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Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina at Pebble Beach 2006

Following on from their world premiere of the bespoke Ferrari 612 Scaglietti at Villa d'Este, Pininfarina will be showing at Pebble Beach another car specially commissioned by an American collector - the Enzo-based Ferrari P4/5...

The car is a one-off commissioned by James Glickenhaus, the American collector with a passion for the legendary racing cars of the Sixties.

Starting from a Ferrari Enzo (Mr Glickenhaus already has another...) the car was designed, engineered and built entirely by Pininfarina in Italy. The aim was to produce a unique vehicle inspired by sport racing cars with extreme purposes: not just a show-car but a vehicle to be enjoyed on the road.

After fixing the final styling after several changes to the initial sketches, the surfaces were defined using CAS modeling, then moving on to actual construction and assembly. More than 200 components were specifically developed through constant interaction between styling and design: from the bi-xenon lighting clusters specifically designed with an innovative system of yellow and white leds to the alloy wheels – 20-inch aluminum – milled from the block, up to and including the aluminum and special steel in-sight hinges.

The sleek lines of the vehicle took shape on the body – made entirely of carbon fibre. The tapered profile of the nose highlights both its aerodynamic function and the car’s new look; the central body is dominated by the single-shell windscreen, while the car is accessed via two butterfly type doors. The rear features powerful sides with the embedded teardrop type transparent rear window which also acts as engine cover and from which ceramic-coated exhaust tips peep out, as on racing cars of the Sixties.

“The entire vehicle – stresses Ken Okuyama, Director of Pininfarina Styling – expresses elegance and fluidity with the clear-cut, uncluttered lines that are typical of Pininfarina’s style. Our designer, Jason Castriota, succeeded very effectively in interpreting this approach to the project”.

Considerable attention has been dedicated to aerodynamics with continuous testing at the Pininfarina Aerodynamic and Aero-acoustic Research Center of Grugliasco (Turin, Italy) in an effort to reach the highest levels of performance combined with perfect functionality of all the appendices integrated in the body of the vehicle.

Three questions were posed to James Glickenhaus -

Why did you choose Pininfarina for your special car?

First of all, because I think that Pininfarina is the greatest designer in the world. Another aspect that impressed me was Pininfarina's extraordinary ability to create not just cars but real works of art. The only vehicle permanently on display at MOMA is a Cisistalia penned by Pininfarina. Last but not last, its long-lasting relationship with Ferrari, with its ability to dress all the most legendary vehicles produced at Maranello. I would also like to stress the right feeling established with Pininfarina personnel from the very first meeting.

To what extent were you involved in the project?

Completely. It was very exciting to take an active part in all the main phases of the project, from definition of styling to design of the vehicle. I was looking for a real car, not simply a show-car. I was able to understand the real complexity of producing a functioning custom-built car and how Pininfarina conducted the entire project is a masterly manner. Without forgetting the aerodynamic tests in the Pininfarina Wind Tunnel: absolutely fantastic!

Would you advise another car enthusiast to contact Pininfarina?

Sure! I really think I have been very lucky, being able to bring to life what was just a dream until a few months ago. Pininfarina has demonstrated that it has all it takes to satisfy even the most demanding customers.

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina at Pebble Beach 2006 Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina at Pebble Beach 2006
Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina at Pebble Beach 2006 Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina at Pebble Beach 2006

Words: Classic Driver
Photos: Pininfarina