Amongst Pininfarina’s most prized relationships was established with auto racing entrepreneur named Enzo Ferrari in 1948. More than 6 decades of threads, the pair has cooperated in creating 26 concept and production cars.
While other designers would have the privilege to shape early Ferraris, a Pininfarina-designed 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter made a striking style statement of what can be expected through merging talents of two hot-blooded, Italian automotive men. The first solely Pininfarina production model for the prancing horse was the Ferrari 250 GT short wheel base version released for 1959 model year. The long hood combined with the fastback roof made the car an ultra-sleek Italian shape. An Italian shape many top-flight automakers would replicate.
As Enzo Ferrari’s dreams of an established sports car maker was realized, his regret was the early adulthood death of son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari. Along with the corporate friendship, Pininfarina was commissioned to design a memorial to the departed Ferrari heir. Entering production in 1968, the Dino 206 radiated youthful charm and ambition. One of Ferrari’s more mass produced vehicles, the 206 became a significant model for the Italian sports car giant being their first mid-engined road car. A fitting legacy, the vehicle also incorporated a V6 engine the late Alfredo Ferrari helped developed.
Though the Dino was associated with Ferrari, it would be until 1973 when the first official Ferrari was mid-engined. Being a large advocate for central engined sports cars, Pininfarina influenced Ferrari through the designing of the Dino and subsequent design studies like the Ferrari P6 concept car. This wedged-shaped design directly translated to the purely two-seat Ferrari BB 512. With the superior aerodynamics and a flat 12-cylinder engine Ferrari’s first forte into a mid-engined protection car was known to achieve 188 miles per hour. The Ferrari BB 512 would only remain impressive until what is arguably the most popular Ferrari ever.
Introduced in 1984, the Ferrari Testarossa is a sensual sight bridging the earliest Ferrari sports cars with the latest. Defined partly with the wide stance, the Testarossa is quickly distinguished by two large sets of side ribs before massive air intakes serving as a necessity to feeding air to rear-mounted radiators. Accepted as one of the most commercially successful Ferraris ever built, Testarossa became particularly noted for appearing on the 80s television show Miami Vice. The Italian term for “redhead”, Testarossa, under the skill tailoring of Pininfarina, translates to a certified knockout in every language.
Beside the runaway success of the Testarossa, the Ferrari-Pininfarina relationship for the 1980s included an ultimate street-going Ferrari, the F-40. Radically for its time, Pininfarina used Kevlar and carbon fibers among eleven unique elements in formulating Ferrari F-40’s body panels. A moving tribute to 40 years of Ferrari production cars, the supercar is the last new Pininfarina creation Enzo Ferrari would green light. He died in 1988, months after being present for the Ferrari F-40’s unveiling.
Though the principals of both companies have passed, the now classic Italian alliance of speed and design could never be stronger. Very productive during the 1990s, as well as the 2000s Ferrari and Pininfarina continued to develop wonderful creations. The Ferrari 360 Modena, introduced as a design concept at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, emerged as a well-balanced piece of Pininfarina beauty and the sports car company’s mid-engined sports car mastery. Ferrari California, Ferrari 458 Italia and the innovative Ferrari FF are now the latest result of the Pininfarina’s prancing horse whispering.
Spotlight Die Cast Offerings:
Spotlight Die Cast Offerings: Based on the gigantic international following for Ferrari, the auto company has prospered as much from merchandising as from vehicle itself. In die-cast form, leading die-cast companies accurately and faithfully record the love affair between Pininfarina and Ferrari.
Ferrari’s history can be vividly illustrated through a $1 Hot Wheels diecast or a highly detailed Kyosho that can wear a price tag of over $500 US. Both Kyosho as well as Mattel’s Hot Wheels division feature an extensive lineup of Pininfarina designs from the 250 GT to the contemporary Ferrari 599 GTB and 458 Italia. The latter manufacturer are releasing highly-detailed accounts in 1/43 and 1/18 scale for practically every Ferrari including little known Pininfarina-designed 1960s concept, the Modulo.
On diecast collectors wanting to get deeply acquainted with the manufacturing of a Ferrari but unable to afford the plane ticket to Maranello, Maisto provides an alternative. Part of Maisto’s 1:24 scale Assembly Line, several late model Pininfarina-styled Ferraris can be constructed by the collector. Supercars like the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and even the Ferrari F50 can be built into showcase-quality representation of automotive design excellence supplied by Pininfarina.
Traditional Hot Wheels 1:64 line routinely issues old as well as new examples of the Pininfarina-Ferrari pairing. The Ferrari F430 and the 458 Italia are some of the attractive scaled representations delighting many young car enthusiasts.
Information Source: Ferrari, Kyosho USA, Maisto, Mattel Pininfarina S.P.A.
Photo Source: Chris Nagy