Wouldn’t you have love to meet the Farina clan? They are to Italian creativity what the Agnelli’s are to Italian heavy industry.
Shrewd, forward-looking, mad as hatters, and always great with the chalk/charcoal — here is a firm founded in 1930 by Battista Farina and carried in the family through Sergio and later Andrea, until the latter’s untimely death in 2008.
Many, many family fortunes are totally gone by the third generation. The second generation runs the company fairly well, under the continued tutelage of the master founder — aka, ‘grandpa.’
The second-gen is usually a prodigy of some kind – with true talent and taught skill. This would be Sergio in this case.
Then the third generation grows up with odd hobbies, too much money and too little skill to be as good as the first at managing the far-larger business.
(Speaking generally here for family-owned companies from 20th-century business history — not related to or referencing Andrea whatsoever.)
The Farina’s defied all odds in keeping their business private and creatively nimble — even today, the firm is lightweight and creatively energetic. Next chapter? Stay tuned.
But this chapter is surely one of the oddest in memory for the Pinin Farina styling house. Almost certainly handled by Sergio, Battista’s son — this Lancia is futuristic, unique, complex and sensual. It is jet-fighter inspired, but also just a bit hideous with that gaping maw up front.
This was Sergio’s style. He liked a big mouthy grille, in odd shapes that informed the hood and beltline back to the matching trunks. He certainly got his wish with this car – one of only three made entirely by hand out of aircraft alloy (we speculate.) Why? It is softer and easier to form than steel. Making these curves is seriously impossible now, as it was then.
They are too deep to be stamped, and too circular to be pressed or hammered. Who knows how they made this machine, but three cheers all the same.
If only to spare Sergio’s future projects from this vaguely-phallic (reverse-phallic?), vaguely-erotic nose visage. Perfect example of what ‘works’ on plane designs not working on cars.
But: love it or hate it — you will definitely not forget it any time soon. Which is more ‘art’ than ‘design,’ but very special all the same.
1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C Spider by Pinin Farina
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.