Design legend Marcello Gandini dead at 85

Italian automotive design legend Marcello Gandini passed away on Wednesday at the age of 85.

His back catalog is one of the most impressive of any designer, and includes notable designs such as the Lamborghini Countach and the BMW Garmisch, the concept that influenced the design of the original 5-Series.

Born in Turin to the son of an orchestra conductor, Gandini spent much of his career working at Italian coachbuilder Bertone, where he helped established the separate Stile Bertone design house which would go on to develop many important concept cars and production models, including the aforementioned Garmisch as well as the Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Miura.

The Lamborghini was Gandini’s first project at Bertone, and he would go on to pen many more models for the Italian performance marque. During his time there, he also penned the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4, which was the first and only Ferrari designed by Bertone.

Lamborghini Miura SV

But Gandini didn’t limit himself to high-end cars. He also worked on more mundane projects, and always found ways to add some excitement. The list includes the original Volkswagen Polo, plus the Fiat 132, Renault 5 Turbo, and Citroën BX.

After leaving Bertone in 1980, he continued to work as an independent designer, and by the 1990s was experimenting with more curves instead of his signature wedge-like designs.

Never one to cease innovating, Gandini in more recent years focused on developing methods for car construction aimed at improving efficiencies and costs in the manufacturing process.