The Fiat - Pininfarina Papers: the history of
of a creative, industrial and human collaboration
- part 1 -
You can also listen to the text of this story with the original
Fiat voice-over. Just click on the ( thin ) outlined photographs.
1999 marks a significant anniversary: Fiat's Centenary. Within the remarkable role played by Fiat in
Italy's economic and social life, Pininfarina would like to highlight its relationship with the Fiat
Company, a relationship of such significance and importance that has had a profound effect upon the
way the Pininfarina Company is today.
The Fiat Zero of 1912 with a body by Stabilimenti Farina in which the then
18-year-old Pinin Farina was directly involved.
To celebrate the Fiat Centenary Pininfarina played an active part in the project organized by Italian
Coachbuilders, displaying 70 of the cars that best represent the historic relationship with the Fiat
Company on two of Turin's most beautiful squares, in July 1999. Pininfarina also intended to pay homage
to Fiat realizing Wish a research prototype built on the mechanical of the new Fiat Punto.
In the life of people and companies stories often intertwine to form a tightly woven fabric that is
only strengthened by the passage of time and that shared work and mutual respect help to keep
unaltered from generation to generation. That is the case of Fiat and Pininfarina, two companies
united in their commitment to the car as esthetical object and industrial product, the result of
creativity and technology.
The first ever Fiat-Pinin Farina: the 1931 525 SS, seen here at
the Rome Concours d'Elegance with Prince Alighiero Giovanelli
The two companies have been travelling companions since the birth of the extraordinary means of
mobility that has revolutionized the twentieth century which is about to end. "They have helped us
a lot, and we too, by which I mean all of us coachbuilders, have represented a significant added
value", says Sergio Pininfarina on the subject of the Fiat Centenary and the long way the two
companies have gone side by side.
Pinin Farina in the Thirties
The little Company, set up in 1899 thanks to an act of faith towards the future by Giovanni Agnelli
and a small group of pioneers, has developed into a significant international presence. For its part
Pininfarina, which was established by Battista Farina, known as Pinin, in 1930 as a craftsman
coachbuilder, has been transformed over the years into a diversified complex which stands at the
cutting edge of design, technology, engineering and industrial production.
The 1935 Fiat 1500 in a Pinin Farina advertisement
The 1939 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet outside Pinin Farina's first factory at 107,
Corso Trapini, Turin
The 13-year-old Sergio Farina in a 1939 Ballila
Therefore, for 69 years the blue Pininfarina F and the Fiat badge have been acting in enhancing the
"Made in Italy". The Pininfarina's human and professional vicissitudes represent in the design world
a story handed down from father to son, that has accompanied, sometimes anticipated, the social,
economic and technological changes of our century. Fiat's evolution is a family story too, the
Agnellis one, and it sums up the development and the production and commercial success of that very
odd kind of carriage that needed no horses to pull it around: from the Turin of the Umberto time in
the early 1900s to the Turin that stands today on the threshold of the New Millennium, car capital
of Italy and main industrial center of the nation.