Bertone, Pininfarina, Giugiaro – do you agree that you are the most “German” of Italy’s classic car designers?
That’s for you to decide. What I can say definitively is that I always had a preference for clear solutions. To achieve what is required with simple means – that’s essentially my philosophy. Lots of people love baroque. But if you produce something in large quantities, you have to restrict yourself to the basics. I prefer things that aren’t too fancy. When I created my first Ferrari, I had already been doing my job for 50 years. I only drove it 125 miles myself, and then lost interest. I found it exciting to make the Ferrari, but not to use it myself. My psychological make-up is different to that.
Is it more difficult to design a car today than it was 40 years ago?
Of course. Ergonomics, high-tech, safety – a wide variety of aspects influence the design process nowadays. You need a computer in your head to know them all. However, limitations always occur in reference to the free space – you only ever lose your freedom to a point. Even a genius like Michelangelo was anything but free. It is important to optimally exploit the potential inherent within the constraints.
Signor Giugiaro, you are considered a role model for generations of automakers. What is your advice for today’s up-and-coming designers?
Young designers usually have lots of wonderful ideas, but not a clue about how things are connected. The sooner they learn that, the better. The car is not a work of art. It holds elements of artistry in it, but above all it is a mass consumer product that has to sell itself.
You are 75 now. When do you think you will retire?
I can’t say. My old friend Ferdinand Piech, whom I still address formally to this day, once said to me, “Do you know, Giorgetto, people like us never retire. We simply never learned how.” Well, we’ll see. Vediamo.