eye.

IMG_20200614_172710

Modular.

Now it is endlessly adjustable – well in practice not so much considering the pain of dealing with the Speedline factory gasket (not sealant !) – and clearly so.

That’s proper racecar stuff.

« They need to adjust on the fly tire sizes and specs. Only a modular wheel gives you that ability. »

And damn does that ability looks good.

The first instance of Speedline x Ferrari Modularity came in 1984 with the 288 GTO Wheel ( Speedline code SL 103) and please do correct me if there was a true speedline modular wheel for Ferrari before.

Then came the classic Ferrari F40 wheel, and some grey area Mistrals, tho’ not Ferrari stamped, made specifically for the 512TR.

And then ? The ferrari F50 made do without Modularity. More mundane cars like the 360 did so as well, tho’ some BBS RT were available on option, From a 6 foot distance they look alike the 550 Barchettas but once closer the lack of finesse shows.

In 2000 things changed drastically when came the 550 Barchetta.

A limited edition of 448 worlwide, a 550 maranello with the roof chopped off, it was an exciting car of a not so italian GT car.

The modular had to come back to ascertain the italianate factor.

IMG_20200614_172640

And to the fore front they came.

A good modular is a no brainer.

Take a good design 5 spokes no more no less, give it barrels, ample lips and matte hardware, tighten everything together and there you have it.

I should conclude, i guess, but wondering if there is a future for the Modular or really any sort of 3 piece wheels.

Nowadays it is all about the Monoblock, be it forged or flow formed.

They are just as strong and definitely lighter.

The next frontier, the carbon wheel even stronger and lighter naturally bends toward a 1 piece hegemon.

Conveniently, i reach the overarching goal of this site : celebrating the glorious details of a just as glorious era.

The Modular is dead; Long live the Modular !

Specs of the wheel :

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