Driving Dreams (2016) - full transcript

Driving Dreams is the first film dedicated to the men who conceived some of the most remarkable and visionary car designs of the 20th Century. The designers of an era that many call the Italian Automotive Renaissance. A series of ...

I'll just sketch a few things.

Yeah, let's see.

I'll do something like this.

I don't know whether it looks good or bad.

I'm just improvising.

Once more.

I'm sure there are two
different forms of life.

The canonical one.

We are born with numbers and

our life runs along these numbers.

We even forget our individual names.

Then there's another with its own impetus.

The unconscious.

It takes decisions and remembers things.

It surfaces at the right moment.

In fact, my philosophy is:

when you lose something meaningful,

don't go looking for it.

Sooner or later, it will
come looking for you.

It always happens that way.


Both a beautiful woman and a beautiful car

make you want to seduce, feel free,

reach your goal.

Either to seduce a beautiful woman

or in the case of a car,

to reach a certain distant goal,

maybe in order to seduce a beautiful woman.

I count myself lucky because

I lead my entire life pursuing my passion,

starting at the age of four when

I was given an erector set.

I went through a
theoretical phase at first.

A phase of many drawings
and few, if any, creations.

When I started working on car bodies,

things changed a little.

Especially when I had
the chance to participate

in the planning of automobiles.

Real and important ones, like this one.

You know, designing a
car is not just the idea.

It's not bring an idea,
two tailfins or whatever.

It's how you interpret this idea.

And to interpret this idea,

you have to have a good
sense of proportion.

That's essential.

I am a pure designer, so
I like the aesthetics.

I'm not a good engineer.

But everyone has their
own specialty, we say.

Design is considered to be

the utmost talent in our country.

We are seen as an
intensely creative people.

With our creativity expressing itself

through furnishings, fashion,

and also through automobile design.

For a young man who wanted to

become part of the automobile world,

the 1960's were a paradise of creativity.

The era was extremely fertile because

year after year, auto show after auto show,

we always looked for new expressions,

more radical and extreme shapes.

In 1958, Italy, and Torino in particular,

was the center of design the world over.

You had automobile design in Italy,

directors of all the big companies

came to Torino for the automobile show

to see the latest styling exercises.

I am a child of the 1960's,

raised on bread and automobiles.

The cars back then were
more and more concept cars

and less and less automobiles.

Cars like the Carabo and Modulo

seemed more like spaceships
than functioning automobiles.

In those days it was a dream come true.

The post-war period

began with the Vespa and
continued with the V8600,

the Fiat 500, and so on.

Innovations became

an important factor in the
automobile industry in general

and with regards to the
car bodies in particular.

You could create things that

turned out to be very successful.

I had a storehouse of desires

and little by little, I
filled the pigeon holes.

And the Miura was the opportunity
to pull out some of them.

In those days, no one would think

of making headlights
for a showroom prototype

or limited production.

So they used whatever was around.

For example, the headlights
for the 850 Spider,

they did the same with the taillight.

But it was a shame to see
a car like that realized

with headlights taken from a Fiat.

So my idea was to try to
mask them with these flaps.

Originally, they were used
for the interior ventilation,

but they really served no purpose at all.

The day I was hired

was the happiest day of my life.

It was like stepping into a magical world,

being part of this special community.

Back then we were called stylists.

We built cars in an era of optimism,

never worrying about automobile safety.

We believed that someday in the future,

cars would be able to spread their wings

and just take off.

With ingenuity, first of all,

imagination and ingenuity.

We even made cars without any drafts.

It was all in our imagination.

I'm no designer.

Mr. Gandini is a stylist.

I'm a metalworker, but still I made cars.

When I was making Ferraris,

they had to be gutsy but also beautiful.

I liked making them.

It was a fabulous period

because automobiles were
starting to be considered

pieces of art.

Like an object that needs shaping

and not something technical,
solely mechanical.

So they began thinking about
sprucing up the automobiles.

You could indulge in your own ingenuity.

That's why during that period,

cars came out which are
considered milestones

in automotive history, even today.

Style is a way of feeling.

If you have ingenuity and the talent

to shape your own ideas,
that's imagination I think.

If you're lucky enough to have both

ingenuity and imagination, I
think that's called creativity.

Passion came from driving.

I started driving at 12.

Shortly afterwards I began spending time

at the Monza Racetrack
in the car of friends

who already owned a license.

Back in those days, I
was more interested in

driving than designing.

I even began racing cars
before I had a license.

I'd go to Monza with friends,

we'd rent the track which
didn't cost much back then.

One or two of us had a license

but the others drove without one.

It was a closed circuit,
so it wasn't dangerous.

At the beginning of

the last century, when the
automobile saw the light of day,

Turin was a very beautiful, elegant city.

The filmmaking industry and
the great fashion houses

were in Turin, all in the wake

of the once-present Royal House.

Carriage production was important

and it was done here because
the clientele was here.

