BMW enthusiast or not, it’s a sad day to be a car fanatic. Legendary automotive designer Marcello Gandini has passed away, reports Italy’s Rai News. Aged 85, the talented man worked for Bertone during the design house’s golden era, overseeing some of the most beautiful vehicles ever created. BMW fans appreciate him for the original 5 Series Sedan, which he co-designed under the supervision of Paul Bracq.

Launched in 1972, the E12 was preceded by the Garmisch concept at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. The showcar mysteriously vanished following its first public outing, but BMW brought it back with an official recreation for the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Marcello Gandini himself contributed to the revival of the Garmisch by helping BMW replicate key details such as the light champagne metallic paint. Just like the original concept car, it too was coach-built in Turin, Italy.

Marcello Gandini’s curriculum vitae goes well beyond a pair of instantly recognizable BMWs. He also worked on the less popular Bertone 2800 Spicup showcar that was based on an E3 (New Six). It saw the light of day before the Garmisch and the E12, having debuted at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show. Featured below, the one-off’s name was a portmanteau of spider and coupe as the car had an unconventional sliding targa roof.

He penned what many consider the most beautiful car ever made and the first true supercar, the Lamborghini Miura. During his illustrious career, the Italian designer contributed to many other important models: Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Countach, Bugatti EB110, and the De Tomaso Pantera.

While he is best known for working on a multitude of exotic cars, his expertise also helped mainstream automakers with their affordable models, such as the Volkswagen Polo, Citroën BX, and Renault 5 Turbo.

Born in 1938, Gandini was Bertone’s Design Director for 14 years and he introduced scissor doors in 1968 on the Alfa Romeo Carabo concept. He left Bertone in 1980 to work with other automakers before branching out to design everything from houses to the interior of a night club and even a helicopter.

Source: Rai News