In this new series, we will be profiling automotive designers who have changed the world. To get started on the right foot, we decided to start at the top. Marcello Gandini was born in Turin on August 26th of 1938. The son of an Orchestra Conductor, his life’s work would inspire generations of designers.
After seeing the creations of Nuccio Bertone, he asked to join their firm in 1963. This was met with opposition from Bertone’s chief stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro, who left the company two years later. Bertone hired Gandini, and the rest is history. He has always said he favored mechanical and practical designs, and some of his creations could be considered as such.
If you want a graceful sedan, he is the man behind the first BMW 5 Series (1972 to ’81), Maserati Quattroporte, and the Citroen BX hatchback. If you want an Italian body with American power, he designed the final DeTomaso Pantera, along with the Corvette-powered Iso Grifo 90 and 96 concept cars. The Iso Lele was a 2+2 coupe built between 1969 and 1974 and it was powered by a 350 hp Corvette 327 V8.
After the Iso era, Enzo Ferrari asked for a model that would bridge the gap between the Dino and Ferrari brands. The result was the Dino 308 GT4, which would evolve into the Ferrari 308 GT4. It was their first mid-mounted V8, and the first Ferrari to not be styled by Pininfarina.
The World Rally Championship saw many examples of his Lancia Stratos, and he also penned its competitor in the Renault 5. His attention to detail impressed the owner of an Italian tractor company, so Ferrucio Lamborghini allowed him to design the Miura, Bravo, Countach, Espada, Jarama, Uracco, Marzal, and his crowning achievement has to be the Diablo. Retirement left him restless, so he was asked by Bugatti to design the EB110 in 1991.
His creations were in production from 1966 to 2001, and the automotive world owes him for a lifetime of work. Who knows, maybe he has something new on the drawing board, 80 is the new 60 we’ve been told. Tell us which of his creations you would own in the comments below and stay with us for the next Designer Spotlight.