Giovanni Michelotti (6 October 1921 – 23 January 1980) was one of the most prolific designers of sports cars in the 20th century. His notable contributions were for Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and Triumph marques. He was also associated with truck designs for Leyland Motors, and with designs for British Leyland (including the Leyland National bus) after the merger of Leyland and BMC.
Born in Turin, Italy, Michelotti worked for coachbuilders, including Stabilimenti Farina, Vignale, Allemano, Bertone, Ghia, Ghia-Aigle, Scioneri, Monterosa, Viotti, Fissore and OSI, before opening his own design studio in 1959. He also cooperated with manufacturers producing their own cars based on Fiat or other mechanicals, like Siata, Moretti, Francis Lombardi and Nardi. From 1962, Michelotti concluded cooperation with Carrozzeria Vignale and began his own coachbuilding activities.
Towards the end of his life, asked whether he had ever designed anything other than cars, Michelotti acknowledged that virtually all of his design work had involved cars, but he admitted to having designed a coffee making machine shortly after the war.
- Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Coupè and Cabriolet for Stabilimenti Farina
- Alfa Romeo 1900 La Fleche Spider and Coupé for Vignale; Coupè and Spider for Ghia; Lugano Coupé and Spider for Ghia-Aigle
- Alfa Romeo 2000 Vignale Coupé, Ghia-Aigle Coupé and Cabriolet
- Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Michelotti Goccia, 1961
- Alfa Romeo 2600 Berlina De Luxe for OSI
1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Ghia-Aigle Cabriolet
- Lancia Astura Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet, 1947
- Lancia Aprilia Berlina Gran Lusso and Cabriolet for Stabilimenti Farina, 1947; Coupé for Vignale, 1949
- Lancia Aurelia B50 Vignale Coupé; B52 Vignale Coupé, Bertone Coupé, Balbo Coupé 2+2; B53 Allemano Coupé
- Lancia Aurelia Nardi Blue Ray 1 and 2, for Vignale, commissioned by Enrico Nardi
- Lancia Appia Allemano Coupé; Cabriolet, 1957; Lusso Coupé, prototype and series production cars for Vignale
- Lancia Flavia Vignale Cabriolet, would become the last Michelotti design for Vignale.
- Lancia Mizar concept, 1974, based on Beta
- Ferrari 166 MM Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 166 Inter Coupé and Cabriolet for Stabilimenti Farina; Coupé for Ghia; Coupé for Vignale
- Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta, Spider, Cabriolet and Coupé for Vignale
- Ferrari 212 Inter Coupé, Spider and Cabriolet for Ghia; Coupé, Spider and Cabriolet for Vignale; Coupé for Ghia-Aigle
- Ferrari 225 S Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 250 S Coupé for Vignale
- Ferrari 250 MM Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 250 Europa GT Coupé for Vignale
- Ferrari 340 America Coupé and 2+2 Coupé for Ghia; Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 340 Mexico Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 340 MM Spider for Vignale (one later uprated to 375 MM spec)
- Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet for Vignale
- Ferrari 625 TF Coupé and Spider for Vignale
- Ferrari 375 MM Coupé for Ghia
- Ferrari 375 America Coupé for Vignale
- Ferrari 330 GT Michelotti Coupé
- Ferrari 275 P2 Speciale (1968 re-body of an existing 1963 250 P, converted to 275 P and 330 P specification, commissioned by Luigi "Coco" Chinetti Jr. and Robert Peak)
- Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Beach Car for Felber, 1976
- Ferrari 400i Meera S, 1983
- Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Michelotti N.A.R.T. Spider (re-body of an existing Ferrari 365 GTB/4 commissioned by Luigi Chinetti, 4 built for road use)
- Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Michelotti N.A.R.T. Spider Competizione (re-body of an existing Ferrari 365 GTB/4 commissioned by Luigi Chinetti, 1 built for N.A.R.T.'s entry in the 1975 24 hours of Le Mans)
Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupé
Ferrari 225 S Vignale Berlinetta
Ferrari 340 MM Vignale Spyder
Ferrari 375 America Vignale Coupé
Ferrari 330 GT Michelotti
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spider Competizione, bodied by Michelotti
- Maserati A6G 2000 Vignale Coupé, Paris Show car.
