Carrozzeria Pininfarina, one of the world’s most-influential auto-design firms, will be celebrated during Gooding and Company’s auction in Pebble Beach, California, with the offering of three spectacular examples of Italian artistry.
Founded by Batista “Pinin” Farina in 1930, the design company become closely associated with Ferrari starting in the 1950s. Both the company and the family names were officially changed in 1961 to Pininfarina.
The stunning highlight of the group is the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet originally owned by aristocrat Prince Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli of Rome, whose over-the-top playboy lifestyle was the inspiration for Fellini’s landmark film, La Dolce Vita.
“The elegant Series I Cabriolet was the most-exclusive and expensive Ferrari road car of its era,” Gooding says in a news release. “One of only 40 Series I Cabs built, chassis 0789 GT is one of just four equipped with the most desirable combination of coachwork details – covered headlights, side vents and bumperettes. Like all Series I Cabriolets, 0789 GT was hand built by Pinin Farina’s custom workshop, where it was finished to the highest standards.
“Ruspoli was the ideal buyer for such a Ferrari, both in terms of his social status and glamorous image. Dado was known as a notorious socialite … and was often seen driving his exotic sports cars with such iconic figures as Salvador Dalí, Brigitte Bardot, Truman Capote and Pablo Picasso. Prince Ruspoli eventually sold the Series I to continue paying for his lavish lifestyle, and the car remained in the care of devoted Italian enthusiasts throughout the 1970s and ’80s.”
In black over a green-leather interior, the Cabriolet is a multiple concours winner and never before offered at auction, Gooding says. The estimated pre-auction value is $7 million to $8 million.
“This exceptional car has a fantastic provenance, with a connection to one of the most famous playboys of the jet-set era,” according to Gooding.
Close behind the Ferrari Series 1 Cabriolet is a one-of-a-kind show car, the 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Superflow IV, built by Pinin Farina from a race car. Chassis 00128 was originally one of six technically advanced competition cars built by the factory before Alfa’s racing activities were suspended in the mid-1950s.
The 6C 3000 CM used a tubular spaceframe chassis with independent front suspension, a De Dion rear axle and inboard rear brakes. Power was provided by 3.5-liter straight-six engine with twin overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication and six Weber carburetors, producing 270 horsepower.
“Following the 1954 racing season, this 6C 3000 CM was given to Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, who used the advanced chassis to build a series of experimental show cars,” the release says. “The first version of the Alfa Romeo Superflow was unveiled at the 1956 Paris Auto Show and then underwent several revisions before being finished in its final Superflow IV form.
“A hugely influential design study, the Superflow series previewed design cues that would later appear on many Pininfarina-bodied production cars, such as the Alfa Romeo Duetto.”
The Superflow was “meticulously restored” before appearing at 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, when it won first in class, as well as The Vitesse – Elegance Trophy.
The estimated value for this unique and colorful masterpiece is $6 million to $8 million.
A limited-production 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupe Aerodinamico also will be offered by Gooding, a coachbuilt Pinninfarina version of the series that “is widely regarded as the ultimate coachbuilt Ferrari of the early 1960s,” the release says.
The aerodynamic design was inspired by the Superfast II show car, and chassis 3361 SA was displayed with two other Pininfarina-bodied cars at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show. After decades in the hands of Italian collectors, the car came to the US in 2016. Remarkably, it remains in original condition.
“Recently, this largely unrestored car was exhibited at the 2019 Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, where it won the coveted Preservation Award,” the release notes.
The Superamerica’s estimated value is $2.8 million to $3.4 million.
Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction will be held August 16 and 17 at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center during Monterey Car Week. For more information, visit the auction website.