One of the most appreciated forms of art around the world is actually automotive design. Whether you like cars or not, a stunning car will grab your attention, and even non-car enthusiasts will occasionally converse about a car they particularly like looking at.
For instance, my sister – who is an aesthetician, likes pretty much all the current Audi models, and her 2008 BMW 323i. My wife – who loves art and has studied art and is a very accomplished painter, loves the current Fiat 500 and the current Dodge Challenger.
I am a car enthusiast and have loved many designs from different makes and by different designers over the years, however there are five automotive designers that for me, always get it right. They are as follows;
Peter Stevens: Why? Because he has given us such beautiful cars such as the Lotus Elan M100, the Jaguar XJR-15 and the outrageous MG X-Power SV. He also penned iterations of the Lotus Esprit from 1987 to 1993, but perhaps the car he is most famous for designing is the McLaren F1 (see pic), which honestly is his best to date. I wish he was still designing McLarens, because their new designs are not pretty.
Marcello Gandini: Why? Because he has given the world some of the most iconic automotive designs. He is the man who penned the Fiat X1/9, the Lancia Stratos, the Maserati Khamsin and the Quattroporte IV, plus some of my all-time favorite cars like the Alfa Romeo Montreal (pictured), the Maserati Shamal and the Cizeta V16T. Gandini however is best known for his work for Lamborghini, where he penned the Miura, Countach, Diablo, Urraco, Jarama and Espada. Gandini truly is a design genius.
Henrik Fisker: Why? Because he has given us such stunners as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the Artega GT and his most current creation, the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid. He also ran his own coachbuild car firm, where he produced the Fisker Tramonto and the Latigo, both of which are stunning to behold. However, for me, his prettiest design was the BMW Z8. I remember talking to him about the Z8, a design he himself is very proud of, and he told me that when he presented the design to BMW, they liked it so much, they approved it without asking for a single change. To this day, the Z8 (see pic) looks fantastic, and thanks mostly due to its alluring design, these cars hardly depreciate. A true future classic.
Giorgetto Giugaro: Why? Where to start… this man has given us the Lotus Esprit S1 (the original, you know the car from the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”), the BMW M1, the DeTomaso Mangusta, the Maserati Bora, and a little-known British sportscar called the Gordon-Keeble GT. Giugaro is also known for doing wonderful concept cars which include the Lamborghini Cala, the Alfa Romeo Brera (even though this became a production car, the concept was just better), and the BMW Nazca C2 (pictured). Perhaps his most famous design is the ill-fated DeLorean DMC-12. Giugaro has had a long career designing cars and he has passed his skills onto his son Fabrizio, who also designs wonderful cars.
Ian Callum: Why? Because he is the man behind all the current beauties from Jaguar. He designed the new XJ, XF and XK. The very recently launched Jaguar F-Type might just be his best work ever, which is saying a lot when talking about the man that also gave the world the original Aston Martin Vanquish. While working for TWR in the mid-90’s, Callum also penned the Nissan R390 GT1 race car (two road cars were also built – see pic). Callum seems very happy working for Jaguar at the moment and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.