News - Pininfarina
Vale Sergio Pininfarina
Design icon: One of Sergio Pininfarina’s famous car designs was the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa.
Car world mourns Italian car design legend Sergio Pininfarina
4 July 2012
SERGIO Pininfarina, honorary chairman of the Pininfarina Group, long time member of the board at Ferrari and sometimes referred to as the godfather of Italian car design, has died aged 85 at his home in Turin.
He is credited with designing numerous iconic cars and was behind the Ferrari Dino that first appeared in concept form at the 1965 Paris motor show.
Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo praised Sergio’s work with the 2002 Ferrari Enzo flagship hypercar, 1984 Ferrari Testarossa sports car and 2003 Maserati Quattroporte luxury sedan.
Sergio’s team was also responsible for more modest cars such as the Alfa Romeo 164 sedan launched in 1987 and the 1995 Peugeot 406 coupe.
In 1950, Sergio joined the family coachbuilding firm Carrozzeria Pininfarina – founded by his father Battista – after graduating from Turin Polytechnic qualified in mechanical engineering.
Ten years later, Sergio became managing director and took over as chairman when his father died in 1966.
Left: Sergio Pininfarina with a Maserati Quattroporte.
Mr Pininfarina sat on the board of Ferrari from 1969 to 2011, and became honorary chairman at Pininfarina in 2006.
He was also active in Italian politics and was appointed life senator to the Italian republic in 2005.
Among Mr Pininfarina’s achievements were the construction of Italy’s first wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing in 1972 and Pininfarina’s successful flotation on the Italian stock exchange in 1986, followed a year later by branching into industrial design.
Mr Montezemolo issued a statement honouring Sergio and his associating with the Prancing Horse, describing him as “an exceptional person who connected his name indissolubly with our history and our success”.
“First with Enzo and then with me, he designed some of the most iconic models, such as the Testarossa or the Enzo, just to name two. I wish to remind you of the work we've done together for the Maserati Quattroporte, which remains one of the most beautiful cars ever built.
“He was a great advocate of Italian design, thanks to his sense for elegance.”
Mr Pininfarina is survived by wife Giorgia, son Paolo, who is current chairman and CEO of Pinifarina, and daughter Lorenza, who is vice chairman.
In early 2009 the Pininfarina family relinquished 50.6 per cent of the company, resulting from almost €600 million ($A736 million at current exchange rates) of accumulated debts.
The sell-off took place less than five months after CEO Andrea Pininfarina – Sergio's son – was killed in an accident while riding a Vespa scooter.
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