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Generation 1 Ignition Module

First Gen. 1969 thru 1978


The First Gen was manufactured as a performance ignition upgrade part for race cars before becoming known by the Perma-Tune name. The part became popular with street car drivers because it had the side effect of electrically reducing wear and tear on the breaker points. It was like the car was permanently tuned up, hence the name Perma-Tune. Since then the Perma-Tune product name has remained in continuous production exclusively in America.

The ignition module pictured is the first to carry the Perma-Tune name. The original ignition looked very similar to this one except that the cooling fins were longer. It was invented by Dr. Theodore Sturm, a German immigrant, and was licensed to Aero Design Products of Newport Beach, CA for manufacturing.

The electrical design of the First Gen Perma-Tune is what is known as a push – pull capacitive discharge ignition. The electrical output was bipolar with one terminal of the ignition coil primary circuit receiving + 200 Volts while the other receives a simultaneous – 200 Volts. The improvement over Kettering ignition was dramatic in terms of combustion efficiency and engine performance.

In the 1970s’ the US Federal Government passed emissions and safety laws for new cars, including imports. In order to meet the new emissions standards, the First Gen Perma-Tunes were installed on all new Ferrari cars entering the US through the port of Los Angeles.

Not much information on the technical details of the First Gen Perma-Tune have survived the years. The test harness for the First Gen is long gone but what we do know is the color code of the wiring harness. We can still test these ignitions so if you want us to test your Perma-Tune, please provide us the wiring harness with the module.

Red = 12 Volt battery power
Violet = 12 Volt key power
Yellow = breaker points
Green = coil + terminal
Black = coil – terminal
White = tachometer
Black wire screwed to the bottom of the part = ground