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Pininfarina + e320 Eurostar

You Got a Fast Car 

Eurostar e320 Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce. Fast cars. Keep up. Snaidero OLA Kitchen 1990, Juventus Stadium 2008, Calligaris Orbital Table 2011, Millecento Residences 2012, Sergio Pininfarina Concept Car Ferrari 2013, Fuoriserie Bike 2014. Steady excellence. Keep going. It was only a matter of time, time being of everyone’s essence, waiting for no woman, until Pininfarina was asked to design the fleet of trains travelling up to 200 miles per hour that link the UK to continental Europe. The French – and Belgian – connection. All aboard the Eurostar. Happy 20th birthday.

City lights lay out before us | We don’t need anything or anyone

St Pancras Eurostar e320 Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

It’s the unveiling of the first new state of the art e320 train. The world class Italian design house has gone full steam ahead with the interior design covering styling, engineering and livery to boot. Pininfarina’s brand values, as ever, are at work and play here: creativity, experience, innovation. Nothing jejune. Nothing ersatz. Nothing déclassé. Nada. That hasn’t changed since 1930. Unlike the number and whereabouts of the employees. The company now has a workforce of 3,000 across Italy, Germany, Sweden, Morocco, China. Bigger picture, devilish detail. After all, Pininfarina has in the past gone micro, designing an exclusive bottle of Chivas 18. Back to macro, delivering it large.

Is it fast enough so you can fly away | We’ll do it all everything on our own

Pininfarina Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

St Pancras Eurostar Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

A double decade ago, Eurostar really was the most momentous event in the history of cross Channel travel since Blériot wobbled his way over the white cliffs in 1909. At first departing from Waterloo, the smart move was to relocate to St Pancras, a destination itself with two of London’s finest hotels at the end of the line. Beautiful staff line the platform as a DJ and poptastic quartet perform. More seats, more room, more fun. Pininfarina has given Eurostar all that pizzazz. Business class culinary director Raymond Blanc says salut.

Leave tonight or live and die this way | Just know that these things will never change for us at all

Pininfarina Eurostar Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Over to Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic: “We’ve changed the way people think, live and work between the cities of London, Paris and Brussels. So far we’ve carried 150 million passengers. Eurostar has doubled the size of the market between our three cities. Our DNA is product innovation and customer service. We aim to make travelling a pleasure, an experience in itself.” Next year, Eurostar will travel direct to Lyon. The following year, Amsters.  A star is reborn.

Maybe together we can get somewhere | Let’s waste time

St Pancras Pininfarina Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Categories
Design Luxury People

Pininfarina Tribute Rally Launch + Hurtwood Park Polo Club

Polo Minted

1 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

What a wonderful world. Lavender’s Blue were delighted to be invited to cover the exclusive launch of the Pininfarina Tribute Rally 2013 at the glorious Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Surrey. It got off to a flying start on a gorgeous sunny June weekend. The forthcoming September rally is in honour of the late great creative genius Sergio Pininfarina. It was an outing of the bold and beautiful, and that was just starting with the cars. Sergio’s dashing son Paolo, who has taken over as chairman of the company that carries his family’s name, unveiled for the first time in the UK the concept car made in honour of his father. A helicopter ride over the woodland, a quick spin across the grassland, and Paolo pulled up beside us. The view from the VIP marquee never looked so good.

2 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

“I’m sure my father is happy today,” he proudly announced. “This car expresses his spirit. It also represents the past, the present and the future of Pininfarina. History continues forth in the present tradition of excellence in designing, manufacturing and engineering. For the future, it shows the potential for securing new business for Pininfarina. So it is fitting that my father who created so many motoring masterpieces is honoured by this concept car named in his memory. I know he would like it.”

3 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

In polo, as we all know, players are rated on a handicap scale of -2 to 10, the higher the better. Talent shines through horsemanship, range of strokes and speed of play. A goal is a goal, whether by pony or rider. The Sergio is an equine athlete in crimson metal and grey leather. Ferrari’s pioneering wind tunnels were exploited to the max during the design process. The low front spoiler, the leading edge of the roll bar behind the cockpit and the passenger compartment are all shaped to enhance air flow. Instead of a windshield, driver and passenger wear helmets. The headrests appear to float as they are attached to the roll bar, not the seats. Holes atop the rear engine recall Pininfarina’s Ferrari 512S Modulo.

