Marcello Gandini

What could be the best car to introduce yourself to an interview with Marcello Gandini, the genius designer of timeless dream cars? The answer is ready: a stunning Lamborghini Miura! An iconic car, a symbol of a radical style and mechanical changes in the sports car, which today is 54 years old but looks so current.
We made a triumphant entrance with a P400 (among the first Miura produced), into the designer’s villa, which personally opened the gates of his private paradise. Lot’s were the question planned for the great non-conformist designer, father, among others, of Countach, Diablo, Alfa Romeo Montreal, Fiat Dino Coupè, Lancia Stratos, Maserati Kamshin and so on, but he anticipates us by asking: “Did you know that in Lamborghini’s plans the Miura should have remained exclusively a concept car for the promotion of Betrone company?”, we look at it basically, taken aback by this revelation. “Just think that the first chassis project presented at the 1964 Turin Motor Show and equipped with a “dummy” transverse layout engine that would make the Miura famous in future, was built without Lamborghini being aware of it”.
“Oh yes!” he continued: “Miura was born almost by accident. Nobody would have ever expected the success and the image that this car would bring to Sant’Agata Factory. It was just once understood the great appeal of that mechanics, and the consequent interest that the work of Dallara and Stanzani provoked in the fans, Lamborghini did not hesitate to contact Nuccio Bertone, in November 1965, so that he could “dress” it in his way.”
“These were the circumstances in which I, a 27-year-old guy who had recently arrived in Bertone Carrozzeria, was commissioned to design a car that should have innovative stylistic and mechanically contents. The gestation of this project was certainly an adventure accomplished in record time: Lamborghini asked me to prepare the car so that it was ready to be exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966”. He says emphatically, “we’re only talking about four months to make a car!” and which car, we add…

“However, sincerely, think that the Miura was not so revolutionary in its forms, because its roundness was in line with the trends of the time”, struck by this statement, we remain somewhat disorientated: we thought that the Miura was one of the most unconventional cars of the 1960s! He explains:” Miura, despite its overstate shapes, after all, was a car from the ’60s, with the stylistic tradition for the time. In my opinion, the real disruptive creature was the Countach, which I designed in the early 70s, inspired by the wing profile, and which upset the common aesthetic sense of the public. That car had much more difficulty in being “accepted” – two very distinct currents were created, between those who hated it for its daring and flashy shapes, and those who adored it, for the very same reason”, says Gandini with an enigmatic smile.
“Then there was the Marzal. I remember the image of the Prince Ranieri of Monaco and Grace Kelly driving it during the honour lap of the Monaco Grand Prix in 1967.” With a considerable leap in time, we asked Gandini his thought about the modern prototypes, which often recalls cars from the past. “Honestly, I think it’s not fascinating cars that are reminiscent of past styles. I prefer concepts made from scratch on modern ideas. Times have changed and today the prevalence, in the design of a high-level project, is exclusively in the style centres of the houses, workgroups that have little to do with the independent ideas of a designer”. The allusion to 50 years ago, to the Miura era and the creative autonomy that led him to draw Masterpiece worldwide known – perhaps something unrepeatable in this day and age.


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