Giorgetto Giugiaro History

1965: Son Fabrizio is born during the Geneva show, where the Fiat 850 Spider was revealed.

1966: Bertone wants to hire designer Marcello Gandini. Displeased, Giugiaro moves to Ghia, then operated by Argentine wild man Alessandro de Tomaso. The limited-production De Tomaso Mangusta launches Giugiaro's sharp-edged, origami-like "folded paper" period.

1967: Leaves Ghia to start Italdesign, partnered with brilliant production engineer Aldo Mantovani.

1968-71: Both Italdesign and daughter Laura are born. Italdesign makes a splash with the dramatic Bizzarrini Manta mid-engine supercar. Within three years he adds Abarth, Suzuki, Porsche, and-superbly, with the Iguana 33/2-Alfa Romeo concept cars to his portfolio, not to mention the production Maserati Bora and Alfasud sedan. These designs grab the attention of Kurt Lotz, who has just taken over VW and knows he needs fresh products.

1971: VW contracts Italdesign for several projects, but Rudolf Leiding, who succeeded Lotz, immediately kills all of the designs except for the Golf, saying, "It can't work, but it's too late to change it," proving that good luck trumps bad judgment.

1972: A summer intern named Ferdinand Piech spends two months learning about design from thirty-four-year-old Giugiaro. Piech predicts the Golf will be a failure.

1973-76: Likely the peak of Giugiaro's career in terms of volume and quality of work, with seven production cars -- VW Passat, Scirocco, and Golf; Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT and Alfasud Sprint; Hyundai Pony; Maserati Quattroporte; and Lotus Esprit. The Golf is, in Giugiaro's own opinion, his best and most important design and was a direct derivative of the De Tomaso Mangusta in surface and cutline treatments. Who knew?

1978-79: Brought forth a concept car close to Guigiaro's heart, the Lancia Megagamma, a tall car with a small footprint. But that concept was countered by the space-inefficient production BMW M1.

1980: Pens the Fiat Panda, perhaps his second-most important design. It stays in production for twenty-three years, including variations with all-wheel drive (also engineered by Italdesign).

1981: The De Lorean DMC12, designed much earlier, and the highly influential Isuzu Piazza/Impulse coupe reach production.

1983: The Fiat Uno debuts. It's still in production today in Brazil and has been one of Fiat's greatest successes.

New Car Research

Find vehicle reviews, photos & pricing

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP