Another Italoamericano: Pininfarina’s 1963 Corvette Rondine

(first posted 3/30/2011)     I’m obviously on a jag here with all these Italian-rebodied Americanos. But I never get tired of digging them out and dusting them off; the memory banks do need refreshing from time to time. And what a refreshing vehicle to do the job.

There was a good reason the C2 Corvette was so popular among the carrozzeria: it still sat on a real frame. That was very hard to come by indeed in Europe by the early-mid sixties. Pininfarina’s lovely Rondine is one of the finer examples of the cross-breeds, and ever so different than the husky and hunky new Sting Ray. Which would you take?

We’re now looking at a new Pininfarina front end, and one that was seen in much more pedestrian form on Pininfarina’s Datsun 410 of 1964.

Supposedly, the original Nissan Silvia Coupe was designed with “input from Count Albrecht Goertz”, but it looks suspiciously Pininfarina-ish to me.

The Rondine’s airy greenhouse is a marked contrast to the Corvette, despite the superficial similarity to the rear window. Its rather peculiar pinched butt reappeared unmistakably in Pininfarina’s Fiat 124 Sport Spider, albeit in a somewhat toned down form. Unlike the Rondine, other Corvette-powered Italian cars made it into production, such as the Iso Rivolta and Grifo. But that’s for another morning.