Project Pininfarina Part 1

 

Since the 1950’s, Battista “Pinin” Farina, the company later to become Pininfarina after his death designed and produced some of the world’s most famous sports cars. Many timeless Ferrari’s wore the Pininfarina badge and are some of the most prized cars in the world.

In 1964 designer Tom Tajaarda created the FIAT 124 Sport Spider for FIAT and Pininfarina. Powered by a dual cam Lampredi 4 cylinder, the car was small and quick with Ferrari hertiage. This is the car to later become the Pininfarina Azzurra!

In 1982, after more than 50 years of designing cars for other companies, Pininfarina became a true automobile manufacturer, taking over from FIAT the companies most successful design, the Sport Spider.  The company named the car the Azzurra for the U.S. market and in Europe it was the Spider Europa.  With more than 100 improvements over the previous FIAT cars the car was priced at more than a Corvette or Lincoln Towncar of the time.

Production numbers were very low making the Azzurra very rare with a total of 6400 produced worldwide over a 3 1/2 year period.  Best estimates are that attrition has claimed close to 60%. 

With a little history out of the way about our car!  Purchased in 1985 from GMAC repossessed at auction it seemed rather normal.  A bright red sports car with nothing to make it really stand out as unusual.  Who knew?  The car was used as a normal daily driver for a number of years and later became a pleasure car for weekends and occasional driving.  Later it got virtually no road time at all and fell into major disrepair.  Carted from place to place on the back of a trailer it finally rested in the back driveway of the owners house under several layers of tarps and coverings.  Then the city found it! and this is the story of how a car goes from Champion to wreck and back to Champion over the years,