Florida I, a 1955 show car now owned by Corrado Lo Presto, was awarded best in show honors Saturday at the inaugural Concorso d’Eleganza Pininfarina, held at Valentino Castle in Turin, Italy, to celebrate the automobile design and coachbuilding company’s 85th anniversary.
“According to the jury (of judges), this model of 1955 is the car that more than any other expresses the timeless beauty typical of the Pininfarina signature,” the company said in a news release.
Florida I was based on a Lancia Aurelia chassis and debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1955. Four versions were produced, including a four-door sedan with suicide-style doors. The car’s somewhat squared-off shape, full-width grille and tail fins reappeared as styling cues on the 1957 Lancia Flaminia and influenced many other cars in the late 1950s and into the ‘60s.
“In the 1950s, Italy’s design maestro, Pinin Farina, changed the shape of automotive architecture while drumming up new business for his expanding carrozzeria,” the website carstyling.ru said in its report on the car.
“Here’s the story of the dramatic show car – the 1955 Lancia Florida – that touched off a worldwide styling revolution with an influence you can still see today.
“The Lancia Florida is now some 50 years distant, so its colossal significance may not be fully appreciated by today’s style-conscious observer. Yet few design studies offer such a clear-cut example of a truly new form.”
Two other awards were presented: a 1947 Cisitalia 202 owned by Gino Coen won the Bovet Award as the most elegant car at the concorso while a 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter cabriolet owned by Anne and Bob Lee received the Chairman’s Award from Paolo Pininfarina.
Some 50 Pininfarina-designed vehicles, owned by collectors from around the world, were on display in the castle courtyard. The concorso is part of a four-day automotive festival in Turin.
Many of the cars in the concorso will participate today in a large parade of sports, classic and iconic cars through the center of Turin on a 14-kilometer route of streets otherwise closed to traffic for the morning.