Last week, the automotive world lost one of its best and brightest minds as Sergio Pininfarina died in Turin, Italy at the age of 85.
As Jalopnik and other news outlets reported, Pininfarina helmed the coachbuilding company his father started for 50 years. Under his creative guidance and Steve Jobs-like scrutiny, the Italian company would build some truly amazing cars for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and even Volvo.
When I read a list of cars Pininfarina was involved with I was pretty stunned. Let's not beat around the bush: in addition to a few workmanlike Peugeots and Lancias, the man designed or oversaw the designs of some of the most beautiful cars of all time. The kind of cars that dreams are made of.
Let's take a moment to stop and admire some examples of his best work. Let us know what your favorites are in Kinja.
Photo Credit: AP
Fiat 124 Sport Spider
"Elegant simplicity" is the phrase that comes to mind when I see this little Fiat roadster. When you look at it, it's kind of hard to tell what decade it's from — it incorporates some great styling cues from the 1950s and early 1960s without dating itself. Maybe that's why Fiat was able to make the car for nearly 20 years. These were built from 1966 to 1985.
Image credit: drew_anywhere
Alfa Romeo Spider
Pininfarina had a thing for spiders, it would seem. This design, also from the mid-1960s, is even more iconic than the Fiat roadster. Yes, it's the car from The Graudate, too.) I love the sleek shape, the concave panels along the sides, and how the triangular Alfa Romeo grill is present without being obtrusive or seeming like an afterthought.
Image credit: Count Rushmore
"Ferrari" Dino 206
This was Ferrari's first mid-engine car (even if it wasn't technically a Ferrari), and Pininfarina was one of the leading voices pushing for that layout. As the well-known story goes, Enzo Ferrari was worried it would be too dangerous for his customers, but Pininfarina got approval from the chairman after it was decided it would have a V6 engine and not one of their more powerful V12s. It's still a very sexy and fun design with its swooping fenders and flat nose.
Image credit: RaceCarBuzz
For a lot of people, if you were to ask them what a Ferrari looks like, this is probably what they would think of. Thanks to its starring role on bedroom posters everywhere and in Miami Vice, the "red head" remains one of Ferrari's biggest icons. There are some really great styling cues at work here, like the stealthy pop-up headlights, the swooping rear fenders, and of course, the side strakes. I'd say it's aged better than any other 1980s car.
Image credit: kenjonbro
The F40 may be 25 years old now, but it may just be the baddest car Ferrari has ever made. Sergio Pininfarina was the lead designer of this unbridled, unapologetic exercise in badassery, and it may just be his masterpiece. The Telegraph has a great video about it here. As for its styling, it is dominated by its massive rear wing, low and wide stance, and its gently sloping front end. The whole package is simultaneously violent and beautiful.
Image credit: FurLined