Pininfarina is an Italian design house that has penned the lines of many great cars from around the world. The company, officially called Pininfarina S.P.A. was founded in Turin, Italy in 1930 by Battista “Pinin” Farina. Since then it has built vehicles, as well as designed them for diverse manufacturers globally from Ferrari to Maserati, and General Motors to Hyundai. Some of the company’s designs to this day still evoke awe. A review of just five Ferrari production car designs does not seem to do the design company justice, but that is what is attempted here.
The collaboration reaches back to the 1950s
Pininfarina has received a lot of design work for production cars from Ferrari as far back as the 1950s. Many iconic Ferrari cars are the result of Pininfarina’s design work. When one has the opportunity to view the result of these two companies coming together, the awe factor is still real.
1962 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The Pininfarina designed car is considered by many collectors as the perfect classic Ferrari. In fact, Battista himself liked the Lusso design so much that he kept one as a daily driver for a while. The car is larger and more elegant than the 250 GT model it is based on while retaining only two seats.
1975 Ferrari 308 series
Of the many Ferrari and Pininfarina collaborations, the 1975 Ferrari 308 series vehicles is one of the standouts. Examples of those cars would eventually be seen in the Magnum P.I. television shows in the early 1980s. The car would morph into the 288 GTO in 1984 with a more beefed up appearance due to the headlight and front bumper treatment, but the original design elements from Pininfarina is still there.
1984 Ferrari Testarossa
The next notable Ferrari to roll out with Pininfarina’s touch is the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa. That car’s design, at the time, was a game-changer. For many fans of automotive design, the Testarossa was the first car they saw that dressed up the engine air inlets. Prior to this car, air inlets were sculpted flowing holes in the body lines. The Testarossa’s introduction, however, made the air inlet a flamboyant design element. Side strakes began as far forward as the doors and grew in intensity as they reached the actual inlet in the lower three-quarter panel. Call it jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, or whatever you want, the fact remains that the side strakes feature can not be ignored.
1987 Ferrari F40
Big wings had gone away with the Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbirds of the 1960s and 1970s. The design feature was frowned upon by the buying public. Many big wing cars had a hard time moving off of dealer lots at that time. So, for a public that had for the most part forgotten about the silly big wing, the introduction of the 1987 Ferrari was an affront. Yet, for Ferrari fans, it is beautiful. The Ferrari F40 is not only a supercar powerhouse, but Pininfarina also designed it with one of those big wings.
2011 Ferrari FF
If the big wing of the F40 is an affront to some people, the idea of a hatchback or wagonesque shooting-brake model in the Ferrari lineup is enough to blow people’s minds. That is exactly what the FF model is. The four-seat, naturally aspirated V12 propelled, four-wheel drive car shocked the world when it was introduced. Pininfarina kept the Ferrari purists in mind by keeping the Ferrari resemblance in the front. The design of the back of the car, however, was such a departure from the sports coupe lines that fans had grown accustomed to, that the car was initially polarizing. But the Pininfarina design is so seductive that the car has become highly desired even by those who initially hated it.
The five Ferrari models described above are just the tip of the iceberg for production cars that Pininfarina has had a hand in. There are plenty of other production cars in the Ferrari stables that are not mentioned. Also, there are numerous concept cars that the two collaborated on. In a nutshell, both companies seem to have worked well together in forming beautiful designs laid over powerhouse vehicles. As far as Pininfarina, nobody can argue with the awe-inspiring design of these five models that are still timeless to this day.