E3 Spark Plugs sends condolences to the family of Sergio Pininfarina, honorary chairman of the Pininfarina Group, who passed away last night at his home in Turin, Italy. Pininfarina’s family company, founded by his father, Gian Battista “Pinin” Farina, in the 1930s designed nearly every Ferrari since the 1950s and its name is synonymous with some of the world’s most glamorous cars.
As chairman of the company until 2006, Sergio Pininfarina personally developed automotive designs for top companies including Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Volvo, Ferrari and Maserati. His designs ranged from the edgy to the elegantly simple and include the 2002 Ferrari Enzo, the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, the 1986 Fiat 124 Spider, the 1996 Peugeot 406 Coupe and the 2003 Maserati Quattroporte.
Pininfarina was born Sergio Farina in 1926 and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic of Torino in 1950 before joining the family business. He progressed through the ranks and, upon his father’s death, took over chairmanship in 1966. He retired from the company’s day-to-day operations and became honorary chairman in 2006.
His life and career in Italy also included multiple high-profile posts and honors. He was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1988, a member of the Board of Directors of Ferrari S.p.A. from 1969 to 2011, chief of the Italian delegation in the Intergovernmental Italian- French Commission for the new high-speed railway link between Lyon and Turin from 2001-2005, and “Cavaliere del Lavoro,” appointed by the President of the Italian Republic in 1976. Perhaps his highest honor was being appointed Life
Senator in 2005 for his contributions to Italy’s culture and social field.
The family’s prestige in Italy was such that it was allowed to change its name to Pininfarina from the original Farina by presidential decree in 1961. “Pinin” means “the little one” in Piedmont and had been Gian Battista’s nickname.
Sergio Pininfarina is survived by his wife Giorgia and sons Lorenzo and Paolo.