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“My father wanted me to be a pianist, but I preferred to play on his Lamborghini.”

“My father wanted me to be a pianist, but I preferred to play on his Lamborghini.”

Marcello Gandini received an honorary degree from the Technical University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino). The 85-year-old Italian designer, who throughout his career has sought to combine a very high aesthetic taste with the latest engineering and technological solutions, recalled the main milestones of his career at the ceremony.

“My father was a bandleader and wanted me to be a pianist, but I hated all the Steinway keyboards. Then, when I got into a Lamborghini Miura, my father realized I could play other sounds, engine sounds,” he spoke of the rebellious start to his career. Gandini, father of cars such as the Lamborghini Miura, Countach and Diablo, Fiat X1/9, Alfa Romeo Montreal, Chubasco Maserati, Lancia Stratos or Innocenti Mini, added a touch of personal experiences to his presentation.

“My family focused on the humanities, literature, music, and classics. I had to focus on that too. I also learned to play the piano. Then I rebelled and followed my own path. In my junior year of high school, with the money my parents gave me to buy a Latin-language publication, I bought a book on endothermic engines by the famous automobile designer and engineer Dante Giacosa. I bought it and learned it by heart.

Although all this happened in the 1950s, according to Gandini, it carries an important message for today's generation, which is that rebellion against restrictions and obstacles is a very good feeling if it is strong and linked to construction.

“In order to design something new, you have to know everything,” admits Gandini, who was driven by his creative spirit and desire to do things at a very young age. He showed his work to Nuccio Bertone, who hired him with great sense. Gandini resided at Carrozzeria Bertone for 14 years and designed the most famous Italian sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

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Since the 1980s, as an independent designer, he has collaborated with numerous car manufacturers, such as Renault, Lamborghini, Maserati and Nissan. More recently, his commitment has focused on research and innovation, and he has registered numerous patents. Although he will be 86 years old next August, he is still creating.

“I am trying to keep myself busy. My next project will be in Qatar, where I will work on the training platform at the Doha Motor Museum. Then I have other ideas that I want to develop.”

The automotive design star, despite the rapid development of technology, still believes in the power of paper and pen. “The pencil is an extraordinary tool for communication between the brain and reality. If there is no original idea, no technological miracle will be able to create it,” he emphasized his conviction to the students of the University of Turin.

Students and invited guests also got an insight into part of Gandini's work on the spot, as fifteen historic cars were displayed in the University Square. Designed by Marcello Gandini.


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