A memorable evening with Sergio
Sergio Pininfarina was inducted into the European Automotive Hall of Fame in March 2008, six years after his father, Battista Pininfarina.
The induction ceremony took place at a dinner hosted by Automotive News Europe in Geneva. It was Sergio's last public appearance.
Already ill at that time and with the dinner program at the Hotel InterContinental running behind schedule, he became anxious and uncomfortable.
He had decided to leave, thus skipping his induction and his speech.
It took all the charm of his beloved daughter, Lorenza, to calm Sergio down and persuade him to stay and address the audience. Along with her brother Andrea, she helped Sergio reach the podium.
His speech that night was tremendous. When he was finished, the room exploded in a long, intense standing ovation.
I was among the many people with tears in their eyes.
Then Sergio wanted a group picture with his entire family, his son- and daughters-in-law included. In my mind, that Geneva ceremony was a much-deserved happy ending to a legendary career. I will never forget it.
You can reach Luca Ciferri at firstname.lastname@example.org.