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Why does Pininfarina get the recognition? Who actually designed the Cisitalia 202, (a landmark design which arguably made Pininfarina a superstar), Savonuzzi maybe? What about the Aurelia B20? Boano and his company Ghia, perhaps? Undoubtedly he had a lot of ideas, but many of them were just re-hashing, or borrowing, and modifying other peoples ideas. Left to his own devices he created a lot of very average looking machines.
 

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Why does Pininfarina get the recognition? Who actually designed the Cisitalia 202, (a landmark design which arguably made Pininfarina a superstar), Savonuzzi maybe? What about the Aurelia B20? Boano and his company Ghia, perhaps? Undoubtedly he had a lot of ideas, but many of them were just re-hashing, or borrowing, and modifying other peoples ideas. Left to his own devices he created a lot of very average looking machines.
With all due respect, it’s a rather strange question. You might as well ask the same thing about Zagato, Bertone, or any of the other major carrozzerie–firms that both design and build cars. Did Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina design all the cars that carry the Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina) crest? Of course not. No more than Nuccio Bertone designed “Bertone” cars, or Ugo Zagato designed “Zagato” cars.

But like those other houses, Pinin Farina gets credit–deservedly, IMHO–for the work of the firm that he ran and that bears his name, even in those cases where we know the car in question was primarily the work of a designer other than the “name principal”. And it’s important to know the principal designer for any car, but it reflects a rather naïve view of design to believe that anything coming from a major carrozzeria is the work of a single individual, rather than a collaborative effort led by an individual–and that’s me speaking as a designer myself. In any case, the idea that design involves collaboration is particularly true of the classic Italian carrozzerie, where the metal workers’ craft also contributed to the final shaping and detailing.

So I guess I don’t really understand the point.
 

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If you want to affirm that Pininfarina was not the most talented of them all, but his fame is the most known, I agree with you. But Pininfarina had the merit to join design with the industrial process, so its cars were nice and in the meantime not so expensive to industrialize. Other factories were not able to do this.
The main example about this is the prototype of the Giulietta spider:



The prototype made by Bertone was surely more fascinating (IMO), but Alfa choose the Pininfarina one because of its smaller cost of building.



Add to this that Pininfarina design was far from some flamboyant lines which, even if difficult to forget, were not so easy to offer to the retail market:

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Especially in the case of the Cisitalia, which is considered to be a landmark design, that ushered in a new aesthetic, the right people should get the credit. It takes a certain sort of person to accept the glory for someone elses effort.
Regards
Antony
B.Des.(Prod)
 

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Especially in the case of the Cisitalia, which is considered to be a landmark design, that ushered in a new aesthetic, the right people should get the credit. It takes a certain sort of person to accept the glory for someone elses effort.
Regards
Antony
B.Des.(Prod)
There is an interesting recent online article about Savonuzzi's involvement in the design of various Cisitalias, including the 202 GT: Savonuzzi the Designer Part 1

I concur with Ed. The auteur theory does not hold up well with industrial goods. A car is not a painting. It is a vastly more difficult task to assemble men, capital, machines and intellectual property into a viable enterprise than to sketch a fine fender line, no less form it from sheet metal.

As Francesco observes, the genius of Pinin Farina can really be seen underneath the skin. Over the past year I've had the pleasure of being able to compare a '49 Pinin Farina chassis against a slightly later Vignale, and the differences in construction, workmanship and overall sophistication are striking. This is not readily apparent to those wandering the concours lawn or browsing photos.

Don
 

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Especially in the case of the Cisitalia, which is considered to be a landmark design, that ushered in a new aesthetic, the right people should get the credit. It takes a certain sort of person to accept the glory for someone elses effort.
Regards
Antony
B.Des.(Prod)
Again, I really don't get your point. Do you care that history doesn't record the designer(s) of the Cisitalia 202? Or are you perturbed that the public at large credits "Pininfarina"?

If your issue is with history, I can understand that perfectly well. As Don notes, that's a matter that is still being discussed, and will constantly be posited and conjectured, with some provisional consensus emerging. But, again, with Italian carrozzeria "the" designer is a misleading construct. And even when we think we know the "the designer" was, there are sometimes counter claims; which individual, for example, was responsible for another rather seminal design--the Lamborghini Miura?

