Sergio Pininfarina, a poet of design
Sergio Pininfarina ‘the godfather of Ferrari’ has passed away at eighty five. Essentially he is credited with ‘clothing’ the Ferrari cars along with helping reignite Italian design and industry post war but as The Telegraph report notes he was a man of many parts
“designing the Ferrari Testarossa, Fiat 124 Spider, Fiat Dino and Maserati GranTurismo, among others… Pininfarina had a passion for forward-looking technology, becoming an early supporter of reducing car emissions and increasing fuel economy. In 1972, he opened the first wind tunnel in Italy, one of the few in the world at the time.”
It would be supremely arrogant to opine on what made this great designer so very great. But my personal admiration for his work comes from the fact that if you close your eyes and think Ferrari, a host of images are conjured up that all have a certain distinctive design spirit. There was a certain something to the way he tailored the cars and imbued their fine engineering with a poetic spirit.
We should leave him with the last word. The New York Times notes that he was asked what makes a good design. He answered with a long list including “good harmony, classic style, proportion, grace — and honesty,” adding with a small smile, “Then, if you have good taste, the battle is won.”