In response, Giugiaro looked back to the old mobility-for-the-masses ideal that inspired cars like the Ford Model T, VW’s Beetle, the Fiat 500 and Citroën 2CV. The Golf creator is now 80, dressed in impeccable Italian style: well-tailored mid-blue wool suit, pale blue open-neck shirt, tortoiseshell specs and thick, pearl-white hair, combed back. Alas, despite such rumours, the arresting Jet remained a one-off. It is important, because it enables you to move around, and it makes you more free. In fact, four of the six had been by designed by one man, the affable but nervous, somewhat intellectual 31-year-old who now sat before 15 stern German engineers. The connection is obvious. He designed some of the most important cars of our time. Surely one of the sexiest GT cars of the 1960s, the Iso Grifo was a low-slung blend of muscular curves and gorgeous details, all penned Mr Giugiaro – including the tail-lights borrowed from his 105 Alfa GTV design. He learned to do freehand portraits from his dad, and his grandfather taught him to paint clean lines on different surfaces. 1982 Italdesign ‘Capsula’ Magnificent, isn’t it? If the change is too great and we don’t understand the evolution, that’s when something can look ugly.”. In the end, GM did not put it into production, but it had a vast influence, a sort of car version of The Beach Boys’ Smile album. In its purest form, though, the rust-prone 'Sud – and its pretty coupé iteration, the Sprint – was a truly inspired design that Alfa would struggle to better. Of all the Bertone projects that Giugiaro was involved with, he is reportedly most proud of the beautifully proportioned 105 Series Alfa coupé. It was very, very low: its headlights were embedded in the bonnet (he thinks the upward tilt of the lights is what prompted the UFO scare) and there were no doors, just a glass half-dome cockpit that hinged up to let you in. If there is a single piece of design genius he’s most likely to be remembered for, it’s a steel rather than dough-based one. The car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and stood out for its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel outer body panels. Through the Eighties, Nineties and Noughties, Italdesign retained close relationships with Volkswagen, Fiat and Far East manufacturers. Without it, there may never have been the Lamborghini Miura or Ferrari Daytona — and the Porsche 928 was essentially a late Seventies cover version. The Italian knew he’d won when one engineer huffily left the room to check some more details with another department. Born in 1938, Giorgetto Giugiaro has always worked in the field of design, and especially for the automobile industry, first with Fiat, then with Bertone, and eventually with Italdesign, a company he himself founded in Moncalieri, Turin. Inside Saint Laurent's Ridiculously Stylish Home, The Greatest Sports Documentaries Of All Time, 11 Of The Best-Designed Products Of All Time, The (Real) Greatest Video Games Of All-Time. Theoretically the fastest road car you could buy at the time, the claimed top speed of 186mph was never independently verified and the Grifo probably couldn't even get close. Giugiaro was named Car Designer of the Century 1999 and inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2002. “People have to be excited by something new,” he says. His cars pop up in fashionable media (for example, the Maserati Boomerang in Juergen Teller’s Louis Vuitton ads from 2014) as fans pay homage (the week before I visit, a German photographer couple had driven to visit him in their Fiat Panda, revered by some as a masterpiece of utilitarian design, so he could sign it). He explains why he thinks electric power and technology, rather than making cars more boring, will reinvent them for the better. But it was the aggressive lines, penned during Giugiaro’s brief tenure at Ghia, that endowed it with the kind of crowd-pleasing drama that would soon become a prerequisite of every supercar worth its name. In 1972, Lotus took the show in Turin with the Esprit concept, the first of Giugiaro's "folded paper" design cars. With 68% of its weight over the rear wheels and low-geared steering, the handling demanded respect, but, as an automotive work of art, the mongoose was breathtaking. It made him appreciate the genius of the original pasta designers in the 19th century, and the interest people take in pasta. While the extra weight of the panels blunted the performance of the DB4GT's 3.7-litre engine, use of steel suggested the design might have been conceived with series production in mind. The Testudo launched the dramatic, low-slung sports car profile of the Sixties. 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