If, as seems to be the case, your "Why does Pininfarina get the recognition?" question is aimed at recognition of the broader public, then I think it's really misplaced. Anyone who cares knows that Ercole Spada was primarily responsible for Zagato's designs of the '60s and '70s. Yet the public fixates on them being by Zagato, not Spada; the Zagato name sells, and Spada doesn't get the recognition. And Bertone is closer yet to the Pinin Farina model; the automotive public doesn't know or much care about any name other than Bertone for the cars that left that carrozzeria. We know who the lead designer was in many instances, but everyone still refers to cars as Bertone or Zagato (or Vignale or whoever), just as with Pinin Farina. But you don't seem concerned with Nuccio Bertone or Ugo Zagato "accepting the glory for someone else's effort".

If your point is that Pinin Farina created some mediocre designs, that's inarguable. You can't name a carrozeria or design house with a sizable portfolio that doesn't have plenty of crap in its history.

So I guess I still don't understand why you're fixating on Pinin Farina and the Cisitalia 202.
 

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Is it because Pinninfarina is the name of the company? all boeing airplanes are called boeing, all fords and chevys are called ford and chevy, not by the name of one of the designers. Is there any body named Fisher at "Body by Fisher"?
A mention in the liteerature of the name of the employee that designed the car body would be nice, but would the car be named after him?
 

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At the risk of taking the "under" in this discussion, there is a point to the question. The house of Pininfarina for some years was a bit unclear as to who did what on the cars. Especially in the later generations, where the hand of the PF family member was more in management than in the actual design. That said, the original PF was a very talented individual, and likely more involved in the design of their cars than in other houses (such as Bertone).

In the case of the 202 or the B20, these are cars with murky origins: not for lack of history, but rather as products within a context. There were about 6 or more similar coupes to the B20 on the stands at the shows (on B50 chassis) in 1950-1951, and I'd argue that the development of the B20 design follows within this rich and important context. That said, it should be no surprise that the final (and to many, best balanced) version comes out of PF's house.

Note that PF was always gracious about the B20 design and its mixed origins - and I believe they never claimed its design , even though they were clearly the only producers of the bodies, with their own refinements, from the second series on.

I'd give them a lot of credit for class as well as sound technical and aesthetic judgment. In the long run, that counts for a lot - and their reputation is well deserved.
 

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I also think this is a good question. Does anyone who was the designer of the Ferrari 275GTB? Yet we know who designed the Mangusta, the Bizzarrini GT 5300 and the Miura.
 

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The Miura was done by Bertone by the hand of Gandini if I recall right, the engine was Bizzarrini.
I would give in it could be interesting knowing who made the first sketched. But in the case of Pinin Farina, he was the manager of the company, but was not only manager, he was actually educated a designer,, he was actually guiding the designers in the right direction he would like to go, contrary to what we know, is the case by Bertone -Zagato-Vignale.
That's the reason we have a deeper knowledge of who made the design by the later.
And by the end of the day, its a question of copyright, and its always in the hand of the beholder, the Company.
But to my opinion, I don't think the Cissitalia deserves the fame for its design, it follows the pen seen by others at the time.
The me there is 3/4 significant designs from Pinin Farina. The Maserati A6G 54- The Bergmann Ferrari-The Agnelli Ferrari and the Ferrari Dino.
With these cars Pinin Farina took the scene, before that he was only a humble copyists of Touring. In my humble opinion.
 

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I think Pininfarina developed only design from others and his only superior Design is the Passo Corto Berlinetta. This Car has the right proportions from every angle. This Car looks parked, fast. The 275 GTB is a simplified (inflated) Version of the GTO and the Dino copied from Drogo.
The Lancia Aurelia Spider is allthough a beautiful Design and this was developed to the Giulietta Spider, the Fiats 1200, the Peugeot 404 and so on. Even the Ferrari 250 GTE looks like a Peugeot 404 Coupe.
For me PF did outstanding Designs on the Aurelia Spider, 250 GT Cabriolet S1, 410 Superfast 4.9, 250 SWB and Daytona Coupe.
The Maserati A6 Berlinetta looks brutal, but the Zagatos are much nicer.
 

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and the best looking Ferrari 250 GTO Development, is the Alfa TZ-2, what a car.:D The 275 GTB looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger beside him.
 
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