|1952 Lancia B52 PF200 Convertible - the 1952 Turin show car (from the authors collection)|
In 1950, Lancia introduced the B50 chassis to replace the aging Aprilia. In 1952, around 100 examples of the B52 chassis were built with a slightly longer wheelbase for neighboring Italian Carrosserie to create custom coachwork. The B52 was one of only a handful of cars still available to coach builders without a body and last Lancia chassis to be available as such. Ghia, Bertone, and others would grace the B52 chassis, but it was Battista 'Pinin' Farina (coming off his success bodying the Cristallia 202 chassis) that would create the car seen here for the 1952 Turin Salon. As with other coach builders, Farina was looking to generate interest in its design that would lead to a semi-production run.
The so named PF200 convertible and coupe, is said to have been influenced by American aircraft design (take a look at the F86 Sabre introduced in 1949), however this car doesn't seem to have spurred significant public interest. Farina would go on to build a total of 6 (some say 5) PF200's - two additional convertibles and three coupes. Four of these cars are thought to have survived - no two are exactly alike. The PF200 uses the Vittorio Jano designed 2 liter, 6-cylinder engine (hemispherical head) producing around 90hp.
Pininfarina (their name officially changed in 1961) would go on to greater success with Lancia in 1954 with the Aurelia B24 Spyder (one of which is also in the same collection as this car). This car, in a beautiful private collection of sports and racing cars, was sent back to Pininfarina for restoration prior to its showing at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours - where it was returned to its original green color.
Pinin Farina would call upon this design to influence his 1956 Nash Rambler Palm Beach Show car commissioned by George Mason. It would be the firm's work with Nash that would truly introduce the Farina name to America.
|Pinin Farina Display (photo credit: www.pininfarina.it)|
|Period advertising for the PF200 (photo credit:www. coachbuilt.com)|
|The 1954 Nash Palm Beach Coupe by Farina (photo credit: www.conceptcarz.com)|