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 The unofficialGandini-MarcelloAngel cut portrait of a superlative designer, from the memory book of Giancarlo Perini.

 

«When he dreams, the man is a genius; indomitable and brave as a Genius» (from Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, 1989).
    
______________

 

«Gandini is fantastic. Unbeatable when it comes to creating  way-out sports cars with overpowering aggression: some of his coupes seem to bite the ground  even when they are standing still. »

These words were written in 1989 and are not from a critic or a friend but from his toughest rival and competitor:  Giorgetto Giugiaro, the most acclaimed car designer in the world of the past decades.
Although Giugiaro has rarely met Gandini he seems to know him well enough to appreciate Gandini's deep moral strength and stature.
And his way of life.
Like Giugiaro, Marcello Gandini is a self-made man who choose not to get very rich in term of money or a popular and famous man who flies his company's jet to keep up with the unsettling pace of his job. On the contrary he has designed his way of style to suit his own pattern.  He is relaxed, quiet and perfectly fit. He does a minimum amount of travelling, preferably by car. He has too much to do at home and he likes the place where he lives.

Well.....everybody would. His residence and studio are within Villa Gran Vigna that was first built in the 17th century on a sloping green hillside south west of the Musiné mountain (Gandini can see it from his private room) some 20 miles from Turin's city centre. He has spent great effort to fully restore it according to his own design and now it is a beautiful mansion contoured by a large and evergreen wood.
They called him "the secret man", and they are right. The man is extremely gentle and generous but regards talking of him and his works a useless exercise.
He occasionally likes to moderately talk of the present and the near future. Famous motoring writer Steve Cropley wrote that Gandini "would rather think than talk".  
Gandini is a man that has a special, discreet charisma and acute intelligence. A man who love to speak  (and think) ironically.
He likes a bit mystery, because that is what stimulate imagination, creativity and «let you dream or see life as you like to».
The way he speaks of himself  (under torture) is a clear example: «I recognize two qualities within myself:  stubborn and unmeasured laziness. For me optimism is a profession, laziness too».

  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
    Marcello Gandini - Some of his works

    The force of nature and when he was in his twenty consistently practiced parachuting fascinates Gandini. A good car driver, and motorcycle rider, he loves sailing when he can leave for few days and to fly ultra-light-machines. One of his hobbies is to design helicopters.
    Marcello Gandini is undoubtedly the world's greatest designer of supercars, having produced more superlative cars for Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari than anyone else.
    Yet to the car-buying public, there are no Marcello Gandini cars. Names like Pininfarina and Italdesign remain prominent: Gandini's remains unknown. This is a curious state of affairs, since the best judges of Italian design were saying back in the early 1970s that Gandini, then only just in his 30s was the most gifted young car designer of his generation. And the work he has done since then has only added to his reputation-among those who know it.

  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
    Marcello Gandini - Some of his works

    Always an elegant gentleman, he has an air of studiousness, which is reinforced by the fact that he always thinks carefully before he speaks. The rare smiles are wide, generous, and surprising.

    Gandini’s silent rise to the top of the world of car design coincided with the take-off of another archistar: Giorgetto Giugiaro late in 1965.

    Some time earlier, through a friend for whom he had modified a car, Gandini had managed, to show his creative ideas to Nuccio Bertone, the owner of the famous Torinese design house. On that occasion, Bertone was much impressed and promised to contact Gandini. No call came, and Bertone was never available at his offices or on the phone. Some time later, Gandini met Bertone by chance at the seaside, Bertone was highly embarrassed. He explained that he had indeed been impressed with the work, but also that he had another vital young designer - Giorgetto Giugiaro - working for him. Hiring Gandini would cause him to lose Giugiaro, he said. That was in "about 1963".

  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
    Marcello Gandini - Some of his works

    Indeed Giugiaro had made it clear he did not need nor wanted an assistant and that he would resign if someone else was hired.

     However, when Giugiaro left, on the eve to the 1965 Turin Motor Show, Gandini was promptly hired to become Bertone's chief designer, at the age of 27.
     "It was a very nice feeling of stability," Gandini says, "but I still had one of the lowest salaries in the place. It was raised before too long."

    Though often regarded as a designer of exotic cars, Gandini has also produced small, practical models. He sees no great difference between the two disciplines. "Mass production has allowed designers to put into practice many things which would otherwise have remained merely good ideas," he says.

     

  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
    Marcello Gandini - Some of his works

    Today, when you ask him about his greatest achievement, he says, "to be able to work as I am doing now".
    If you ask, which is the car for which you have most affection?  He considers, smiles and relents. "I have very special liking for the Lancia Stratos, because of its racing successes. But I think it also shows the importance of a good design. If it had not raced, it would still have been a success.

