Sergio Pininfarina and Ferrari

Classic, to please Enzo. Innovative, to please himself.

Photo credit Wheelsage

Sergio Pininfarina, son of Pinin and father of Lorenza, Andrea and Paolo (the latter now chairman of Pininfarina SpA), is the man behind the entire generation of magnificent Ferraris “bodied in Turin”. It was his father who decided to entrust him with the responsibility of coming up with excellent solutions commensurate with the expectations of Enzo Ferrari. This was a decision taken following rather clandestine meeting, in 1951, between the Maranello-based car maker and the famous coachbuilder. The two met half each other way at the “Aurora Girarrosto” restaurant in Tortona, because neither wanted to be seen as making the first move by visiting the other’s facilities! From that day on, the young Sergio, fresh out of university with an engineering degree, looked after the aesthetics of the Ferraris dressed by the company. “I always took care to avoid making them too innovative, as Ferrari was not one to appreciate sudden advances. Instead, I always gave him sporty but elegant and refined bodies — magnificent bodies befitting his extraordinary engines”, Sergio told us during a long interview given at the time of the presentation of the Enzo, his perfect last creation.

Could he have built revolutionary Ferraris, we wonder? Well, here are three cars that, by themselves, provide the answer to that question.

1966. At the Paris Motor Show, Pininfarina unveiled a concept car called the Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina, which prefigured the style of the future Dino. The car’s innovative features included its three-seat, central-drive configuration, an idea taken up many years later by McLaren with its F1 GT. Giovanni Agnelli loved the car and had a second one built for himself.

1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale

1969. Pininfarina took up a challenge issued by race driver and journalist Paul Frere and his magazine Automobile Revue, namely to turn the Ferrari 312 F1, characterized by a magnificent tangle of exhaust pipes on top of its rear section, into a safety-oriented Formula 1 prototype: the Sigma Grand Prix. The Sigma was full of ideas, many of which were adopted over the following years, and it boasts modern lines even by today’s standards.

1969 Pininfarina Sigma Grand Prix

The 1970 Ferrari 512 S Pininfarina Modulo left everyone open-mouthed when it was first presented at that year’s Geneva Car Show. Italy’s coachbuilders were all turning out their most splendid creations at the time and Sergio wanted it to be clear that Pininfarina was ahead of them all.

Ferrari 512 S Pininfarina Modulo