The nine greatest Pininfarina designs that weren’t Ferraris
Sadly, the bodyshop’s lackadaisical attitude meant the car was put to one side and forgotten. All that was gained over the ensuing five years was a layer of dust, a few dents, and no new paint.
Meanwhile, Southward Snr had become distracted by a Citroën SM, although he had managed to remake all the wood around the Aston’s windscreen and rebuild the engine.
By the late 1990s, however, it was looking increasingly unlikely that he would ever get around to finishing the car.
His son, by then an IT manager with a healthy mechanical interest, decided to take on the job himself.
This wasn’t your usual think-of-a-figure-and-double-it, open-chequebook restoration. Southward speaks particularly highly of Peter Pryce-Tidd and John Talbert of General Automobile Services, who, picking up where his dad left off, recommissioned the car.
He also received a great deal of support from Tim Cottingham of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.
“It has taken 15-20 years to get it to this stage,” says Southward, who was busy raising a family. “It was more of a time thing than a money one.”
The car was back on the road in 2014 and appeared on the Cartier Lawn at Goodwood in 2017.
The Oughties saw Pininfarina expand its empire to assist emerging manufacturers in China and Korea. But it seemed to save its most sensual four-door design for the re-launch of Turinese neighbor Maserati’s grand, if overtly named, Quattroporte. Having worked through the roster of local carrozzerie—Frua, Bertone, Italdesign—in previous iterations of the car, the trident brand came to Pininfarina for the launch of the fifth generation QP. Pinin delivered, with one of its handsomest and most sensual sedan designs, simultaneously curvaceous, protuberant, timeless, and à la mode, with a rich leather and wood interior. Did we mention it had a deliciously bombastic Ferrari V8 under the hood?
In the late Teens, Pininfarina finally realized a lifelong dream of building a car of its own. And though the vehicle they unveiled at the Geneva was named for the company’s founder, it was likely beyond his imagination: a $2.5-million, 1,900-hp, all-wheel-drive, limited-edition, battery-powered supercar that would accelerate from 0-60 in under 2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 217 mph. The Battista definitely has Pininfarina exotic car DNA in its design, especially from the front, where it looks like a modern Ferrari. But it also presages a new, all-electric design language the cutting-edge brand will use in an expanding range of luxurious, electric vehicles. Shocking, indeed.
Source: Hemmings, Brett Berk