Giovanni Battista Farina was born in Turin, Italy. The tenth of eleven children, his nickname, "Pinin" (the youngest/smallest (brother), in Piedmontese), 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 it was there that his interest in cars was born. He stayed at Giovanni's Stabilimenti 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. Some time in the early 1950s Stabilimenti Farina was absorbed into the by now much larger Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
The last design personally attributed to Battista Farina was the iconic 1600 Duetto for Alfa Romeo. This was first seen by the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. He died less than a month later, on April 3rd.