Marcello Gandini and his masterpieces

Challenges rewards talent

Photo credit: Lamborghini, Wheelsage

They say that car design today has so many constraints that cars turn out quite similar to one another and, in many respects, are less creative than they were in the past. We asked Marcello Gandini, the author of the magical including those of the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Alfa Carabo and Montreal and many other masterpieces, what his thoughts were on this assumption “It’s true, there are many limits, but this is a plus: when things get difficult it is the most capable that emerge.” Agreeable and irreproachable, so why is it that today’s cars tend towards boring? “During the course of my career I have tried to design cars that excite but by all accounts it would seem to be difficult to make cars that excite nowadays: everyone looks at the cars everyone else makes, the most successful ones. I have always been sceptical about the way in which certain companies think that leaves little room for the imagination.”

1968. The miraculous Miura

This analysis is as simple as it is truthful: car manufacturers feel the pressure of a possible failure and end up playing it safe. Even with electric cars you still don’t see any evidence of real fantasy “there are regulations to be respected there too but in reality, there is plenty of space for manoeuvre (the lack of bulky engines, radiators, exhaust pipes, catalysts and so on)”. It would be nice to see the magnificent hand of Marcello Gandini called in to accept a challenge for the world that awaits us.

1968. Alfa Romeo Carabo: A one-of-a-kind sculpture

The man who, after directing Bertone Design for years, continued his career as an independent consultant working with many great manufacturers, and who now lives in the hills of the Susa valley, in a former convent transformed into a house and a design studio. He still possesses his pencils; it would be magnificent to see them back at work.

1970. Alfa Romeo Montreal: the interpretation of complex mechanics
1973. Countach. A wedge shape that introduced Lamborghini’s scissor doors
1973. Lancia Stratos: the most extraordinary car from the World Rally Championships
1980. Renault 5 Turbo: how to turn a small car into a beast