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1962 Austin Healey 3000 by Pininfarina

While still a student, Pio Manzù had a chance to express his design interests in the International Competition organized by the magazine “Année Automobile” of Lausanne, marking its tenth anniversary in 1963. With two school-mates, Manzù won it with a prototype on Austin Healey 3000 mechanicals, built by the Carrozzeria Pininfarina and exhibited at the Turin and London Motor Shows the same year.

In an article published in 1964 (Style Auto” n. 3), commenting on the principles that guided the design of Austin Healey 3000 (winner of the prestigious international competition launched by the editors of L’Année Automobile), Manzù wrote: “We’re at a crossroads. Either we go on with largely stylistic studies and slide into pure fashion (in which the Americans are far ahead of us), or we take a new path, as suggested by traffic conditions and needs in Europe.” This famous warning, a response to the redesign and styling operations which were a rampant feature of international car production in the mid-sixties, especially in America, partly explains his approach to design. He wanted to develop original types of vehicles and, at the same time, endow them with functions and performance that would respond more closely to their real conditions of use.

The adoption of new materials in the manufacture of individual components of the body, research into systems for covering the underbody, and large apertures to allow the doors and hood to open wide all testify to his continuous research, combining in equal measure technical features, formal values, and specifications of use.

Source: Enrico Leonardo Fagone -


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