Marcello Gandini, Legendary Italian Designer, Dead at 85

portrait of marcello gandini during the exhibition dedicated
Storied Italian Design Marcello Gandini Dead at 85Stefano Guidi - Getty Images
  • A pillar of balanced, enduring design, Marcello Gandini, has died at the age of 85 in Rivoli, Italy.

  • Responsible for models like the Lamborghini Diablo, Lancia Stratos, and MK1 Volkswagen Polo, Gandini was a testament to the lifelong craft of design.

  • Appointed lead designer at Bertone in 1965, Gandini spent 14 years at the firm before independently designing homes, nightclubs, and helicopters.

Nestled under the foothills of the Italian Alps, the Northern Italian town of Turin has been perhaps the greatest cradle for automotive design since the mid-20th century. From brands like Fiat and Lancia to legendary design firms like Pininfarina and Bertone, Turin is steeped in driving enthusiast desire and envy, and one local name rings out among them.


Born in Turin in 1938, storied vehicle designer Marcello Gandini died March 13 at the age of 85 in the nearby town of Rivoli. A memorial site will be set up at Gandini's studio in Turin today and tomorrow, while the funeral will occur in the parish church of Santo Stefano a Rivera on Friday or Saturday morning, according to la Repubblica.

the lamborghini miura
Is this the most beautiful sports car ever? It depends on whom you ask, but the Miura will never stray far from this title.Martyn Lucy - Getty Images

Following Giorgetto Giugiaro (designer of the BMW M1, Lotus Esprit, and first-generation Volkswagen Golf) as chief designer at Bertone, Gandini had big shoes to fill upon his initial appointment in 1965. In a measured fashion, however, it wasn't long before Gandini proved his enduring talent as a designer, revealing the eminent 1966 Lamborghini Miura a year later.

Though Gandini gained notoriety through his work on renowned Lamborghini models—including the Countach, Diablo, and Espada—his work spanned a broad range of manufacturers. Elusive models like the Bugatti EB 110 and Lancia Stratos exemplify the height at which Gandini worked, though designs like BMW's first 5-Series, the Citroen BX, Fiat X1/9, Maserati Khamsin, and Renault 5 Turbo tell the story of an eclectic and well-rounded practice.

this renault 5 gt turbo was imported very recently