One of my personal guilty pleasure Ferraris is the Ferrari 412, so when I found out about the Ferrari Pinin, I just had to share it with you.
The very first Ferrari four-door
Ferrari is known for being very forward-thinking and experimental. The Ferrari 408 4RM is the perfect example, because it was the marque’s first four-wheel drive car. Ferrari produced this concept in the late 1980s and implemented a similar system into the 2011 Ferrari FF.
The same counts for the Ferrari Pinin, a one-off concept car that was designed by Pininfarina to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1980. Sergio Pininfarina dreamed of designing a car that could compete with the likes of the Maserati Quattroporte and Jaguar XJ. He used a 400 GT chassis to start with. An engine was not included because it was purely created to show their design abilities. Instead, the design team fitted a mock-up version of the flat-12 that powered the 400 GT. The classy outside was complemented with a classy inside: tobacco-coloured Connolly Leather. The Ferrari Pinin was unveiled at the 1980 Turin Auto Show by Sergio Pininfarina himself.
It almost went into production
Enzo Ferrari liked it so much that he discussed the possibilities of putting it into production. The feedback received from a United States-tour was positive, but Enzo realized he had to compete with car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Four-door cars were their specialism and Ferrari only had experience in sports and race cars. Those are not suited for daily driving, and Enzo became aware he didn’t had the expertise to build a car suited for daily driving. He dropped the plans and this car remains the only one ever built.
After the tour, the car was sold to Jacques Swaters. Swaters was a racing driver from Belgium, former team owner of Ecurie Francorchamps and businessman. You might recognize his last name. Ferrari introduced Blu Swaters as a shade of blue at the same time the Ferrari 456 was unveiled in 1992. Swaters had the car until 2008, when RM Sotheby’s sold it for €176.000 during their Ferrari auction called Leggenda E Passione.
The new owners - Oral Engineering – were challenged to make the car a running vehicle. They reached out to Mauro Forghieri, an Italian engineer who worked with Scuderia Ferrari in the 1960s and 1970s. As mentioned before, the only purpose of this car was to show the design elements, so in order to fit a working engine, the chassis received a strengthened upgrade. They fitted an original 400 GT flat-12 and gearbox. The car first ran in March 2010 and it was put up for sale later that year, but failed to reach the guide price of £480.000 – £550.000.
One of the best car designs
Sergio Pininfarina passed away in July 2012 and Ferrari wanted to pay tribute to his excellent work and contribution to Ferraris heritage. The Maranello Ferrari museum was chosen to show several Pininfarina designs, and among many others, the Ferrari Pinin, 250 LM, 360 Barchetta and 330 GTC Speciale were displayed.
During a factory auction, the car was sold to an anonymous buyer. Anthony Nobles, businessman and Ferrari collector from California, was intrigued by the cars’ design and spent several years tracking down the car. He managed to purchase it in 2017 and it still remains in his possession.
Did you developed a weakness for the incredible Ferrari Pinin during this article? Or do you just don’t get this design?
Written by Max Lammers.