Marcello Gandini (1938-2024): legendary car designer leaves behind a legacy

Published: 15 March 2024 Updated: 15 March 2024

► Marcello Gandini dies aged 85
► A truly legendary car designer
► Everything from superminis to supercars

Marcello Gandini, the Italian car designer with a career spanning several decades, has died aged 85.

Gandini was born in Turin in 1938 and quickly pursued an interest in designing automobiles at a young age. He worked with Nuccio Bertone and quickly rose to fame with his work designing the Lamborghini Miura. In fact, Gandini designed a number of Lamborghinis over a number of years, including the Espada, Jarama and Countach.

In fact, regarding the latter, he quite famously shunned the design and development of the modernised version Lamborghini created – the LPI 800-4 – putting out a press release that stated: ‘as far as I’m concerned, to repeat a model of the past, represents in my opinion the negation of the founding principles of my DNA.’ Ouch.

But Gandini’s career spans more than just Italian supercars. Gandini turned his hand to more conventional cars over his long career, penning models like the first Volkswagen Polo, the Citroen BX and Renault 5 Turbo and the Supercinq second-generation R5. He also assisted Paul Bracq in the design of the first BMW 5-series – the E12.

The automotive industry has lost a legend of design but leaves behind a legacy that is still felt to this day. The wedge shape of cars like V12 Lamborghinis and the Stratos are still commonplace at Sant’Agata, and designers are still being influenced by his work.

Marcello Gandini, 1938-2024, rest in peace.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches