Farina = Pinin Farina or Stabilimenti Farina?
I think it should be evident by this time that "Farina" should rarely be used by itself unless you are writing about flour. That is, unless I am the only one who is ever confused by the mistaken assumption about which coachbuilder is being referred to?
Just to be clear, the two coachbuilding entities were completely separate even if there was the occasional effort done in harmony, the most obvious example being the 202 Cisitalia which were bodied similarly by Pinin Farina, Stabilimenti Farina and Vignale. On many occasions these cars had duplicate Cisitalia chassis numbers coming from different carrozzerie! This has made for a confused picture of Cisitalia production. Keeping ourselves accurate on the coachbuilders, explaining their build numbering systems as well as the body configuration of each car will allow us to figure it all out. If not, I fear that confusion will continue to dominate our discussions of these cars.
I have been collecting coachwork numbers for these cars for more than 25 years and it is still amazing to me that many people can see no value in doing so. With Pinin Farina (later "Pininfarina") the numbering system was not precisely linear for the entire production so each body number does not necessarily have strong implications as to where to place the car's origins in time. For Stabilimenti Farina, it would appear that the numbers were applied linearly through time. With enough information collected, we may be able to predict when a project was initiated.
I've only recently found a numbering system for some 1940's and 1950's Vignale-bodied cars as well. Many cars bodied by Vignale have seemingly not had a body number (that was easily found anyway) so I've been tempted to believe that Vignale had no such system until late in the 1950's. But, it now seems that there was a system. It may be that it was not applied across the gamut of their production or it may be that not all cars were marked in the same way?
More study is needed for each car individually, each coachbuilder in general, each chassis/engine builder, and much more. There is a lot to do. Please help by noting what you can for each car. I am quite sure that a Pinin Farina bodied Fiat 1100S will have a body number to be found somewhere. I am quite certain that a Stabilimenti Farina bodied Fiat 1500 will have a body number to be found. When those numbers can be placed in a listing alongside numbers collected from Siata and Cisitalia and Jowett Jupiter and Lancia and Ferrari and who-knows-what, then we we know a bit more. And when someone adds a number to that data collection we will know a bit more. Ad infinitum. I am pleased and proud to have advanced the studies of these kinds of cars but I am also more than a bit frustrated that many others can not seem to be bothered to join in the efforts. If you want to learn more, collect your little bit of data and share it. With me. With somebody.
John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
Last edited by iicarJohn; 04-29-2008 at 08:38 PM.
Reason: word substitution