Giovanni Battista Farina was born in Turin, Italy, in 1893. The tenth of eleven children, his nickname, "Pinin", referred to his being the baby of the family. Pinin started working in his brother, Giovanni's, body shop at the age of 12 and since then his interest in cars was born. He stayed at Giovanni's Stablimenti Industriali Farina for decades, learning bodywork and beginning to design his own cars.
Pinin formed Carrozzeria Pininfarina in 1930 to focus on design and construction of new car bodies, and quickly gained prominence. Only Carrozzeria Touring was more sought-after in the 1930s. Battista's work for Ferrari, starting in 1952, would become his most famous, though much of it was managed by his son, Sergio, who currently runs the firm.
Farina officially changed his name to "Battista Pininfarina" in 1961. The change was authorized by President of the Italian Republic, acting on a proposal made by the Minister of Justice.