Easily one of the world's most well-known and respected design houses, Pininfarina has designed some of the world's most iconic cars. But which were its best?
The Pininfarina story officially began in 1930 when founder Battista "Pinin" Farina started his design firm in Cambiano, Turin in Italy. Through the years it has done design work for just about every car maker in the world, but is closely associated with Ferrari. These days, even though it belongs to Indian firm Mahindra, it still does design work for many of the world's car brands.
Pininfarina has an amazing back catalogue, so to choose its greatest hits is quite a daunting task. We have, however, settled on the following 8;
Lancia Aurelia Spider B24
Lancia is a proud brand with an amazing history itself, but even within the pages of its own "greatest hits", the Aurelia B24 Spyder from 1955 has a special place. Only 240 of these cars were built during 1954/55 and the simple elegance makes it a highly sought-after classic these days. Note the absence of frills...and that beautifully curved panoramic windscreen.
This list would be incomplete without the '80s Testarossa, which stunned the world when it arrived in 1984 to replace the Berlinetta Boxer. With its wedge-like profile, wide rear end and iconic side strakes, it was like no other supercar the world had seen before. Modernised twice in its lifetime (and renamed the 512TR, then the F512M), nearly 10 000 Testarossas were built, a surprisingly large number for such a specialist machine.
Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto
Another great Pininfarina design that achieved great longevity, the original "Duetto" version is both the purest and most desirable. Launched in 1966, it is also referred to as the "boat tail" Spider, due to its rounded rear end. The car achieved fame early in its life when it starred in the Hollywood blockbuster The Graduate.
Don't laugh, but just like the original Golf sported top-notch design pedigree (Giugiaro), this little city runabout came from the Pininfarina studios. The 205 showed that you didn't have to be a millionaire to drive a car penned by design royalty. It looked unlike any other compact hatch of its era and in GTi form quickly won respect - it is still widely regarded as the best hot hatch of its generation.
Now we're talking pure fantasy... this car was created (built, too) by Pininfarina for wealthy American collector James Glickenhaus. The donor car is nothing other than an Enzo, but Glickenhaus prefers the style of the '60s P-series racing Ferraris, and it is this look that Pininfarina recreated for the P4-5. This is retro, done right!
Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
Regarded by many as not only the most beautiful Ferrari of all time, but perhaps the prettiest car ever made, the 250 GT Lusso is one of the easy Pininfarina all-time greats. Not many cars look great in brown, but this is the colour that the king-of-cool Steve McQueen's Lusso was. That says it all, probably.
Peugeot 406 Coupe
The second Peugeot on this list is the seemingly timeless 406 Coupe, launched in 1999. Interestingly, it is reported that the design was initially offered to Fiat almost 10 years earlier, but rejected. The 406 Coupe is an undoubted high point in Peugeot design, and very soon after the 406 Coupe, the "guppy mouth" era Peugeots arrived, like the awkward-looking 307 CC and 407 sedan.
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
No list like this could ever exclude the "Daytona", or the 365 GTB/4 to call it by its official name. Styled by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina in the late '60s, the Daytona's rakish design was a major departure from the softer curves of its predecessors. It's an iconic classic supercar in almost any historian's book.