One of the Greatest of All Time Passes @ 85: Sergio Pininfarina

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When asked; “What makes a good design?” Sergio Pininfarina responded: “good harmony, classic style, proportion, grace — and honesty,” adding with a small smile, “Then, if you have good taste, the battle is won.”

Sergio lived his life with incredibly good taste. The designer of some of, if not most of the world’s best looking sports cars, passed on July third, in Turin, Italy at age 85.

Mr. Pininfarina scored his first success in collaboration with Ferrari in the 250 GTO in the early 1960’s and never looked back.

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Ferrari would not be Ferrari without Pininfarina. Ferrari built the machines, and basically Pininfarina clothed them.

Mr. Pininfarina’s firm worked with many other carmakers over the last 50 years, including some in the United States. The Pininfarina stamp — an “f” surmounted by a crown — has appeared in millions of cars by Alfa Romeo, Fiat, MG, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Bentley, Volvo and Peugeot. But for most of that time Mr. Pininfarina was, in effect, the design department of Ferrari. Only a handful of car models made by Ferrari were designed by other companies.

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For a while, Mr. Pininfarina stood as the chief custodian of Italian styling in cars. His firm designed prototypes for models that sold about 50,000 units a year by the mid-1980s, compared with about 500 in the early 1960s, and the success gave him freedom to design not only “affordable” cars but high-end and even one-of-a-kind vehicles for the very wealthy.

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“I am a lucky man, because I design cars for a few people,” he said in a interview with The New York Times. “So in my life, I always design what I like. I sell cars to people who like what I like.”

Thank God there are men who chase what they believe is correct and not what is expected. 2012 has called two of the world’s greatest designers in Sergio and Butzi. Without them we’d all be driving a Camry…what ever that is.

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One Response to “One of the Greatest of All Time Passes @ 85: Sergio Pininfarina”

  1. Sam Danenberger IV Says:

    The House of Pininfarina was/is the ultimate carrozzeria in Italy…………….the Greatest Lancias all styled by Farina.
    R.I.P. Sergio.

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