     Go to next page for Marcello Gandini and the Lancia Stratos.

     

    Click on any image below to access the Photo Gallery, in progress.

     

    Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
    Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
    BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini, 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990
  • Marcello Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - at work on scale model
  • Marcello Gandini with Giorgetto Giugiaro, 1993 - Tokyo.
  • G Perini with M Gandini @-CIZETA
  • Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Lamborghini 1969 Miura
  • Bertone-Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Marzal 1967
  • Lamborghini-Marzal-@-GP-of-Monaco
  • Marcello Gandini - Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo, 1968.
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
  • Marcello Gandini -  Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering
  • Lamborghini-Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach & Supercountach
  • Marcello Gandini - with CH Angel, Renault truck and Lamborghini Diablo
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini 1986 P132 Rendering for Lamborghini
  • Lancia Stratos 1973
  • Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Lamborghini Diablo
  • Lamborghini Diablo (1)
  • Innocenti-Nuova-Mini-by-Bertone
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  •  



    Marcello Gandini and the Lancia Stratos.

  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
    Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970

    The Lancia Stratos is Gandini’s favourite creation. The designer has a very special liking for the Lancia Stratos, because of its racing successes. But, in his words, also because  "it shows the importance of a good design. If it had not raced, it would still have been a success".
    As the man who described the car as "the fruit of an ancient dream that has lasted a thousand years" Gandini has made visions become reality.
    The Lancia Stratos is the most convincing example of them all.
    Like many of his cars the Stratos shows Gandini's potential for visionary ideas and designs innovations. When it first appeared the Lancia show-car was regarded as being too wild and unrealistic: nothing more than a dream. But from that vision Gandini soon created a multiple world-champion and now hundreds of people around the world preserve his masterpieces as works of art.
    At 32 and as director of Bertone's design centre, Marcello Gandini penned the straight wedge shape of the Strato’s HF show-car to demonstrate a concept than would be further developed if the proposal was approved by Lancia. That first design concept want meant to uncompromisingly emphasise the function of the ideal rally-racing machine.

  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
    Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout

    Gandini recalls that "the late Nuccio Bertone said the show car should celebrate the rally success of the Lancia Fulvia HF and to consolidate Bertone's leadership in the design of mid-engined sports-cars."
    "It was born in an unusual way, too. At Bertone we built the show car with Lancia Fulvia HF four-cylinders engine and mechanicals
    Although in that "preliminary and promotional" phase the show-car had to deliver a stunning style that would dramatically impress the visitors, Gandini had already integrated into it several years of experience with new and trend-setting mid-engine cars, as well as the best of his ideas.
    It was not just a styling exercise but a complete project: Gandini actually engineered and designed the whole car, from a clean sheet of paper and according to technical concepts he had become familiar with.

  • Lancia Stratos 1973
  • Lancia Stratos 1973
    Lancia Stratos 1973

    Then old man Fiorio, Cesare's father, in the Lancia PR department, realised the car could be developed a lot further. He got Cesare, to wheedle a Dino V6 engine out of Maranello. But Ferrari didn't deliver anything, not even some drawings - for a long time. So we had to make the car without the engine, and it was shown that way in Turin."
    The outcome was so unusual and unexpected that many felt that first Strato’s was an avant-garde and abstract sculpture rather than a motorcar. Instead the Stratos was a real, though revolutionary, automobile and a couple of months after the Turin Show the show-car was driven through Bruxelles to the delight of the public and photographers.
    The stroll through the city granted the Strato’s the credibilityit needed to be considered an automobile rather than an UFO. Coming from the  stratos…sphere.
    Go to next page for Marcello Gandini Biography.

     

    Click on any image below to access the Photo Gallery, in progress.

     

    Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
    Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
    BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini, 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990
  • Marcello Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - at work on scale model
  • Marcello Gandini with Giorgetto Giugiaro, 1993 - Tokyo.
  • G Perini with M Gandini @-CIZETA
  • Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Lamborghini 1969 Miura
  • Bertone-Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Marzal 1967
  • Lamborghini-Marzal-@-GP-of-Monaco
  • Marcello Gandini - Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo, 1968.
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
  • Marcello Gandini -  Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering
  • Lamborghini-Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach & Supercountach
  • Marcello Gandini - with CH Angel, Renault truck and Lamborghini Diablo
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini 1986 P132 Rendering for Lamborghini
  • Lancia Stratos 1973
  • Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Lamborghini Diablo
  • Lamborghini Diablo (1)
  • Innocenti-Nuova-Mini-by-Bertone
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  •  


  • Marcello Gandini -  Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Marcello Gandini -  Lancia Stratos Alitalia
    Marcello Gandini - Lancia Stratos Alitalia

     

     

    BIOGRAPHY.
     
