Marcello Gandini, designer of Lambo’s iconic shape, passes at 85

Photo of Marcelo Gandini, legendary Italian car designer, leaning on the roof od a campaign colored Lamborghini Miura, which he designed.

Legendary designer of the Miura, Countach and Diablo, Marcello Gandini, leaves behind a legacy of innovation.

The world of automotive design has lost one of its most pioneering spirits, Marcello Gandini, who passed away on March 13, 2024.

Gandini left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. He made that mark while designing exotic Italian cars at Bertone.

Bertone is an Italian company that started crafting custom bodywork for cars produced by other manufacturers, such as Lamborghini. Over the decades, Bertone evolved into one of the most prestigious and influential design houses in the automotive industry.

Marcelo Gandhini’s visionary work, especially for Lamborghini, not only pushed the boundaries of automotive aesthetics but also redefined what a supercar could be.

Among Gandini’s most significant contributions was the design of the Lamborghini Miura. Introduced in 1966, the Miura was the first mid-engine supercar, setting a new standard for high-performance sports cars.

Yellow Lamborghini parked on a dirt parking lot in front of the golden gate bridge in San Francisco.
Photo by Brandon Woyshnis (via Adobe Stock)

The Miura’s sleek, flowing lines and distinctive silhouette made it an instant icon, often hailed as one of history’s most beautiful car designs. The Miura showcased Gandini’s exceptional talent and creativity and paved the way for future generations of supercars.

However, it was Gandini’s design of the Lamborghini Countach that truly revolutionized the automotive world.

Lamborghini Countach with red paint
By Brian Snelson via Wikipedia (Modified)

Unveiled in 1971, the Countach became the dream car for automotive enthusiasts throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Its sharp, angular lines, futuristic wedge shape, and unique scissor doors created an unmatched visual spectacle. The Countach was more than just a car; it was a cultural phenomenon that was the breakout car for Lamborghini. The Miura opened the door to success for Lamborghini, and the Countach walked them through.

Gandini’s work on the Countach not only propelled Lamborghini but also defined the wedge-shaped look that would characterize all Lamborghini supercars.

One of those wedge-shaped designs that carried the look forward was the Lamborghini Diablo, another of Gandhini’s designs. Introduced in 1990, the Diablo improved the performance and aesthetics of the Countach, which it replaced. It continued the tradition of scissor doors for Lamborghini. The Diablo exuded an aura of power and performance that captivated onlookers with its low, wide stance, sharply defined lines, and aggressive front-end styling.

Grey Lamborghini Diablo parked in on the grass in a park.
Photo by bluebeat76 via Adobe Stock.

Marcello Gandini’s legacy is not merely in the cars he designed but in the boldness of his vision. He dared to imagine the future of automotive design, turning his groundbreaking concepts into reality.

As we remember Marcello Gandini, we reflect on a career that forever changed the landscape of automotive design. His creativity brought us some of the most iconic cars in history, and his work inspired generations of designers to push the limits of imagination.

I am a designer and have been inspired by Marcelo Gandini. It was clear from his concept car work that he did not let tradition dictate his design. The Lamborghini Marzal was a concept car unveiled at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. It had a look like no other car and unique door windows. The main door windows went down lower than normal, and there was a secondary panel below the waistline.

Lamborghini Marzal concept car on displays

Related: The Lamborghini Marzal inspired one of the vehicles in Grand Theft Auto.

While this concept of a car with extreme visibility never made it to a production vehicle, it was a fascinating idea to put forward. I appreciate that Gandini was trying to use design to further Ferrucio Lamborghini’s mission of creating fantastic driving experiences.

The impact of Gandini’s career cannot be understated; his visionary designs will continue to influence the automotive world for years to come.

In honoring his memory, we celebrate a legacy that transcends time, a testament to the power of innovation and the enduring beauty of design. Marcello Gandini, your creations have left an indelible mark on the world, and your genius will forever be remembered.

Marcelo leaves behind spouse Claudia, his son and daughter Marco and Marzia, and grandchildren Lucrezia, Constanza and Pietro.


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