From Giancarlo Perini.
Sergio Pininfarina, a truly honourable member “for life” of the Italian Senate and a legendary figure of the Italian design and sports cars history has passed away last night (July 4th, 2012) at his home in Torino. He was 85.
Sergio Pininfarina was not elected Senator but was appointed, just like current Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, for his merits by the president of the Italian republic. In 2005.
Through his crystal clear life and career Sen. Pininfarina was elected member of the European Parliament and awarded the most prestigious awards by nations around the world, such as
The French Légion d’Honneur, Honorary Royal Designer for Industry, Foreign member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering science and Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan (2007) and Geneva (2008), but he was primarily the leader of the Italian design temple established by his father Pinin Farina and known world-wide with the Pininfarina name.
But he primarily was known and revered for his leadership in Italian design, following in the footsteps of his father, Pinin Farina, who established the Pininfarina name worldwide and helped make Italy synonymous with automotive styling leadership.
With him, Italian design and Italy loose a real Maestro.
When Pinin Farina reached a life-long co-operation agreement with Enzo Ferrari, it was his son Sergio who was appointed to ensure the success of the new alliance. Sergio Pininfarina delivered much more than that and today the Ferrari-Pininfarina is seen as a unique brand association worldwide.
Not a designer himself but quite a creative entrepreneur with a strong will and the elegance of a gentleman, he brought his company to the highest peak in the automotive design and coach-building business. He signed off most of the greatest Ferrari successes, built many successful sport cars for the carmakers around the world and created iconic design for Alfa Romeo, Cadillac, Fiat, Lancia, Peugeot and Rolls-Royce.
Under his direction Pininfarina designers created dream cars such as the Ferrari Modulo and the Ferrari Dino 206 C Competizione, and turned dreams into reality with the Alfa Romeo Spider and Duetto, the Fiar 124 Spider, a number of Peugeots, from the 403 to the 406 through the 504 and the 205; as well as their coupé and cabriolet derivatives. The Ferrari is a story apart. In more than half a century Pininfarina has created superlative sports cars that are legendary.
“An exceptional person, who connected his name indissolubly with our history and our success,” Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo said in a public statement, adding: “Sergio was one of the most important advocates of ‘Made in Italy’ all over the world, a man who gave Italy credibility and splendor.
“Calling his relation with Ferrari legendary is not enough. First with Enzo (Ferrari) and then with me, he planned some of the most iconic models, such as the Testarossa or the Enzo, just to name two.”
Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati, says Sergio Pininfarina, who oversaw design of the current Quattroporte in 2003 “was the force behind the return of the Pininfarina design on contemporary Maseratis. His place in automotive history is assured and huge.”