    Marcello Gandini was born in August 1938, the second son in a large and well-connected family.  His father had been a prominent musician and director of symphonic orchestra in Turin.

    Gandini was born in August 1938, the second son in a large and well-connected family. His father had been a prominent musician and orchestra leader in Turin, but after the war he could not make his living from music and bought a pharmacy. Nevertheless, he hoped young Marcello would follow an arts career and sent him to a liceo classico where such an education was offered.

     

  • Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990
  • Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990
    Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990

    As a teen-ager, Marcello did poorly at the arts school.  He preferred to buy engineering   textbooks and developed a love of tinkering   with mechanical things, especially cars. Eventually he dropped out of school and drifted, looking for a career.
    For a while he worked at redesigning bodyworks of cars the like of the Abarth 600 for competition purposes but most of his interest was in the things that the bodies contained - engines, gearboxes, suspensions and brakes.
    One of his first jobs, he remembers with irony, was to cut the tail off a friend's specially bodied hill-climb car, purely to save weight.
    It looked rather like a Kamm-tailed car, but in the end there was merely a great big hole, plugged with chicken wire. About the same time, he took a commission to decorate a nightclub in Turin, the Crazy Club. He did the whole job - the wall-coverings, the bar, the lighting, and the furniture. "It must have been horrible", Gandini says, "Because I gather it was very successful."

    By the time he had turned 20, Gandini was a money-earning designer branching out into graphic design and furniture design. With no formal qualifications but a lot of talent.
    In 1959, at 21, he built an all-new body for a 1500cc OSCA Barchetta.

  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
    Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura

    Then on the eve of the Turin motor show in 1965, Giugiaro left Bertone and in the following 24 hours Gandini had been hired as chief designer.
    Four months later, at the Geneva show of 1966, Bertone presented three different show cars styled by Gandini. They were a Jaguar 3.8 coupe called the FT, a Porsche 911-based roadster (long before the German maker ever realised the idea) and the prototype of the Lamborghini Miura.
    Then came the Lamborghini Marzal and Espada; the Autobianchi A112 Runabout and its derivative Fiat X1/9, the Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo and the radical Lancia Strato's and Lamborghini Countach.

  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering
    Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering

    With them a number of «people’s cars car» as Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina sport sedan, the Audi 50, the Innocenti Mini and a new, very successful generation of BMW 5 series. Add to these the 1981 Mazda Luce and at least half a dozen other projects for which he is not allowed to claim credit.
    His last Bertone project was the Citroen BX saloon, whose sales rescued the French marque. Subsequently he has been a consultant to Renault
    In 1979, Gandini left Bertone and set up his own studio to work primarily as a consultant to Renault on a long-term contract.
    Ever since he has been busy with a variety of projects that included a number of popular cars for Renault and Citroen as well for many Japanese brands. In addition he did major truck projects for Renault and even a very modern and efficient one-seater, ultra-light, helicopter, the renowned CH-7 Angel.
    Unfortunately, Gandini continues to maintain a thick veil of secrecy on his works. Not just because his clients appreciate it but also for he believes the world does not need to know. On this, I doubt, he is wrong.

    Click on any image below to access the Photo Gallery, in progress.

    Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
    Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
    BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini - Some of his works
  • Marcello Gandini 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini, 1976 @ Bertone
  • Marcello Gandini @ Diablo Launch in MC 1990
  • Marcello Gandini
  • Marcello Gandini - at work on scale model
  • Marcello Gandini with Giorgetto Giugiaro, 1993 - Tokyo.
  • G Perini with M Gandini @-CIZETA
  • Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Lamborghini 1969 Miura
  • Bertone-Lamborghini-Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Miura
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Marzal 1967
  • Lamborghini-Marzal-@-GP-of-Monaco
  • Marcello Gandini - Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo, 1968.
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Espada
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini - BMW 1969 Spicup
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini with Autobianchi A 112 Runabout
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia Strato's 1970
  • Marcello Gandini - Lancia-Stratos-1971-72
  • Marcello Gandini -  Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Fiat X1/9 1972
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach rendering
  • Lamborghini-Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach
  • Marcello Gandini - Lamborghini Countach & Supercountach
  • Marcello Gandini - with CH Angel, Renault truck and Lamborghini Diablo
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini - Cizeta_Moroder V16T
  • Marcello Gandini 1986 P132 Rendering for Lamborghini
  • Lancia Stratos 1973
  • Lancia Stratos Alitalia
  • Lamborghini Diablo
  • Lamborghini Diablo (1)
  • Innocenti-Nuova-Mini-by-Bertone
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
  • BERTONE 1978 SIBILO by M. Gandini
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