Tuesday 3 July 2012

R.I.P: Sergio Pininfarina passes away aged 85

Renowned automotive designer, Sergio Pininfarina passed away last night at his home aged 85.
Pininfarina, honorary chairman of the Pininfarina Group, ran an automotive design house of the same name and is credited with some of the most iconic automotive designs over the last 50 years.

Pininfarina began his career in 1950 and became general manager ten years later. Following his father’s demise in 1966, he took over the chairmanship of the company.

He supervised numerous collaborations with Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat, Maserati, Vauxhall and Peugeot. More recently, Pininfarina became involved with many Chinese automakers.

The Turin Polytechnic alumna designed several successful production and concept cars during his time as chief of Pininfarina, including the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT, 1968 Ferrari 250 P/5 and 2003 Maserati Quattroporte.
Fiat 124 Spider

However, Pininfarina’s work was not limited to exotic vehicles as he also designed the Fiat 124 Sport Spider, the Alfa Romeo Spider, and the Peugeot 406 coupĂ© and 306.

In 2005, he was appointed Life Senator and 2008 saw his eldest son, Andrea die due to a traffic accident.

Sergio Pininfarina directed the construction of the firm’s facilities in Grugliasco, an R&D centre, Italy’s first wind tunnel and launch on the Italian stock exchange. In 1987, he established an industrial design centre, marking the brand’s ambitions beyond automotive design.

“Sergio had an extraordinary taste in design,” Fabrizio Giugiaro, head of styling at Italdesign Giugiaro, told Automotive News. “We have lost a long-time great friend.”

Pininfarina left his CEO position in 2001 and has been battling an illness for the last several years.

He is survived by wife Giorgia and sons Lorenza and Paolo.

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