The Giugiaro era

He was born in August, 1938. At the age of 17 he worked with Dante Giacosa at Fiat. He moved to Bertone in 1959. Until 1965 he fulfilled the position of Design Director. He held the same position at Ghia between 1965-1968. Then went independent and founded ItalDesign, one of the most influental design house of the past two decades. This brief introduction can not touch his genius who's coherent styling and always seeks new way, thus inspiring other designers to do so.

Giugiaro's first work at Bertone was to create a sporting coupé from the "shoebox"-styled NSU Prinz. The Sport-Prinz carrying Alfa style (it was a copy of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS) introduced the old German bicycle factory to a whole new market. A year later the same cure was adapted on the Simca. For a few years Bertone manufactured the NSU Sport-Prinz, then the Germans took over.

Giugiaro stayed with sports models. His third mini-sportscar, the Fiat 850 Spider was a long-time success of Bertone. Along the "mass-produced" cars he helped to create the small-series Iso Grifo and the ASA 1000. Also laid a hand when Iso or Bizzarrini needed a one-off show-case. And then there's the Chevrolet Corvair Testudo. (Interestingly the Corvair's style was the benchmark for NSU in smaller scale when they created the NSU Prinz, years before Giugiaro worked for Bertone). The Testudo from 1963 converted the average family sedan to a sleek sportscar which was low but wide and long but had beautiful propotions. The dual round headlamp units of the Testudo "reclined" flush with the nose when switched off and snapped to attention when switched on. The front-hinged canopy-cum-door with side windows fully wrapped from B-pillar to B-pillar and no windshield posts.

Giugiaro's work was a Bertone-Ferrari too. It was a rare meeting of the prancing horse and the angled B. The 250-based coupé was the personal car of Nuccio for years.

Giugiario's departure left a gap which was filled by another genius, Marcello Gandini.

© Pal Negyesi, Budapest, Hungary, 1997-2006.