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Design Legend Sergio Pininfarina Dies Photo:

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Peter Anderson | Jul, 04 2012 | 1 Comment

The designer responsible for some of the world's finest-looking cars has died at his home in Turin. Sergio Pininfarina was 85.

For a man like him, recognised the world over as simply Pininfarina, the word 'legend' doesn't really come close.

Responsible for what is arguably the most recognisable Ferrari of all time, the 1984 Testarossa, Pininfarina's portfolio stretched from humble Peugeot hatchbacks through to cutting edge concepts and supercars.

Born Sergio Farina in 1926, his father was Battista 'Pinin' Farina, the founder of the Italian coachbuilder that bore his name. In 1961, the family name was changed to Pininfarina by Presidential decree.

Sergio graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering at the Turin Polytechnic in 1950 and went to work in the family business, taking over as General Manager in 1960.

He became Managing Director in 1961, and then Chairman upon his father's death in 1966.

Pininfarina's relationship with Italian carmakers is almost symbiotic - he designed, among many, the Fiat 124, the 1987 Alfa 164, the Enzo, the 2003 Maserati Quattroporte. His last Ferrari design was the 2004 Scaglietti.

He was also responsible for a number of Peugeots, most notably the 406 Coupe and the best-selling 306.

Sergio steered the company through 40 years, his business remaining independent to this day and not only designing, but also building cars, as it does for Volvo.

Pininfarina was also an active politician, elected to the European Parliament in 1979, serving as a Liberal Party member as part of the Liberal Democrat Alliance.

His achievements in politics and design were recognised by the Italian government, naming him Senator for Life of the Italian Republic in 2005.

Sergio is survived by his wife Giorgia and his two sons Lorenza and Paolo. His impact on global car design will, of course, live on forever.

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