The ‘godfather’ of elegant car design, Sergio Pininfarina, was remembered at Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction on August 27, where three of his firm’s finest Italian bodies were showcased.
The son of Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina – the founder of the celebrated vehicle design and coachbuilding company Pininfarina – Sergio died on July 3 this year aged 85, leaving a legacy of stylish bodies dating from the mid-1960s.
These graced hundreds of diverse vehicles from Italian Alfa Romeos, Fiats and Ferraris, to British Jaguars and MGs, German Mercedes-Benz and even American Cadillacs and Corvettes.
One of the most spectacular and exciting was the sleek shape Pininfarina styled for the 12-cylinder, mid-engine Ferrari Testarossa, which was introduced at the 1984 Paris Motor Show and became a cult car following its small screen role in the trendsetting TV series, Miami Vice.
Shannons have a beautiful 1988 Testarossa finished in classic Rossa Corsa (red) with Crema (cream) leather interior at its Melbourne Spring Auction, with its odometer showing just 56,308 miles from new.
One of only 438 right hand drive Testarossas built, the largely original car with its 290kW, 4,942cc Flat 12 mid-mounted 48-valve engine and five-speed manual gearbox presents superbly and comes with a full service history.
Shannons quoted a price range of $100,000-$120,000 due to its low mileage and excellent condition.
Also from Italy comes another superb Pininfarina design – a 1974 Fiat 130 Coupe, universally regarded as a triumph in elegant, uncluttered design.
One of 4,492 examples built from 1971-1977 – the majority in left hand drive – this meticulously-restored factory right hand drive example is a rare find in Australia.
Like the Fiat 130 sedan on which it was based, the 130 Coupe is powered by a 3.2 litre V6 engine and in this case fitted with the optional three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission.
It was acquired in 2006 by the vendor, who commenced a 30-month exhaustive restoration in 2008, bringing the car back to its original showroom specification.
With its rarity in Australia and superb condition, Shannons expected it to bring $18,000-$24,000.
Finally from Alfa Romeo – another of Pininfarina’s favourite subjects – comes one of his seminal designs in the form of a 1966 Alfa Romeo ‘Duetto’ 1600 Spider.
The glamorous Duetto, which starred in The Graduate alongside Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was very much an automotive star of the 1960s and despite being produced for just one year, has proved a long-lived classic.
It was the last design personally executed by Battista Pinin Farina and its name was the result of a competition run by the manufacturer at the time of its launch in 1966.
Styling cues include the so-called 'cuttlefish-bone' profile with a rounded nose and tail, with the Alfa Romeo shield dividing the front bumper.
The Duetto being auctioned presents well in its classic Alfa red and has been used sparingly in recent years as a weekend pleasure vehicle. As auctioned, it is fitted with a set of Minilite-style cast alloy wheels, however its original rims and hubcaps will be included in the sale, with Shannons estimating it would bring similar money to the Fiat 130 Coupe –$18,000-$24,000.