- Maserati A6G/54 2000 Allemano Coupé.
- Maserati A6GCS/53 Vignale Spider Corsa, commissioned by Tony Parravano and rebodied by Scaglietti in 1955.
- Maserati 3500 GT Allemano Coupé, 2 units; Spyder, prototypes and series production cars for Vignale.
- Maserati 5000 GT Coupé for Allemano; One-off Coupé realised by Carrozzeria Michelotti, commissioned by Briggs Cunningham.
- Maserati Sebring 1962, prototype and series production cars for Vignale.
Maserati A6G/54 2000 Allemano Coupé
Maserati 3500 GT Spyder prototype
Maserati 5000 GT Allemano Coupé, 22 made in total
Maserati Sebring series II
From the late 1950s Michelotti was responsible for all new models produced by the British company Standard Triumph, starting with a facelift of the Standard Vanguard and going on to design other models for Triumph such as:
- Triumph Herald
- Triumph Spitfire
- Triumph GT6
- Triumph TR4
- Triumph 2000
- Triumph 1300
- Triumph Stag
- Triumph Dolomite
He also created a number of prototypes which did not go into production, such as the Triumph Fury. The only Triumphs after 1960 that were not his work were the TR6 and the TR7, plus the Honda-based Acclaim.
After Triumph's parent company Leyland Motors became a part of British Leyland, Michelotti undertook a facelift of the BMC 1100 – which became the Spanish-built Austin Victoria and also the South African-built Austin Apache. He also designed the Leyland National bus and the Australian-made Leyland P76.
Giovanni Michelotti's BMW association started with the BMW 700 (1959) and later the successful BMW New Class series of designs of which the most notable is the BMW 2002. His sport sedan designs later became the BMW design language, that was continued and refined by Ercole Spada well into the 1980s.
Michelotti also worked with the Dutch firm DAF, starting in 1963 with redesigning the ageing Daffodil 31 model into the Daffodil 32 and DAF 33. The Shellette beach car was also originally developed to use DAF underpinnings. The DAF 44 (1966) was a completely new design from his hand and he also helped form its derivatives 46, 55 and 66, which culminated in the Volvo 66 (1975). In 1968, Michelotti built a concept car based on his DAF 55 design, called Siluro (Italian for torpedo), which remained in his possession until his death. The car has since been restored and is in possession of the DAF museum in Eindhoven.
Michelotti did present a few cars under its own name. The "Shellette" was a beach car with wicker seats and dashboard, in the spirit of Ghia's Fiat 500 and 600 "Jolly"s, but designed in a collaboration with yacht designer Philip Schell. Originally constructed with DAF underpinnings, it was later built with Fiat 850 mechanicals. Unlike the Ghia Jolly, the 47 PS (35 kW) Shellette was a reasonably useful car capable of a 60 mph (97 km/h) cruising speed and had a heater and various other creature comforts. Only about 80 were built, with around ten still extant. Famous buyers include the Dutch Royal Family, who used an early DAF-based Shellette at their summer property in Porto Ercole, and Jacqueline Onassis, who employed a later model Shellette on the Onassis' private island Skorpios.
Around 1980, the Fiat 127-based "Every" appeared, a light buggy-styled vehicle. Michelotti also marketed a luxurious version of the Daihatsu Taft. In 1985 the Michelotti PAC was presented, a one-off citycar prototype (PAC = "Project Automotive Commuter") based on the Daihatsu Cuore.
In the 1960s, Michelotti designed a glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) cab for certain lorries made by Scammell, who had become part of Leyland Motors in 1955. The cab was used for the Routeman, Handyman and Trunker models. The Townsman also had a Michelotti designed cab.
For other companies he designed the following (incomplete):
- Abarth 205A Vignale Berlinetta
- Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Drophead Coupé
- Aston Martin DB2/4 Vignale Coupé
- Alpine A106 (1955)
- Alpine A108
- Alpine A110
- Armstrong Siddeley (a one-off car based on the Sapphire 234 chassis for a Spanish client)
- Bugatti Type 252
- Cunningham C-3 Vignale Coupé and Cabriolet
- Duple Dominant II coach body
- Fiat 8V Coupé, Cabriolet and Demon Rouge for Vignale
- Ford Anglia Anglia Torino 105E
- Ford-Cisitalia 808 roadster
- Lola Ultimo concept, 1981
- Matra 530 (1970) facelift
- Hino Contessa Sprint 900 (1962)
- Hino Contessa 1300 (1965)
- Prince Skyline Sport (1960)
- Reliant Scimitar SS1 (1984) which was his last design to reach production, four years after his death.
- Siata 208s (Bertone)
- Siata 1500 TS
- Plymouth Silver Ray commissioned in 1960 by Enrico Nardi
- Packard Eight 'Victoria' Vignale Cabriolet
- "January 23, 1980 – Designer Giovanni Michelotti passes away". Automotive History.
- "Carrosserie Ghia Aigle - Cars". ghia-aigle.info. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- "Elenco delle Vetture progettate da Giovanni Michelotti conosciute al momento". archiviostoricomichelotti.it (in Italian). Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- Vignale, Alfredo Zanellato (2009). Vignale con Michelotti Designer. ASI. p. 66.
- Mazzocchi, Gianni, ed. (March 1978). "Conversazione con Giovanni Michelotti: Tante, tante automobili" [A conversation with Giovanni Michelotti: Many, Many Cars]. Quattroruote (in Italian). Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus. 23 (268): 114. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2012. Disegna sempre solo vetture? "Soppratutto, ma .... doppo la guerra anche una macchina per fare il caffe." (Q: Have you always designed only cars? A: Almost exclusively, but ... after the war also a machine for making coffee.)
- "Carrosserie Ghia Aigle - Alfa Romeo 1900 Coupé Lugano 1957". ghia-aigle.info. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- "1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Goccia (Michelotti)". carstyling.ru. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- "Vignale Lancia". vignalegamine.net. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
- Easthope, Alex (31 March 2015). "10 more odd Ferraris we almost forgot". www.classicdriver.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- "250 P s/n 0812". barchetta.cc. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- "1982 Ferrari 400i Meera S One off Michelotti Prototype". RonSusser.com. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Ferrari Meera S by Michelotti". www.italian.sakura.ne.jp. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Michelotti NART Spyder - Register". barchetta.cc. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona NART Spider". Gooding & Company. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- "RM Sotheby's - 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spider Competizione by Michelotti | Monterey 2018". RM Sotheby's. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Tabucchi, Maurizio (2003). Maserati: The Grand Prix, Sports and GT cars model by model, 1926-2003. Milano: Giorgio Nada Editore s.r.l. p. 246. ISBN 8879112600.
- "361", Greenwich Concours d'Elegance Auction (Auction Catalogue), New York, NY: Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers, 2 June 2013, pp. 160–161, Sale Number 21153
- 1968 DAF 55 Siluro
- Costa, André & Georges-Michel Fraichard, ed. (September 1980). "Salon 1980: Toutes les Voitures du Monde". l'Auto Journal (in French). Paris: Homme N°1 (14 & 15): 202. M1117.
- Heitz, Rudolf, ed. (1 August 1985). Auto Katalog 1986 (in German). 29. Stuttgart: Vereinigte Motor-Verlage GmbH & Co. KG. p. 107. 81530/85001.
- "The History of Scammell Lorries Limited". The Scammell Register. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
- "The History - Ford Cisitalia 808". fordcisitalia808.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- Cole, Lance (2017). "Chapter 11: Michelotti: A Triumph of Design". The Classic Car Adventure: Driving Through History on the Road to Nostalgia. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword Transport. ISBN 9781473896413.
- Vignale, Alfredo Zanellato (2009). Vignale con Michelotti Designer. ASI.
- Giovanni Michelotti
- Some Michelotti design studies
- Michelotti studio website
- BMW Designers Giovanni Michelotti on the page with an overview of automotive designers working for BMW.
- Registry for Fiat Shellette and Fiat Jolly MicroCars
- Lancia Aurelia B52 Vignale designed by Giovanni Michelotti
- Michelotti World. 1921-2021