The perpetual style icon, bon vivant and once head of Italy’s most powerful family, Giovanni ‘Gianni’ Agnelli was well known for his love of exotic cars. And his position as the patriarch of Fiat enabled him to commission some wild one-offs, from factory-built drop-top versions of the Lancia Delta Integrale and the Ferrari Testarossa to a Ferrari 365P with a unique three-abreast seating configuration, akin to the much later McLaren F1.
During the winter months, however, when L’Avvocato took residence in the cosmopolitan Alpine resort of St. Moritz, he opted for a more practical means of transport: this humble Fiat Panda 4x4 Trekking. Resplendent in Agnelli’s preferred shade of silver with tasteful blue accents, the utilitarian Fiat became something of an ‘alternate’ fashion statement in St. Moritz, where its all-wheel drive made light work of the snowy roads. And after seeing photos of Agnelli getting in and out of the car, dressed in a stylish ski suit and his signature hiking boots, it all starts to make sense – the car really embodies his unpretentious, quirky and effortless style.
Agnelli sold the Panda in 2001 and it’s since been (perhaps sinfully) customised by Garage Italia, the Milan-based automotive tailoring company founded by his grandson Lapo Elkann. Check out the blue Vitale Barberis Canonico upholstery! The car will now be sold by Aste Bolaffi at its ‘Classic Cars, Youngtimers & Memorabilia Auction’ on 15 November in Agnelli’s beloved Turin. It’s been given a pre-sale estimate of 20,000–30,000 euros, a lot perhaps for a Panda, but not so much to emulate one of the most stylish men ever to have walked the planet.
Photos: Aste Bolaffi