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January 23, 1980 – Automotive designer Giovanni Michelotti dies

Giovanni Michelotti, a most accomplished automotive designer, passed away on this day in 1980. Born in Turin, Italy in 1921, Giovanni would eventually make incredible contributions to the European sports car market. His career began at coachbuilders such as Stabilimenti Farina, Vignale and Carrozzeria Allemano. In 1959 he opened his own design house. This allowed him ultimate freedom of expression while working with brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, and Triumph. 

Above: 1971 Triumph GT6. By Riley, cc2.0. Top: Cover: Michelotti at right, with Enrico Nardi and the 1960 Plymouth Silver Ray. A one off car built in 1960 on a Nardi chassis that Michelotti designed and had power from a Plymouth Golden Commando V8.

Throughout his career he brought an astounding portfolio of cars to the road. His efforts resulted in the Ferrari 166, Ferrari 375MM, Maserati 5000 GT, BMW 700, Triumph GT6, Triumph Spitfire, Alfa Romeo 2600, Prince Skyline Sports Coupe and many more. Later in life, when asked if he had designed anything other than cars, Michelotti admitted to designing a coffee maker following the end of World War II. It can only be assumed it made for one hot cup of java.

Ferrari 340/375 MM at the 2nd Pescara GP on Aug 16, 1953; starting in the 28th position, drivers Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli would go on to win this race. This is chassis #0320AM.

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