February 27, 1951 – Italian auto designer Walter de Silva is born

At just 21 years old Italian Walter de Silva began a career as an automotive designer when hired by Fiat in 1972. Born on this day in 1951, de Silva would go on to lead design for Alfa Romeo, SEAT, Audi brand Group and finally Volkswagen Group, where he reigned from 2007 until 2015.

Above Walter de Silva as head of Audi design, via Audi World.
Top: 2006 Lamborghini Miura concept by NAParish, CC BY 2.0

During his career he would craft or sign off on a number of important designs for numerous automakers. Some of the designs he is responsible for include the 1997 Alfa Romeo 156, 2004 Audi A6, 2006 Audi TT and R8, 2006 Lamborghini Miura concept, 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, 2011 Volkswagen Beetle, 2013 Lamborghini Egoista concept, and 2015 Volkswagen Touran, among many others. After leaving Volkswagen he started a women’s shoe company named Walter de Silva Shoes.

First generation Audi R8, designed by de Silva. By M 93 – Self-photographed, Attribution

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