4 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Event sponsors Brokersclub – “high speed online trading” according to founder Markus Böckmann – held the four matches of the Brokersclub Tribute Gold Cup Polo Tournament over the course of the launch weekend. A VIP marquee in front of the clubhouse allowed the glamorous crowd, handbags and glad rags and hot legs, to take in all things horse power, two and four legged, while Rod Stewart laid on the foreground music. Hurtwood is owned by Kenney Jones, legendary drummer with The Who. Kenney also serenaded the crowd with his own band The Jones Gang.

5 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

6 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Ooh la la! The triumphant triumvirate of trophies, trips and tribunes kept going with a world record breaking gathering of over 200 Pininfarina designed cars. A lucky 100 owners were there to gear up for taking part in the rally. Among the cars on display were dozens of Ferraris from the past such as the 275 GTB Spider, the 250 GT SWB and the 365 Daytona. More recent Ferrari models included the 360 Modena and the 458 Spider.

7 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Other newer brands represented at Hurtwood included the Alfa Romeo Duetto, the Lancia Aurelia B20 and the Lancia Monte Carlo. Also on display were rare models such as the Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider, first seen at the Brussels Motor Show of 1955. Eric Clapton popped over from his neighbouring estate in his one-of-a-kind SP12 EC Ferrari, designed by Pininfarina in collaboration with the Ferrari Design Centre. Some guys have all the luck.

8 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

  • Day 1: the Pininfarina cavalcade departs from the Hilton on Park Lane crossing the English Channel at Dover and onwards to Dunkirk. Spend first night in Germany.
  • Day 2: the Swiss mountains await; stop over close to the Italian border.
  • Day 3: navigate God’s Highway aka the Stelvio Pass which has more hairpins than a Sixties beehive bouffant. After a rendezvous at the Pininfarina Design Building, onwards to Maranello, the home of Ferrari.
  • Day 4: drive across Monaco where a party on aboard mega yacht provides a travel respite.
  • Day 5: the party continues at Jimmy’z. This is Monte Carlo after all. Raise your champagne flutes to Sergio Pininfarina!

9 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Categories
Design Luxury

Chivas 18 + Pininfarina

Whisky Mist Paolo Pininfarina lvbmag.com

New year, new article, new collaboration. In a world exclusive, you heard it here first. Chivas Regal 18 Year Old and Pininfarina have come together for the first time to create a limited edition. Under wraps until now, we are delighted to reveal – breaking with Scotch whisky tradition – the three expressions of the Chivas 18 by Pininfarina limited edition.

Colin Scott lvbmag.com

Paolo Pininfarina himself provides the headline: “Italian style means a sense of proportion, simplicity and harmony of line and we applied this sensibility to the designs we developed for Chivas 18.” Both companies share a rich heritage in crafting stimulating experiences in luxury. Pininfarina has been trailblazing Italian design and engineering since 1930. Established in 1909, master brand Chivas Regal is the original luxury whisky blend. Pininfarina’s Creative Director, Paolo Trevisan, also recognises the spirit (no pun) of the partnership. “We both have passion and strong knowledge. Pininfarina design is about aerodynamics, how air affects shape. Chivas 18, naturally, is symbolised by liquid. I was fascinated to learn that each drop of Chivas 18 captures 85 flavours. Multisensory complexity yet delivered with such precision. The partnership was a perfect marriage of values and mutual respect. It’s been inspiring.” That inspiration takes the form of a streamlined drop. It unites both houses in their ongoing quest for beauty, harmony and, ultimately, pleasure.

2 Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Level 1 lvbmag.com

And now for Limited Edition 1. A blue metallic finished outer case is reminiscent of prestigious car metalwork. The rich wood veneer interior represents the oak barrels intrinsic to the ageing process of Chivas 18. Paolo Pininfarina calls this “the cold and warm effect”. All three expressions include a specially designed bottle of Chivas 18 with Pininfarina’s design notes visible on the metalised crest. The Italian company’s logo is proudly emblazoned on the capsule and neck wrap. A mere snip at £90 (that’s the Duty Free price so pick it up on your return from Rosa Alpina).

