We were very sad to hear about the death of legendary designer, Marcelo Gandini this week, aged 85.

Marcelo Gandini photographed in 1976, while working for Nuccio Bertone (unknown photographer – Wikipedia).

STEVE HOLE gives a potted career rundown of one of the greatest designers to pick up a pencil.

Gandini was the son of an orchestral conductor and working as an interior designer, when he approached another great designer, Nuccio Bertone, for a job in 1963. Bertone was impressed but was dissuaded from giving young Marcelo a job by his then chief designer (yet another great), Giorgetto Giugiaro who didn’t like him.

Lancia Stratos – By Contri from Yonezawa-Shi, Yomagata, Japan (Wikipedia)

However, when Giugiaro left in 1965, Bertone duly gave Gandini a job. Luckily, he did really, because, during the fourteen years he spent at Bertone, Marcelo Gandini was responsible for some iconic vehicle designs. Indeed, some customers approached Bertone just so that they could get Gandini to work on their project.

He became self-employed in the early eighties and the designs kept coming although he didn’t just do cars and, he designed and built a massive house on the island of Corsica, and was responsible for the interior of a nightclub in Turin, along with other interior projects.

Another Gandini icon – Lamborghini Countach By Brian Nelson from Hockey, Essex (Wikipedia)

Then there was the Renault Magnum Mk1 truck unit and even a helicopter, the Heli-Sport CH-7 Angel. It wasn’t just high-profile supercars that he designed either. More humble designs on his CV included the Audi 50, VW Polo Mk1, Innocenti Mini, Citroën BX, BMW 5-Series Series 1, Renault 5 Mk2 and Fiat 132 to name but several.

Then, of course, there are the iconic cars such as the Urraco, Miura, Marzal, Countach and others for Lamborghini, the Shamal and Khamsin for Maserati, Fiat X1/9, Qvale Mangusta, Alfa Romeo Montreal, De Tomaso Pantera Si, BMW 5-Series, Cizeta Moroder V16T, Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 and the Lancia Stratos.

Lamborghini Miura By MrWalkr-own work CC by-SA 4.0 (Wikipedia)

Not a bad line up, I’m sure you’ll agree, although there are many more on his full list of designs.

Italian car designers and Carrozzeria fascinate me and I’ve read many books on some of the great designers (grand masters if you will) and it is definitely true that some of them had egos as big as their undoubted design brilliance. However, what always comes across in features I’ve read about Marcelo Gandini is how normal and self-effacing he was. That made him even more special for me.

Marcelo Gandini b. August 26, 1938 (Turin) d. March 13, 2024 (Rivoli) – aged 85.