The Italian artist Battista Pinin Farina (1893-1966) founded his car body and design company Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in 1930, and at the suggestion of the Minister of Justice, Farina received permission from the Italian President in 1961 to change his surname to Pininfarina. After the death of Battista, his son Sergio (1926-2012) and his grandson Andrea (1957-2008) took over the management of the company, which has since been renamed Pininfarina S. p. A.
Alfa Romeo always played a special role in the life of the Farinas. In more than 70 years of cooperation, numerous car bodies have been created in the design studio. The nephew of Battistas, Nino, began his racing career in 1933 with an Alfa Romeo. As a member of the racing team, he assured the car manufacturer of victory at the first ever Formula 1 World Championship.
The first vehicle the young Battista created for Alfa Romeo was the convertible 6C Gran Sport Supercharged. In 1932, the 8C 2300 was revolutionized by the use of a highly inclined windshield and in 1935 the oval shape of the 6C 2300, and Pininfarina’s designs were well received not only in Europe, but also in the United States. The Giulietta Spider (1950) is one of Pininfarina’s masterpieces, and the car is now considered to be the most beautiful roadster ever built.
But it was not only beauty of form that determined the house’s line. The ingenious body builder recognised the importance of flow benefits early on and built one of the first wind tunnel systems. The daring models and spectacular techniques quickly gained prestige. Soon, customers included Alfa Romeo and Ferrari as well as Maserati, Jaguar and Peugeot.
After the Second World War, Battista redefined the sports car with the Cristalia 202. Directed by his son Sergio, the coachwork maker built a series of Ferraris. In 1967 the 246, affectionately called Dino, was born, one of the most exciting Ferrari models ever built. The expiry of several major orders in 2005 and 2006 in connection with the construction of a factory brought Pininfarina S. p. A. to the brink of ruin. Andrea negotiated a restructuring plan with the creditors in 2006. After the tragic accidental death of Andrea Farinas in August 2008, his brother Paolo took over the company with a debt of around 600 million euros. Whether Pininfarina S. p. A. will suffer the same fate as Carrozzeria Bertone must show the future.