80 years of design | 1940

1940 - War, rebirth, fame

Destroyed by the Second World War, the Carrozzeria Pinin Farina started the production with the Lancia Aprilia Bilux. Italy, a defeated country, was excluded from participating in the Paris Motor Show. Pinin and his son Sergio set off from Turin to France driving two new cars, an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S and a Lancia Aprilia cabriolet.

When they reached the Grand Palais in Paris they parked the two cars in front of the entrance of the Motor Show, where everyone going in or out could see and admire them. The following morning they were back guarding the Show and so they continued until it closed.

On the last day the Show secretary said: ‹‹You have earned yourself a central stand next year››. ‹‹It felt to me as the war was over that day››, said Pinin. It was a great success, commented on by the French press: ‹‹Ce diable de Farina a ouvert son antisalon personnel››. The international fame and success of Pinin Farina’s factory-workshop grew from that moment and with increasing vigour from the early Fifties onwards.

Pinin Farina created the Cisitalia 202, first car in the world permanently displayed in a Museum of Modern Art, namely the MoMA in New York, as ‹‹one of the eight outstanding cars of our time››: “Running Sculpture”, according to the definition of Arthur Drexler, the Cisitalia was realised on tubular chassis and manufactured in limited series with aluminium body welded to a skeleton of fine sheet steel. Its design marked a decisive turnpoint of the automotive style. Pinin wrote: “I knew that the old shapes were out. Cars had to have pure, smooth, essential lines too. It was a model which suddenly escaped from my hands, not my life. It went off along mysterious roads, towards its destiny (cars have destinies too, you will realise it if you go to markets, shows and car museums)”.