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Tribute to Sergio Pininfarina - 1926-2012
July 3, 2012

Life Senator Sergio Pininfarina, Honorary Chairman of the Pininfarina Group, passed away last night at his home in Turin.

Sergio Pininfarina was born in Turin on September 8, 1926. He graduated in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic of Torino in 1950, then he began his career in the family firm, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina; in 1960, he undertook the responsibility of General Manager of the firm; in 1961 he became also Managing Director and in 1966, at his father's death, he took over the Chairmanship of the Company; in 2006 he became Honorary Chairman. In 1961, the President of the Italian Republic, Giovanni Gronchi, changed by decree the name Farina in Pininfarina. In 2005 he was appointed Life Senator for honouring the Country by high merits in the social field.

Concorso Italiano 2001
Ferrari 'rossa' - a Pininfarina two seater Spider concept car design from 2000.
Concorso Italiano 2001
Sergio Pininfarina (right) and Piero Ferrari at the 2001 Concorso Italiano, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the cooperation between the two companies at Concorso Italiano, 2001.
1953 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet
1953 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet with a Pininfarina body. The 342 was a 'road' version of the 340, but with 20 hp less than the predecessor. Only six were produced, and only two carry this body style.

Among the most significant stages of his activity in Pininfarina: from 1955 to 1958, the planning and the construction of new facilities at Grugliasco (Torino); the construction of the new Studies and Research Centre inaugurated in 1966; in 1972, the Wind Tunnel on 1:1 scale started its activities, the first in Italy and one of the few in the world; in 1979, Pininfarina took the form of an holding Company; in 1982, a new company "Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche S.p.A." was settled at Cambiano (Torino); in 1986, a new plant in San Giorgio Canavese - near Turin - started operating; in the same year, Pininfarina successfully entered the Italian Stock Exchange; in 1986, with the setting up the company "Pininfarina Extra S.r.l.", the Pininfarina Group enlarged its design activities towards all the areas of the industrial design, beyond the traditional one of the means of transport; in 1987 a new plant in Bairo Canavese is acquired; in 1991 "Pininfarina Deutschland GmbH" was set up; in 2002 it is inaugurated in Cambiano the new Engineering Centre; in 2003 the incorporation of the new Company "Pininfarina Sverige AB".

1963 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider
1963 Ferrari 250 SWB California. Another Pininfarina design and build by Scaglietti- the spider version has been produced from 1960 to 1963 with a total of 51 units. Later cars had recessed headlights with a perspex cover - similar to the earlier 250 LWB Californias.
Concorso Italiano 2001
1947 Cisitalia 202 SC in original, unrestored condition. Piero Dusio produced these acclaimed automobiles on a Fiat based chassis with a body by Pininfarina.
1964 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso
One more variation of the 250 GT - 1964 Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso (Luxus). Again it was designed by Pininfarina but build from 1962 to 1964 by Scaglietti in a total number of 350. This was the last model, utilizing the 3 litre, V12 engine, which debuted 1952 at the Mille Miglia in a prototype driven by Giovanni Bracco.

Sergio Pininfarina received numerous honours. The main are: he was appointed "Cavaliere del Lavoro" by the President of the Italian Republic (1976); Légion d'Honneur (Chevalier, 1979, and Officier, 1997), "Honorary Royal Designer for Industry" (1983), Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (1988), Designer Lifetime Achievement Award (1991), Super Trophée de l'"Automobile Magazine" (1992), "Guglielmo Tagliacarne" award (1994) , the "Italy in the World" award (1994), the Career Award Compasso d'Oro (1995), the "France-Italie" Award (1997), "Lion d'Oro" (1998), "Trophée du design" (1998), Premio Leonardo (1999), "Head of the Century in the International Automotive Hall of Fame" (2001), the award "Torino libera" (2001), Business and Culture Award (2003), Palme d'Or du Festival Automobile International (2005), Automotive Hall of Fame of Dearborn, Michigan (2007); European Automotive Hall of Fame of Geneva (2008). He received 4 Honorary Degrees: in 1993 the Honorary Degree in Economics and Commerce by the LUISS-Rome; in 2002 the one of the Royal College of Art of London and the one in Industrial Design of the Polytechnic of Milano; in 2004 the one as Doctor of Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies-CCS of Detroit.

Siata 208 S
1953 SIATA 208S Pininfarina Coupe in process of restoration
at Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance
Another special body by Pininfarina:
1952 Packard 2-door Fastback

Sergio Pininfarina, who led the Company for many years, will always be remembered bringing the business in the world, following the tradition of elegance and style constantly renewed with the highest standards of innovation and harmonious beauty.

The Pininfarina 75th Anniversary Historical Display

at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005 - honoring 75th years of the coachbuilder founded in 1930
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005 - 1931 Cadillac 452A Pinin Farina Roadster
1931 Cadillac 452A
Pinin Farina Roadster.
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005 - 1949 Cisitalia 202SC Pinin Farina Cabriolet
1949 Cisitalia 202SC
Pinin Farina Cabriolet.
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005 - 1956 Ferrari 410 SA Superfast Pinin Farina
1956 Ferrari 410 SA Superfast
Pinin Farina.
Battista "Pinin" Farina was born in 1893 as the tenth of eleven children, which gained him his middle name Pinin, meaning "the small one" or "baby of the family". In 1905, he joined his older brother Giovanni at Stablimenti Industriali Farina S.A., a body repair shop. By 1930, he had enough experiences and knowledge - as well as reputation - to found his own company: the S.A. Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. His first client in 1930 was Vincenzo Lancia, and in 1931 he was commissioned by the Maharaja of Orcha to create a roadster on a Cadillac V16 chassis. Commissions for Alfa Romeo followed and the company grew until the war brought the development to a sudden halt.

Within months of the end of the war, he continued his work for Lancia and Alfa Romeo. Being excluded from the Paris Auto Show of 1946, he displayed his creations - a Lancia Aprilia and an Alfa Romeo 2500 - across the street from the show's entrance, stirring a sensation. Next was the display of a Cisitalia 202 Coupe at the Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance in 1947. In 1948, Max Hoffman - who would later initiate the production of the Porsche Speedster and the distribution of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing in the US - showcased the Cisitalia 202 Pinin Farina Coupe at his New York Park Avenue showroom. Only four years later, a 202 would go on permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Pinin Farina Coupe - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b
Pinin Farina Coupe.
1963 Nash Healey Pinin Farina Roadster - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005
1953 Nash Healey
Pinin Farina Roadster.
1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Pininfarina Coupe - the Springer Pagoda - Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2005
1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL
Pininfarina Coupe,
the Springer Pagoda.

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