80 years of design | 1960

Pinin's heredity

At the age of 68, Pinin turned his firm over to his son Sergio and his son-in-law, Renzo Carli. The President of the Italian Republic Gronchi authorized the change of the family name. ‹‹On June 6th 1961 I had received the presidential decree which changed the surname Farina into Pininfarina, for me, my children and my grandchildren. It was an unusual occurrence, and the motivation said that one aspect of Italian industry and design had become well-known abroad thanks to the name Pinin Farina, and so the change, or rather the fusion of the name with the surname, now backed up by law, sanctioned a usage which was already predominant everywhere››. At the 1963 Paris Motor Show the Chevrolet Corvette Rondine debuted anticipating the stylistic solution of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider rear part. On show at the Turin Motor Show the Pininfarina Sigma, a bodywork study with 14 technical safety solutions, 8 of which will be currently used in the production of the cars in the future.

On April 3rd 1966 Battista Pininfarina died in Lausanne and Sergio Pininfarina became the Chairman of Pininfarina. Nothing apparently changed, if we consider the formal quality of the design work of his successors, when the Founder left the scene. Pininfarina’s design continued to be the result of a singular balance between a mixture of different qualities, such as design sensitivity, taste, technical research and innovation. This vocation led, still in 1966, to the inauguration of the Studies and Research Centre in Grugliasco. So Pininfarina helped to define design projects as a partner involved in every aspect of the product, not just its styling. What remained, finally, was the capacity to carry on a fruitful collaboration with clients, which has lasted for decades and which has given rise to different generations of models.

In 1966, at the Geneva Motor Show, made its debut the Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider, later to be known as the ‹‹Duetto››, made famous by the film ‹‹The Graduate›› with Dustin Hoffman: radically revamped and with different names, it continued to be built by Pininfarina until 1993 (140,000 units). On show at the Turin Motor Show the Fiat 124 Sport Spider, which soon became one of the most successful models of Pininfarina (200,000 units), exported in large numbers to North America. The confidence in the resolutive capabilities of science gave rise to hefty investment in research and the acquisition of increasingly advanced equipment and plants. Towards the end of the Sixties, the setting up of a ‹‹Centro di Calcolo e Disegno›› equipped with DEA Touching Machines was a decisive step on the road to design automation, which was to be developed in the subsequent decades.