Giorgetto Giugiaro is a very important person; probably the most important person that no one’s ever heard of. He’s the car designer of the century, and he’s responsible for some of the most beautiful and influential vehicles of all time.
Here are his 5 most beautiful creations:
1. The Iso Grifo – 1963
There were actually two body styles for the early Iso Grifo, the A3/L (the one pictured above) and the A3/C, and they were both designed by Giugiaro when he was only 25 years old. The A3/C was the sleek competition version that looked almost like a lighter Ford GT40, and the A3/L was the more aggressive street version, with the mean brow and front end that inspired the American muscle cars later on in the decade.
2. Fiat 850 Spyder – 1965
A tiny little car with a tiny little engine. Grossly underpowered compared to the other 4 cars on the list, but still important because of the straight, clean lines and really simple elegance of the car.
Where do you think the Mazda Miata’s styling comes from?
3. DeTomaso Mangusta – 1966
The Mangusta was slightly more accessible than the Vallelunga before it and better quality than the Pantera after it. It’s DeTomaso’s coolest car, and one of my favorite cars of all time. It looks like it’s going to take off and attack an impala and go eat it in a tree or something. It’s a monster car.
4. Maserati Ghibli – 1966
Anything Giugiaro did for Maserati was solid gold, but the Ghibli was the best. This car was the European version of the C4 Corvette, nearly 20 years before that Corvette was designed. Again, Giugiaro was ahead of his time with a beautiful, really clean body style. It looks fast just sitting there.
5. Lotus Esprit – 1972
This is the big one. Giugiaro designed the concept for the Lotus Esprit in 1972 and it went into production in 1976. The Lotus Esprit wasn’t just another angular sports car, this was the first angular sports car. Nothing looked like this before 1976, and everything looks like it after. Any sports car built today, you can still see the influence of the Lotus Esprit. The Ferrari Testarossa, the Lamborghini Countach, the Diablo, basically all modern Lamborghini’s, and just about all of those modern high level sports cars can trace their design linage to the 1976 Lotus Esprit, and so, to Giorgetto Giugiaro.