Wednesday 26 August 2015

Design Story Part II : Pininfarina - Paolo Martin - Rolls Royce Camargue - Fiat 130 - Ferrari 400 - Leonardo Fioravanti

Early January this year the Dutch magazine "Autovisie" released a new edition. It had a very good article about the Fiat 130 and the Rolls Royce Camargue. Additionally the article continued with another article about the designer; Paolo Martin. Of course I purchased the magazine and scanned the article. I thought to share one of the pictures with the RR Camargue Facebook group as I expected it would be appreciated. One of the persons responded on it and asked if he could obtain the magazine somehow since he was not living in the Netherlands. I reached out to him via a PM on FB and asked for his address. I provided him a free copy which was much appreciated. I had some further chat with the requestor and it appeared he was a huge fan of this design and owned a Fiat 130 and the RR Camargue. When I brought up the 400 he mentioned he also owned a 412. How cool is that!? Where do you find these people?

To my surprise he also had the private email address of Paolo Martin which he shared with me. Let's call it Karma. So I used that opportunity to reach out to Paolo and simply asked more detail about the design and the relation between the 130 and the 400. At the time he was working for Pininfarina  just as Leonardo Fioravanti. As such my guess was there might have been some kind of cooperation between the two of them. Or perhaps Leonardo was influenced by the 130 design or potential reusing sketches. If you take a look at the first sketches of the Fiat 130 Coupe you might understand my point of view. I almost would consider it some kind of 400 prototype. I realize that should read the 365GT4 2+2 but I rather call it the 400.

To my great surprise I got a response from him the next day. Unfortunately I don't master the Italian language so I wrote him using Google translator which, as you might know, does not translate that well and makes a mess of the sentences. Vice versa he responded back to me in English using Google translator as well. If I understood the response correctly there were indeed many details taken from the Fiat 130 Coupe and the RR Camargue which were drawn by him in 1969. He states that the 400 was not very well appreciated by the market and had a few transformations during the years. This was apparently done with help from Aldo Brovarone (Lancia Gamma Coupe) but in his opinion with little succes. Since he left Pininfarina at 1972 he obviously did not know exactly the evolutionary process and with whom this was realized. In any case he considered the front of the 400 ugly.

As such I made an attempt to also reach out to Mr. Fioravanti to get his side of the story. I simply contacted him using the provided email address on his company website. I wrote up an email with only an enquiry to provide any detail on the design and it's originating. The email was written in both English and Italian to ensure it would be read. A few weeks went by and by the time I gave up hope on a response I received a reply. A very brief response from him with apologies for the delay since he was very busy lately. He clearly states that the Ferrari 365GT4 2+2 (400/412) is his personal design as per others 10 Ferrari designs. He's referring that all of his designs during his professional career are now written up in a book and published, Italian-English, in May. The title of this book is "il Cavallino nel cuore" by Publisher Giorgio Nada Editor. Obviously I'm very curious regarding this book. According to the Publisher it does contain material that has not been released before.

Although Mr. Fioravanti might have been reusing details of the Fiat 130 Coupe, in essence Paolo had been doing the same. I'm specifically pointing towards the C-pillar towards the tail in combination with the sharp crease below. This typical styling was already used on the Lancia Flaminia Coupe, which was a Pininfarina creation as well. It's origin however started on the Lancia Florida. See and read about this per other blog I have written:

So far so good. Meanwhile on the Facebook group 365/400/412( I posted a picture of a 400 that I found on Pinterest. It did had a Belgium license plate and as such I thought it could be a known one.

One person recognized it and mentioned it was published in a particular French car magazine. I was informed it was a collectible magazine (no longer exists) and not easy to obtain. Luck was on my side, I found one instantly on Ebay but as always it did not came cheap. Luckily the French seller was able to communicate in English, it turned out this particular magazine was located on a different storage location so I was kindly informed to have a little more patience before it could be shipped. Of course not a problem. He also mentioned that recently he obtained a new reprint of the entire publications of this magazine. But I had no interest in that. The magazine I eventually received was not a reprint but an original edition:

(available in the download folder)

To my great surprise it did contain not only the expected picture, it had also had a nice article about the 400. In fact it were two articles and including very interesting and unique factory pictures. I simply couldn't believe it. How can this not be revealed before or available on the internet. It was even more stunning to see that Leonardo Fioravanti provided coop for this article. Which can be considered more or less quite rare as there are very few publications known about him or with his involvement. One problem though, it's written in French and I don't master that language. So I had to find someone who could translate it for me. I will spare you the details but it got translated for me against a small fee.

