Pininfarina is a world-renowned design firm, and today the company announced that Sergio Pininfarina passed away at 85 in his Turin, Italy home.
Pininfarina’s father, originally a carriage maker, founded the car design firm in 1930, four years after he was born. After graduating from mechanical engineering at Turin’s Polytechnic University, he became chief executive in 1961 and then chairman when his father died in 1966.
The 1947 Cisalfa coupe was one of Pininfarina’s fathers most famous designs, and today one of the cars sits in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Ferrari link was also initiated by his father, but the designs that made Pininfarina famous came together under his guidance. Cars like the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, 2002 Ferrari Enzo, and 2004 Ferrari Scaglietti are some examples of famous Pininfarina designs that he helped to spawn.
The Italian designer was also enlisted by other non-Italian companies for designs, spawning cars like the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine, 1986 Cadillac Allante, the 1995 Bentley Azure and the 1996 Peugeot 406 Coupe.
Pininfarina stepped down to honorary chairman in 2006, shortly before the company was hit hard by the economic downturn. A total 77 percent of the company is owned by the Pininfarina family, though they are at risk of losing their shares if that do not pay their debt by 2018.
The company debuted the Cambiano concept at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, which rumor has it will make it into production. Announced in May, Pininfarina said that this year will likely be the first since 2004 that the firm will make a profit.