1 Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Level 2 lvbmag.com

Limited Edition 2 features the same design cues while taking the expression of the partnership further. It features a solid wood inlay and is even more aerodynamic. Proudly presenting the limited edition bottle, it also includes two glasses designed by Pininfarina which reflect the drop design. Each unit is individually numbered to highlight its limited edition status. Perfect for opening in the limo back home from the airport. Yours for £360.

2 Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Level 2 lvbmag.com

Colin Scott is Master Blender of Chivas Regal. He developed an early passion for Scotch whisky growing up near an Orkney distillery. Colin is the third generation of his family to dedicate their lives to the whisky industry. As guardian of the renowned Chivas Regal signature style, he says, “Chivas 18 is smooth, flowing, excellent, warming. Scottish culture glorifies craftsmanship. Pininfarina’s glass references the drop. It sits beautifully in your hand – a translation of exceptional harmony in every drink. Limited Edition 2 takes Chivas 18 to another stratosphere.” Chivas 18 Mascherone by Pininfarina is the ultimate status symbol for your home. Inspired by the mascherone, the original wooden frame that was used to refine automobile shapes, it marks the pinnacle of the partnership. Hand assembled in Cambiano by Pininfarina, Limited Edition 3 has an oak internal structure clad in aluminium. Illumination from the base brings this collector’s piece to life. Only five Mascherones will be on display globally. Otherwise, it’s made to order. If you have to ask, chances are you can’t afford it.

2 Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Level 3 lvbmag.com

Categories
Design

Pininfarina + Hyperion Rolls-Royce

A Paler Hue of Blue

Lunch with Paolo Pininfarina at the Louise Blouin Foundation. Outside, the November sky is unseasonably blue. Inside, the converted warehouse is simply white. It’s the backdrop to the tv series Four Rooms. Lunch was a suitably scrumptuous Italian affair. Antipasta served with Italian breads. Wild mushroom pappardelle with rosemary oil, toasted hazelnuts and parmesan. Panna cotta with autumn berries. Coffee and petit fours.

“London has such elegant blue skies,” observes Paolo and then qualifies the statement adding, “Sometimes!”. He says, “Blue is the institutional colour of our brand.” It’s more than 80 years since Battista “Pinin” Farina signed the deed founding Società Anonima Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Turin. His grandson leads what has become an industrial design powerhouse and global partner to the motor industry.

“Design is what we have been about since the beginning,” says Paolo. “We use our knowledge to create for the future… to create magic!” Pininfarina’s automotive clients include Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati among others. Custom built luxury models take Pininfarina back to its roots, back two generations. Take the Hyperion (or at least you could if you’d a couple of million pounds to spare).

Created in Italy, this opulent one-off roadster takes up the legacy of Rolls-Royces designed by Pininfarina. Silver Dawn saloon of 1951, Camargue coupé of 1975… it has an illustrious heritage. The car is named after one of the Titans of Greek mythology, emphasising its architectural and figurative power.

The concept behind the Hyperion was to create a custom built car that would evoke the sumptuousness of 1930s driving. A majestic regal bonnet which surges forward, a body surrounding the driver and a single passenger, and an elegantly short tail were all musts. The result is a 21st century model firmly rooted in the values of the Pininfarina and Rolls-Royce brands. Structurally, Pininfarina moved the driving position back 400mm and took out the rear seats. A new style of hood was designed which folds behind the seats under a wood lined cover.

The iconic (for once the adjective is truly deserved) Rolls-Royce grille has been slightly inclined. An upper trapezoid part aerodynamically links to the engine hood. Recessed Bixenon headlights convey sportiness. The bonnet is underlined by the muscular taut wings. An illusion of movement even when the car is stationary is provided by extending the line that embraces the front wheels until it disappears into the hood cover. The rear end recalls Pininfarina’s legendary ‘Berlinettas’ of the 1950s and 60s with their cut off tails inclined downwards and a flat closure borrowed from boat building.

The bodywork is made of carbon guaranteeing geometrical accuracy, high rigidity and unexpected lightness. External and internal wooden finishing is another nautical reference. The doors are made of fine solid wood by craftsmen employing technologies used to create components for luxury yachts. A watch designed by Girard-Perregaux specially for the Hyperion can be removed from the dashboard and worn.

Hyperion is blue. Azure blue, the aquamarine of a hazy day on the ocean. Pininfarina has just completed a collaboration with another leading brand Paolo tells us in confidence. “Blue is the colour of both our companies,” he confides. We’ll keep you posted.