By on May 4, 2010

The earlier post about Ferrari swearing to never build a four door instantly reminded me of the four door that Ferrari almost did build: the stunningly beautiful 1980 Pinin concept. I have vivid memories of drooling over it at the 1980 or 1981 LA Auto Show. What a divine piece of work in an era that gave us some weird four doors such as the Lagonda.

Sergio Pininfarina designed and had this car built as a tribute to his father, Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, and it was first shown at the 1980 Turin Show. It was a huge success, and Enzo Ferrari was duly impressed. He invited Farina to discuss building a limited run of Pinins, but it somehow never quite came together. But it certainly wasn’t because of any philosophical issues about a four door Ferrari. No one had ever suggested one in such a convincing fashion.

The Pinin’s interior was superb for the times, and is that a flat screen web browser in the back?

The Pinin used the flat 12 engine, presumably as also used in the BB. There were a number of other technological advances, and the car still looks remarkably fresh and attractive for a thirty year old design.

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21 Comments on “Ferrari Pinin: The Four Door Ferrari That Almost Was Built...”

  • avatar

    “…stunningly beautiful…”, Really? I’m just not seeing it in these pictures. Looks Cadillac-LeBaron-esque-ish…sorta…

    Perhaps it looked better in person?

  • avatar

    “The Pinin’s interior was superb for the times, and is that a flat screen web browser in the back?”

    No, it’s the rear seat nav system, to help you figure out what car you’re riding in, and in what universe.

    P.S. how come everytime I click on a link in any of your posts my internet freezes up? Very annoying and only happens here when I click on picture links, or links such as the Lagonda link above. I’d like to see all these things, but constantly having to CTRL/ALT/DELETE my way out is really frustrating…

    • 0 avatar

      Me, too, on the issue of my browser freezing up when I click on TTAC pictures and other links these days. Anyone else having this problem? I’m always having to open them in a new tab or window.

    • 0 avatar

      Because those are sponsored ADS! Those are not links provided by the author, they are links put their by the ad delivery service that TTAC uses.

      If the link is double underlined, don’t go near it with your cursor since it will try to pop up a window, which is likely blowing up your Internet Explorer (which you really shouldn’t be using as it is utter crap, really)

      If it is single underlined, you can place the mouse cursor over it to see where the link will direct you before you click on it. This way you can see whether it would send you to a reasonable site or potentially launch another ad or a redirected spam site that will leverage several security exploits in your Internet Explorer and install mal-ware to turn your computer into a bandwidth abusing zombie system.

    • 0 avatar

      No they’re TTAC links, posted by the author. Sometimes they’re picture thumbnails, or sometimes they’re like the Lagonda link in this ad.

      The advertisement links actually work fine for me…

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Simply gorgeous. For some reason, the BEST italian designers can make a car into classic art. Of course, at their worst, they bring us the Fiat Brava….

  • avatar

    If this weren’t a Pininfarina design, would we still be exclaiming how “stunningly beautiful” it is?

    Looks like a Rover from the 80s. Meh.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, it does look a little like Rovers of the mid-late 80s, because it was a stunning and very influential design.

      In 1980 Rover were still proudly selling the SD1 a design acknowledged to have been inspired by Ferraris of the late 60s and early 70s (like the Daytona).

      Fair enough if this isn’t your cup of tea, (“beauty is in the eye…” and all that) but dismissing it because later designs looked like it shows a marvellous lack of historical perspective.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    …speaking of the Lagonda, when are you doing piece on that? It was the epitome of the 80s wedge style.

  • avatar

    Well I like it. I love the wedge cars from the 70s. A nice detail is the handles by the back seats for when top speed is called for.

    And I’m having a different problem with the galleries. The images don’t link properly. The thumbnails are all linked to the same image (the first one you click on). Have the web guys check it out, there’s a bug there.

  • avatar

    Looks just like a pic of a Toronado I have in a screen-saver file.

    Nice. I guess…

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, my first thought too: early Olds Toronado front end. The rear evokes the De Tomaso Longchamp.

      Overall a nice effort. The 4-door Maser with the Buick fender portholes doesn’t come close.

  • avatar

    Stunning? Yes. Beautiful? No.

  • avatar

    The Ferrari 400, 401i, 412 2+2, also by Pininfarina, was a better- balanced design, IMHO. But nobody seems to have liked them, nobody seems to like them now. They are really cheap to buy. Might have something to do with the automatic transmission (unacceptable for Ferrari nerds, really bad and unreliable?). I don’t know.

  • avatar

    IDK … when I look at this car it reminds me of the mid-90’s Opel Omega (aka Cadillac Catera) …

  • avatar

    I remember reading about this back in the day and how awesome it looked. Many styling cues from the 400i coupe, “the gentleman’s Ferrari” which I always liked but never really caught on with the fanbase possibly because they didn’t have the same wild exotic character as the 308 and 512.

    The 400i actually used a GM Turbo Hydramatic transmission, as did Rolls Royce at the time…

  • avatar

    It’s nice, I guess, but it looks like the combination of an Olds 88 and an Infiniti Q45.

  • avatar


    I hate to say it..

    Ferrari and Lamborghini both have the same goal in mind…
    To build whatever someone with enough BLOODY money says.

    They are both building transmissions WITHOUT MANUALS.
    Ferrari is now building the California.. aimed at women and FRONT ENGINED.
    Lamborghini showed off a 4dr concept…
    Lamborghini also did a 4wd / suv / 4×4 once… I don’t put it past them to do it again.
    Aston Martin is producing a 4dr sedan.. for the same yachting yahoos who just HAVE TO HAVE LR3… for the off roading they do to the GOLF COURSE.

    Porsche got maneuvered to build the Panamera and the Cayenne, two gutless pos that shouldn’t have been built. REGARDLESS of how much money they pull in… and REGARDLESS of the issues that the CEO got PORSCHE into.

    Give it a few years.. they will all make an SUV.. just like TESLA.

    What crap.

  • avatar

    Well of course, its a Pinin Farina!! I can’t think of an ugly car from that design house.

    The 80’s Rover SDI was a rip off of the Daytona (PF)

    The 400i was available with a 5 speed in europe.

    Bravas and multiplas were not PF designs.

    My 164 still turns heads. Too bad the Allante had GM mechanicals.

  • avatar

    A good friend of mine has a Peugeot 406 Coupe, a Pininfarina design, beautiful car indeed!
    Very much like this one.

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