Marcello Gandini, ‘in all probability the best automotive designer ever’, dies age 85

Marcello Gandini, arguably one of many biggest automotive designers of all time, handed away final week. In case you don’t know his title, it’s virtually sure his vehicles.

Born August 26, 1938 in Turin, Gandini left college on the age of 18 to pursue a life in automotive engineering and design. At first he modified hill climb autos, and later started work as a contract designer.

In late 1965, on the age of simply 27, Gandini was employed by Nuccio Bertone, founder and proprietor of the design agency Bertone, to interchange Giorgetto Giugiaro as the corporate’s head of design.

The following 12 months, the Lamborghini Miura was launched. Not solely did it characteristic a stunning Gandini-designed physique, but it surely was additionally the primary fashionable supercar to make use of the mid-engine format.

Whereas the Miura nonetheless had related proportions to its front-engine opponents, Gandini’s 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero idea and 1974 Lamborghini Countach launched the “Italian wedge” form that’s nonetheless the usual for mid-engine supercars.

His different improvements embrace the wraparound windscreen, first seen within the 1971 Lancia Stratos HF idea and the 1973 manufacturing automotive, and the scissor doorways, which made their debut on 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo idea and entered manufacturing with the Lamborghini Countach.

Gandini additionally labored on autos that had been extra reasonably priced too. Whereas the 1972 Fiat X1/9 mid-engine sports activities automotive constructed on his expertise with high-priced supercars, others reached a far broader market and among the nameplates proceed to today.

After designing the 1970 BMW 2200ti Garmisch idea, Gandini labored with BMW to pen the first-generation 5 Sequence. Though the primary 5 Sequence used lots of the components from the Garmisch, the idea’s hexagonal kidney grille was a step too far for the German model.

In 1974 Audi launched the Gandini-designed 50, which was later rebadged because the Volkswagen Polo. With Audi instructed to concentrate on bigger and extra luxurious autos, the 50 was axed in 1978 whereas the Polo lives on to today.

His designs for the 1977 Reliant FW11 and 1979 Volvo Tundra idea immediately influenced the Bertone-designed 1982 Citroen BX.

By the point he left Bertone in 1979 his record of credit was lengthy and distinguished. Different highlights embrace the 1968 Lamborghini Espada, 1970 Alfa Romeo Montreal, and 1972 Lamborghini Urraco.

As a freelancer Gandini penned the second-generation Renault 5, launched in 1984, and the prototype that led to the 1991 Bugatti EB110.

He additionally labored with Alejandro de Tomaso’s Maserati, arising with the sharp, boxy form which outlined the model’s autos by the Nineteen Nineties, beginning with the facelifted Biturbo in 1987 and 1991, and persevering with by the 1990 Shamal, 1992 Ghibli, and 1994 Quattroporte.

Improvements made by Gandini throughout this era embrace the fully flat cab flooring within the 1990 Renault Magnum truck, and indicator lights constructed into the wing mirrors of the 1990 Maserati Chubasco supercar idea.

Karim Habib, Kia’s chief designer, instructed Automobile Design Information the “unique Countach idea was my ‘poster automotive’ in childhood”, whereas Lars van den Acker, head of design at Renault, referred to as Gandini his “boyhood hero” and that his supercars had been what “impressed me to search out my method into this occupation”.

Flavio Manzoni, head of design at Ferrari since 2010, went one additional, telling the commerce publication, “Gandini might be the best automotive designer ever”. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *