Monday, April 4, 2011

For the love of Pininfarina. #1

The Pininfarina design house has no bounds to it's influential reach in the automobile industry. From flagship automotive collaborations with companies like Ferrari for the 458 and 599, to collaborations with BBS to create OE supplied five spoke wheels for MK3 Volkswagens, Pininfarina is everywhere even if you don't know it is. It's hard to put into words what Pininfarina has meant to cars around the globe since being founded by Battista "Pinin" Farina in 1930, but for the time being let's focus on one of it's more recent notable ventures; the Ferrari P4/5 project, commissioned by investment mogul James Glickenhaus.

Photo courtesy of
For some background, the Ferrari 'P' designation represents the 'prototype' racecars Ferrari produced for road racing. The first Ferrari P car was the 250P, which was produced in 1963 and won several endurance races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As these prototype Ferrari's were produced and raced, they were evolved throughout the year, typically to larger displacement engines, as a rolling testbed for new performance technology for the following season. After the less successful 330 P2 debuted in 1965, the 330 P3 arrived for the 1966 racing season with fuel injection, a closed cockpit, new transmissions and new body design. There were three P3s produced and all three where converted to latter-designated prototypes the following year; one of which being the controversial P3/4 (Chassis# 0846), that kept all the P3 chassis and suspension parts, but was modified by Ferrari to accept the new P4 four-liter engine before the 1967 race season. During the 1967 race season, the Ferrari P3/4 scored a DNF during the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to an accident that rendered it unusable. According to reports Ferrari discarded of this very car after crashing, however, the assumed P3/4 "replica" James Glickenhaus has in his garage currently points to a much different story.

Photo courtesy of Richard Owen -
In 2005 Pininfarina, under leadership of Battista's grandson Andrea Pininfarina, was looking to grow business in the form of one-off commissioned project cars. Andrea approched James Glickenhaus with the idea of producing a one-off automobile and he informed them he wanted a current rendition of the Ferrari P3/4. So James bought a Ferrari Enzo, that Ferrari Enzo went to Pininfarina's assembly plant in Turin, Italy and the rest is history.

Video hosting courtesy of jynxprod.

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