Giorgetto Giugiaro is the Car Designer of the Century, according to 132 (relatively) young automotive journalists back in 1999. Their grasp of automotive history seems to have been concentrated in their own adult lifetimes, however. Whether GG's influence is greater than Battista "Pinin" Farina's or Harley Earl's is very much open to debate, but there is no question that he is one of the most prolific designers alive. "I have designed cars for every major company but Honda, and one day I will do that," says the Maestro. The merging of his firm Italdesign with Volkswagen may signify an end to his half century of intense activity, but he remains a powerful and highly influential force in automobile design.
August 7, 1938: Born to an artistic family in Garessio, province of Cuneo, in northern Italy. His father is a painter.
1952: Moves to Turin, enrolls in the design school of the famous 1920s caricaturist known as Golia. At an end-of-term party, Golia's nephew Dante Giacosa, Fiat's chief engineer, sees Giugiaro's car drawings and offers him an apprenticeship at Fiat.
1955: Hired at the Fiat Special Vehicles Styling Center at Mirafiori. In four years, Giugiaro's immediate supervisor does not present any of his projects to the chief of the Center.
1959: Frustrated, he presents some drawings to Nuccio Bertone, who then assigned a trial design. "You know that design I had you do as a test? Well, I sold it to Alfa Romeo, so you'd better come to work for me." His monthly salary increases from $129 to $225. The drawing becomes the Alfa Romeo 2000 (later 2600), Giugiaro's first car.
1960: Assigned to an "Alpini" military regiment headquartered at Bra, well away from Turin. Bertone rents Giugiaro a hotel room, installs a drawing board, and keeps GG working on the design of the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT whenever he's off duty. He also does his first of three Ferrari one-offs with Carrozzeria Bertone.
1961: Second serious production model: the BMW 3200CS.
1962: Hitting his stride with another unique Ferrari -- Nuccio Bertone's personal 250GT -- and two production models -- the Simca 1000/1200 S coupes and the Iso Rivolta GT 300/340.
1963: Marries Maria Teresa Serra.
1964: The Canguro, Giorgetto's favorite Alfa. Giugiaro also designs a one-off Ford Mustang for Automobile Quarterly.