Pininfarina’s History Makes Us Excited For the Future
Photography by Federico Bajetti
85 years of designing some of the most iconic and “Italian” cars ever is a huge achievement, and deserves a long and heartfelt applause. If we still enjoy the sight of classic Ferraris, Cisitalias, Lancias, Peugeots, and more, much of it is thanks to Pininfarina. Sure, it didn’t design every car in the world, but those that came from its factory in Grugliasco left a mark in automotive history.
Celebrations were held in the Castello del Valentino, one of Turin’s most iconic and significant locations. Despite financial troubles and the possible acquisition of the company by Indian Mahindra, the celebrations made Pininfarina look strong and proved it is still very much capable of producing mind-melting concept cars.
Looking at the Pininfarina personnel proudly working on the cars, one just feels the attachment they still have to the designs the company helped bring to life. There’s a strong dignity in that.
In one place, we saw gathered a Ferrari 212 Export Cabriolet, the first ever Ferrari made by Pininfarina, which was accompanied by other Ferraris, including the P4/5 and the 4-door Pinin, the Cisitalia 202, Lancias, Alfa Romeos, a Nash-Healey, Peugeots, and Fiats. Most on display were one-off cars or rare models, like the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 “short nose” alloy-bodied GT and the Testarossa Spider; seeing them in one place was a truly mesmerizing experience.
It is a shame that no cars are currently coming out from the factory with such a glorious name—if Pininfarina is still and quiet for much longer, I believe an empty hole will be left inside every car enthusiast.
What Pininfarina has done through the years helped set the benchmark of design for automobiles. All the cars designed by it have a distinctive, neat, straight, simple-yet-elegant design that is instantly identifiable. Its design style can be compared to a classic men’s suit, always in fashion.
Take the Cisitalia 202, for example: no other car had the same proportions, and now, it inspires feelings of maturity, elegance and creativity. It has the perfect Pininfarina proportions, not aggressive, yet very emotional. A masterpiece.
How is it possible that a company that created many icons with people like Aldo Brovarone, Battista, and Sergio Pininfarina could stop making cars? I prefer not to see these things under the light of financial papers and a worker’s protest.
For one day, everything that made this coachbuilder famous was on display from the vibrant cornice of Turin. It has to be like this—nothing else would be fitting—and we’ll all hope the company will have many more designs for the future.