Italian Car Design Icons – The Studio Shooting Part One

I truly love most of the things which come from Italy except the Italian football. But the style of fashion, Armani perfumes, Firenze, Riva boats, Piaggio scooter, Italian interior design, the Mediterranean food, the Cinque Terre, the language and of course the beauty and elegance of Italian women but what I like most of all are the Italian cars.

Italian Car Design Icons

The most famous name of Italian car manufacturers is of course Ferrari and this legendary name comes at first in my mind when I am thinking of Italian car design. But this time there is not one Ferrari part of this shooting story. It is Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Bizzarrini and Iso Rivolta. The fact that these cars have in common is the perfect shape – the Italian style of design and coach building.

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Not mainstream, very unique and special is the look of each Italian collectors car of this series of photographs. I had the opportunity to shoot some of the rarest cars ever made by Italian car manufacturers in a studio.

I took most of the photographs with the available light and without a setting of flashlights, soft boxes or circular filters. I try to capture the scene like it is, so there are a few reflections and spotlights which I include to this arrangement of photographs.

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Two coach building companies created these fabulous cars, both experts in unique shapes which were modern and state-of-the-art at their time and which remain timeless and beautiful forever. It is on one side the Carrozzeria Bertone S.p.A. located in Torino under the reign of Guiseppe „Nuccio“ Bertone and on the other side the Carrozzeria Touring located in Milano.

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Nuccio Bertone took over the company after World War II from his father Giovanni and led the small business to a worldwide leading company for car building and design. Many milestones and masterpieces were created at the Carrozzeria Bertone, not always from the master itself but for sure he was the mastermind behind them. One of his masterclass students was Giorgio Giugiaro , the later father of the groundbreaking and innovative Volkswagen Golf I.

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For me the Bertone masterpiece is the Lancia HF Stratos, one of the most successful Rallye race cars ever made. Uncompromising sharp lines made this car a design icon. The wedge-shaped bodywork is outstanding and gives this Lancia a very unique look, until today breathtaking. It must be great to drive this car on the edge at famous Rallye events like the Rallye Monte Carlo.

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Another aspect of this stories is the relationship between the Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT, both designed by Giorgio Giugiaro for Bertone, although for the design of the Bizzarrini 5300 GT, which was called in the beginning Iso A3/C and should be a motor racing version of the Iso Grifo, Giotto Bizzarrini had been accredited, and Bertone did only the finishing. Who knows for sure.

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Four different Lamborghini models will be in the limelight in these stories too. The iconic Miura, a 400 GT 2+2, an Urraco and last but not least the 30 years special edition of the great Countach.

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Three of them were also created by the Bertone design office and showed the development from softer roundness to uncompromising hard, sharp and pretty straight lines.

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One of the Lamborghinis, the light blue 400 GT 2+2, was created and designed by the legendary Carrozzeria Touring. This car is showing also a very unique outside shape and I don’t think that the front and the back of this Lamborghini are having a perfect fit, but this composing is giving the 400 GT 2+2 a very special appearance.

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These pictures should give you a first impression of the style of fabulous Italian coach building and the stories behind their development. There is more to come in the next parts of this series. Enjoy it. Find out more about our photographer Ralph Lüker.

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