As the article also mentioned the photographer's name I made a simple query on Google. It turned out he's a known photographer with his own website:
And even better, with a huge online database. I made a simple query on Ferrari 400 and presto a few more pictures showed up. Wow. Unfortunately these are small watermarked pictures. In order to access the database one can subscribe to it and place orders, this seems to be limited for professionals or companies only. I was lucky to know someone who had a joined interest in this matter as such he reached out to him but without joy, sigh!

Whilst this is work in progress I started to dig further. I don't recall what triggered me or how I came across it but I suspect I must have been searching more specific into Pininfarina. As such I find out that they also had published yearbooks. Further research showed there was a yearbook for 1972/73. It was no 12. Unfortunately on their own website you can not find anything about it. At first I tried all the automobilia address's listed on my blog. And yes, I found it on (a personal favorite). However the next day they replied it was not on stock and I was added on their search list, as soon as they would find a copy I would get one. Bummer. It was not available on or Ebay either, but eventually I found it on Mind you, this is quite labour intensive work with only using the search word 'pininfarina' this to ensure I would encounter it. In return I often get to see other nice finds of my interest. As said, I found one, a bit pricy, but I ordered it.

(see blog update
 - as you can see it was not a particular interesting article).

Whilst I'm now awaiting for the magazine translation and the yearbook delivery I think I will write up another email to Mr. Fioravanti since I got ahold of  these unique 400 sketches published in the French magazine. I wonder if these will be published in his new book as well. In any case I will include it in my email to provoke him.

Furthermore I need to get access to the online photo database I mentioned earlier. So more work to do. I decided to write the French photographer first, both in French and English. This did the trick, I got a French response and got informed he does not know me and that he only works with professionals from the known magazines. Aha. I wrote him back and told him my intentions. Unfortunately no response back since. Right!

Meanwhile I also wrote Mr Fioravanti and included these sketch drawings from the French magazine:

As you can see they are totally different then Paolo Martin sketch drawings. I got a reply back from him personally the next day. In fact I received two emails. And one email written up in both Italian and English. He was very eager to know where I had found these pictures. And there was still a little time left to include them in his new book as it was not printed yet. So if I please could tell him my source and if I could give him a call urgently. Right! Clearly my provocation helped and apparently they were not in his possesion (surprisingly) nor included in his book.

I was in doubt about the best approach and decided simply to inform him about the French photographer and his online database - which only revealed a few photo's. If he would be succesfull in obtaining an account or the photo's directly I potentially could get them via him. I also further settled an interview with him to promote his book but also to have an unqiue opportunity to meet up with him and get to know more detail about the 400. In fact this was more or less agreed by him per other email conversation. Unfortunately I did not get a follow up email from him yet. But perhaps I'm to impatience and I will get to hear from him tomorrow. If not I will give him a call and hope he speaks English.

We are now 2 weeks further and today it seems like all is coming together at once. First of all I finalized a small package deal on 400 memorabilia (3 items). I received a German magazine with a very good article about the 400. As a matter of fact I also received seperate the Pininfarina yearbook 1972/73 edition no 12. And tonight I will receive the translated article from the French Magazine.
And if this wasn't enough I received an email from the book Publisher. Good news, I will get a signed copy by Leonardo Fioravanti. And strangely later that evening the following picture was posted on a FB group:

Via :

And yes, it's from the mentioned French magazine. How on earth can this all happen in one day. And the next day these pictures got posted on a different FB group:


As I knew from Mr. Fioravanti, he meanwhile successfully obtained the pictures from the French photographer. Therefore I reached out to the photographer again. This time around he was more responsive and cooperative. I made a financial deal to buy the published magazine pictures from him and with the rights to use them for internet usage. So there you go, another transaction made.

We are now very close, less then a week, to visit Mr Fioravanti for the interview. Meanwhile I have understood the book has been published. So I reached out to him and asked if he could bring a copy with him so that it could be used for promotional purposes as well.

For the interview arrangements has been made with Cinecars ( A small bunch of people with great car passion. The good thing is, the cameraman Mirco, does happen to be Italian. Meanwhile Johan from Cinecars got me in contact with a true designer; Niels van Roij ( Together we compiled a list of questions for the interview. Everything was worked out for the weekend. It was going to be a very interesting weekend and a lot was going to happen as at first we were going to make a video report in Swiss on Friday and Saturday. And Sunday was reserved for the interview with Mr Fioravanti in Turin. So a lot of international driving and filming was going to take place.

To be continued!

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