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Paolo Pininfarina on the six cars that define his world-famous firm

The Italian design house has created some of the most iconic cars ever made. Here are the family favourites...

The icon of innovation and the symbol of the rebirth of Pininfarina after the war. It has a light, pure and essential design. Today we could define it as an expression of “sustainable luxury”. Thanks to its harmonic shapes it has been considered a “sculpture in movement”, a piece of art, and it is the only car permanently displayed at the MoMA in New York. It also has a personal sentiment: I drove the Cisitalia with Carlo Dusio, the son of Cisitalia’s founder, at the historical Mille Miglia in 1984 when I was only 25.

This car is an outstanding expression of the best Italian design of the glorious 50s. It is a reminder of “the dolce vita” as it appeared (actually in the convertible version) in Rome in the famous movie Il Sorpasso with Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant. My grandfather wanted a light, elegant, sporty and sculptured shape, and he succeeded with the Aurelia B24S. He wanted to have the rear lamps as small as possible, like ‘the moles of a beautiful lady’.

This is one of the last Ferrari models designed under the supervision of my grandfather. Its long bonnet, perfect side proportions and muscular shapes make it the best-ever expression of the front-engine 12c architecture. Piero Ferrari said: “For my father, the best Ferrari was always the last. To me the best was the 275 GTB.” I am in full agreement with Piero.

This is the most successful product ever manufactured in our factories, as 200,000 units were produced for 20 years, up to 1985. The reason for its outstanding industrial success is certainly its very good value for money, but also its timeless design. The design is out of the box; it is elegant and has strong personality. No other car looked like it, before, during or after.

The Dino project started in the early 60s and was developed through milestones like the 1965 Berlinetta Speciale, the 1967 206 GT and, finally, the 246 GT. The slight (6cm) increase of the wheelbase helped to reach the perfect proportions. The project is testament that my father’s work and direction was to the same level of excellence as the founder’s, who when seeing the 1965 model said: ‘This car is my granddaughter.’

When my Father died in July 2012 we decided to make a car to celebrate him. The Sergio was created in less than six months and was deeply inspired by his favourite model, the Dino. The Sergio was further developed into a street-legal version, which was produced in six units to represent the six decades of work with Ferrari.

This second model is very important because it marked the return to the Fuoriserie limited editions. I have a clear memory in Hurtwood, when a crowd gathered around the car. I told them about my father and the story of the Sergio. It was one of the most moving moments of my life

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