Sergio Pininfarina inherited his father’s passion for creating beautiful automobiles. Born Sergio Farina, the son of the famed auto designer, Battista “Pinin” Farina, Sergio was born in Turin, Italy in 1926. Upon his 1950 graduation from Polytechnic of Torino, Sergio went to work at his father’s famed company, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. In 1951, at Sergio’s initiation, Enzo Ferrari met Battista and Sergio at a restaurant in Tortona, between Ferrari’s base in Modena and Pininfarina’s base in Torino. The first product that resulted from the arrangement that evening was the Ferrari 212 Inter-Cabriolet. Pininfarina took responsibility for all aspects of Ferrari design, engineering and production in a relationship that lasted a half century.
Sergio brought a flair for marketing as well as design to the family business, scoring his first successes in collaboration with Ferrari. Convinced that a new consumer market was emerging, Pininfarina urged Ferrari to let him design two auto-body prototypes for a new 12-cylinder race car-quality vehicle under production, the 250 GTO and the 250 GTE in the early 1960s.
In 1961, Battista turned over day-to-day management of Carrozzeria Pinin Farina to Sergio, as managing director, and his son-in-law Renzo Carli as CEO. Battista retained his role as chairman. Over time, Sergio and Ferrari formed an inseparable bond that propelled both companies to international fame. Sergio was made a member of Ferrari’s board of directors in 1969.
Sergio never lost sight of the brand’s values: purity, elegance, and innovation. Under Sergio’s leadership, a stunning array of beautiful cars were produced, including the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider, Fiat 124 Spider, and Bentley Azure. His company styled a sequence of iconic Ferraris, such as the 250 GTB, Daytona, 288 GTO, F40, and later, the 2002 Ferrari Enzo. By the 1980s, production at Pininfarina’s factories had increased to more than 50,000 units per year which included Alfa Romeos, Bentleys, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Ferraris, Fiats, Maseratis, Nash, Peugeots, Rolls Royces, and Volvos.
Sergio did not limit his intellect and drive to the auto industry. He was elected a member of European Parliament in 1979 and served until 1988. In 1989, Sergio was appointed a board member for the Association for the Monetary Union of Europe, in charge of the Italian delegation.
In 2007, Sergio Pininfarina was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan honoring his 50 plus years of manufacturing excellence and compelling design.