Pininfarina S.p.A. (short for Carrozzeria Pininfarina) is an Italian car design and coachbuilding company based in Cambiano, Turin, Italy. The company was founded by Battista “Pinin” Farina in 1930. The company and the founder are practically inseparable, so let’s see the story of the person behind the brand:
Battista “Pinin” Farina (later Battista Pininfarina) was born on 2nd November 1893 in Cortanzé, Italy. The tenth of eleven children, he was nicknamed “Pinin”(in Piedmontese means the youngest / youngest (brother), because he was the youngest child in the family). He started working in his family’s coachbuilding shop from the age of 12, and then his interest in cars was born. He worked there for many years, and after he learned the trade, his ambition drove him to set up his own company and start making his own designs.
In 1930, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina was founded to design and build new car bodies. In the same year, Farina received his first really big order, and not from just anyone: his friend and supporter Vincenzo Lancia asked him to work for him. Farina built the Lancia Dilambda, which estabilshed his career for a lifetime. From then on, there was no stopping, his fame spread quickly and far.
One of the first examples is the Cisitalia 202, he designed in 1947. This car helped to establish his reputation more firmly. The elegant style and high quality of the cars he designed soon made him famous, first in Italy and then throughout Europe. He worked with simple but well-drawn proportions, and although these shocked the public at first, but then were copied by other designers. These shapes and cars were very slow to fall out of fashion and off the road, and are still very popular with vintage car lovers today.
His most famous work was at Ferrari, begun in 1952, although much of it was directed by his son, Sergio. The story goes like this: the partnership began in 1951 with a meeting in a restaurant in a small town halfway between Turin and Modena. This neutral location was chosen because neither Farina nor Enzo Ferrari wanted to meet at each other’s headquarters. Battista’s son Sergio remember like this: ‘It’s not hard to imagine how I felt that afternoon when my father, without taking his eyes off the road for a moment, told me his decision on the way back to Turin: “From now you will look after Ferrari from A to Z. Design, engineering, technology, execution.” – Sergio’s happiness was indescribable.
Many years have passed since that meeting, a very long-lasting relationship, where the only Ferrari production which not designed by Pininfarina was the 1973 Dino 308 GT4. But this special cooperation ended with the 2012-17 Ferrari F12 berlinetta, the last model to be designed entirely by Pininfarina.
The article will continue in a later section, in which we will hear about the last years of Farina’s career and the afterlife of the company he founded.

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