Tribute concept car is joined by another one off 458 at Pininfarina celebration
Hurtwood Park in Surrey is known for Polo and not Italian car design. As such it made a slightly unusual location to celebrate the work of the greatest of the Italian Carrozzeria - Pininfarina and it's partiach Sergio Pininfarina who passed away last year.
The central part of the day was an attempt to have the largest collection of Pininfarina designed and bodied cars in one place. This took place and the count of 185 cars has yet to be verified to confirm the record.
Obviously the story of Pininfarina is intertwined with that of Ferrari as the Turin based firm was the preferred styling house for much of Ferrari's existence. It was therefore inevitable that Pininfarina would base a tribute car to Sergio Pininfarina on one of Ferrari's chassis. The car known as the Sergio was first shown at the Geneva motorshow and made it's UK debut at the Hurtwood event.
The Sergio is an open barchetta based on the Ferrari 458 that strips down the driving experience to it's essentials. The car does not have a windscreen and a helmet would almost certainly be required if you wanted to fully excercise the (standard 458) 562BHP V8 engine. The car looks very furturistic but also nods back to Pininfarina's past Ferrari based concepts such as the Mythos and the Modulo.
Another car at the event with a nod to the past was guitar legend Eric Clapton's SP12 EC. Built by Ferrari's special projects department at vast expense (said to be up to £3 million), this car evokes the classic seventies Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer. Underneath the car again uses standard 458 mechanicals and sits on a 458 chassis. It has been said that Clapton hoped to have a 12 cylinder Ferrari engine installed but this could not be accomodated for technical reasons.
Both these cars are a great example of coachbuilding at it's finest, whether or not you approve of the results (I personally prefer the Sergio) and as many car manufacturers seek to bring their design work in house perhaps signal that Pininfarina is returning to it's origins as a specialist Carrozzeria.
Photos courtesy of Mark Shannon