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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Gandini doesn’t do retro. – ideas on automotive design

RIP to a legendary automotive designer.

Marcello Gandini sadly handed away on the age of 85 final week. I can recall maybe that Gandini was the primary automotive designer I may ever title? A childhood studying Automobile Journal – or was it merely that I as soon as managed to learn that tiny badge on the facet of a Lamborghini Countach? Definitely the Countach sparked my childhood pleasure, after I noticed one drive by the park I used to be taking part in in. I’m additionally certain I keep in mind print adverts of the time, explaining how the Citroen BX was designed by the identical particular person and possibly Renault additionally proudly title dropped in an identical means? Gandini was a real famous person designer. Maybe purely as a result of his title was quite a bit simpler to pronounce or spell than Giugiaro. Solely barely much less prolific, you will discover loads of obits (or Wikipedia) itemizing his achievements. His profession famously began, and maybe continued – by clashing with Giugiaro and the 2 by no means labored collectively immediately. Probably the most lovely automotive ever designed was claimed by Gandini (Lamborghini Miura) however legend has it that Giugiaro and Gandini unintentionally collaborated on this. IT was began by one, and completed by the opposite? We are going to maybe by no means know the reality of that- however it actually makes an important story for a way Marcello arrived with a bang. His brightest and loudest bangs have been Lamborghinis in fact.

Does anybody keep in mind the response from Marcello Gandini concerning the “new” Countach particular from Lamborghini? It was October twenty second 2021… that Marcello Gandini emailed me! I can let you know now I used to be starstruck however Mr Gandini was not pleased. After all it was merely his publicist that despatched me a press launch, however I felt that my life had come full circle from my single digit childhood days. He was not upset with me, it appeared he simply wished the world to know the way a lot he disliked the implication from Lamborghini, that he endorsed their new Lamborghini Countach. Curiously High Gear journal have been current for the precise second the publicity upset Marcello. They managed to trace on the furore to return with Marcello zinging with quotes similar to

“I’ve at all times refused to dwell up to now..”

You may learn that 2021 TG interview right here. The letter despatched to me was a response to that second, one which TG determined to chop off on the finish of the article, and neatly explains his courtesy and politeness but additionally reveals the idea he had in futurism, or the artwork of the design course of. Innovation ran deep in Marcello, and to be related to this venture incorrectly was one affront – however probably the most scathing “roast” that the maestro gave this venture was one in all condemning all retro-modernist designs. All restomods maybe? My favorite quote from his letter:

“It’s clear that markets and advertising and marketing itself has modified quite a bit since then, however so far as I’m involved, to repeat a mannequin of the previous, represents in my view the negation of the founding rules of my DNA

GANDINI, Marcello. Letter to creator twenty second October 2021

On the time I agreed with my hero and nonetheless do. Look again at that 2021 Countach. Will it resonate as timelessly as the unique? No. Is it a cynical advertising and marketing train to get $hundreds of thousands from the investor market- for a barely altered (pretty low cost to provide) Aventador? Sure.

Eccentrica – Restomod Diablo – additionally not pleasing to Gandini?

In 2023 I used to be reminded of Gandini when information of a “restomod” Diablo was proven. This automotive is one other $1million collectors piece, however this time based mostly on a Lamborghini he didn’t design. The story there may be of US Chrysler possession of Lamborghini blocking the preliminary design that Gandini had proposed, with one thing of their very own which was clearly based mostly on his designs. It was smoothed out and extra trendy trying. Extra on pattern, as American automotive design expertise was extremely tuned to market analysis and buyer suggestions at the moment. We received to see Marcello’s model because the Cizeta Moroder V16T.

In my life to date I used to be fortunate sufficient to personal a Gandini designed automotive, and I chewed the ear of many bored listener at events after I advised all of them about my automotive “designed by the Lamborghini man”. It was a Renault 5 (Supercinq) Campus from 1988 and I liked it. The inside was sensible but sci-fi cool, the outside nonetheless trying recent (however carrying battle scars) in 2002 after I owned it. Gandini designed one other Renault, and it was a somewhat important car which loved a manufacturing run of 23 years. That is most likely my favorite Gandini design (in addition to the Stratus Zero idea), with its immaculate industrial design steadiness of type and performance. The 2 tone color scheme and the shape language with deep undercut and hole separating higher and decrease chassis of the 1990 Renault AE (later Magnum) truck have been masterstrokes. The design visually represented the “floating” cab, which contained a flat flooring for the driving force. This was a primary and Marcello Gandini celebrated this extremely futuristic venture in aerodynamics and engineering, with styling that was not like any truck earlier than it.

Let me know within the feedback or get in contact with your individual favorite Gandini designs! I do know the Citroen BX will get a variety of love nowadays… I recall not being an enormous fan in interval and I’d at all times refer you to the Volvo Tundra idea of 1979. I ponder who designed that….

A 1997 Renault Magnum refurbed to appear like a 1990 AE500 Mack-Powered model
Renault Magnum full dimension design mannequin!
1979 Volvo Tundra idea by Bertone underneath Gandini- however apparently designed by Belgian designer Marc Deschamps, who additionally designed the Mazda MX-81 (based on Joe Stenuit of Mazda Design).

That letter in full. PR contact particulars redacted.

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