History says it's origins come

from the valleys around Turin,

where there are boilermakers
who work with copper.

That's where the expertise of
shaping sheet metal came from.

Automobiles were made with

a frame just like carriages.

And engines substituted the horses

and on top of it, they built a car body.

A craft is born, it spreads.

Some go to work for a
company to learn the craft

and afterwards found their own companies.

The same goes for the automotive industry,

for the people that built the engines,

the frames, the car bodies,

In the beginning, there was a high level

of manufacturing specialization.

It allowed for the making
of functioning prototypes,

from the 1920's to the post-war 1950's.

And a wealthy clientele that

could afford these unique models.

You know, there are many people involved

in the carriage design before the war.

And I think it was just a natural ability.

They could design what
they called panel beaters.

They could make cars by hand.

In no other place in the
world could you do this.

There's a culture,

a craftsmanship which was once handed down

from father to son and now
from one colleague to another.

Forging the metal for
wheels was the craft of

the Bertone founder,
Nuccio Bertone's father.

That was his specialty.

Naturally, the most capable craftsman

were the most sought-after and

if they had a natural sense of business,

they'd create their own workshop.

The successful auto body workers

from an industrial point of view

were those who managed the transition from

being craftsmen, working on a single piece,

to becoming businessmen.

In the 1950's, they
produced thousands of units.

I'm thinking especially of
Pininfarina and Bertone.

It's a bit like

the Silicon Valley.

A famous designer, Fioravanti,

once called it the Car Valley because

building an automobile
became an industry here.

In the post-war period,

Italian auto body
workers, partly because of

their great creative
abilities and partly because

they had worked very hard

to recreate the pre-war conditions,

were the first to understand

that standards had totally changed.

The emerging mass automotive
industry in Europe

greatly relied upon Italian designers

to design the cars for mass production.

Let's take Pininfarina,
who worked for Peuegot

and Austin Morris, or Michelotti,

who worked for Triumph.

Michelotti made the first BMW 1500,

the blueprint for all others.

Bertone worked for NSU
Prints and also for BMW.

All Italian auto body workers

worked with foreign manufacturers

and built a network of
knowledge and competence.

That allowed them to expand their activity

as auto body workers to
becoming design consultants.

This enabled them to
establish design offices

in order to create trends and to influence

the European automotive industry.

After the war, some cars
were designed in Italy

that are sold for phenomenal prices today.

People cannot design, they never

designed with a pencil or paper.

They did it by hand, by instinct.

These people had

gained their experiences

before the era of the stylists.

Pininfarina, Bertone, and others

were able to create models completely

without the help of any
kind of draft or sketch.

It's a matter

of innate creativity.

In those days, we saw how people without

any formal education became great masters.

One example is Giancarlo Guerra,

who out of nothing gave form to

fantastic automobiles for Ferrari.

He would simply envisage them.

We've known people like Gandini.

If Giugiaro was the
Michelangelo of Italian design,

he'd be the Leonardo da Vinci because

he was more interested in the technique,

the engineering side of it.

I only finished

elementary school.

I had a special feel for things

and I instructed the engineers.

They were under my wings.

I spent many years

in secondary school but later on,

I designed on my own.

I loved racing cars so I
drew them all the time.

I was interested in the shape,

but especially the basic
concepts and the mechanics,

even if I didn't know much at the time.

They'd give me a mono-block,

a shell, four old wheels.

I'd position the static load
and then I'd place a cord.

I didn't need anything else.

I'd only use a calibrated
cord, that was it.

And from that I'd create the whole shape.

I drew sketches at home.

I used wooden blocks to indicate the

encumberence of the carburetors.

That's how we made cars.

I've always liked to build things.

As a child, I'd build
small objects and toys,

trying to imitate or
reinvent what was around me.

I was lucky to meet a
great master in the 1960's.

It was Giovanni Michelotti

who taught me how to draw.

I knew how to sketch, but I
didn't know what to sketch.

Michelotti taught me to transfer
my dreams into automobiles.

I don't follow archetypes,
I don't read magazines.

I don't go to showrooms.

I like to invent.

I think this was my...

not luck, but my way of living.

The Fiat 130 came into
being with the Rolls.

The Rolls Camargue.

The only car in the entire
history of that brand

which was designed by an Italian.

The English one is something Italian,

and the straight lines,

so different from the traditional roles,

influence the Fiat 130.

The configuration was very similar.

In fact, some called it the younger sister.

The similarity is obvious.

I'm the first to say so.

My adventure began at preschool age,

because I always drew automobiles

and liked copying them from magazines too,

whenever I had one at hand.

In my parent's house there was
this magazine lying around,

the Reale Automobile Club of Italy.

A rather large magazine in black and white

telling you everything about
the world of automobiles.

These things fascinated me.

The ads which promoted the cars,

as well as the reports on the races.

The Grand Prix of those days,

the battles between Alfa
Romeo and the Germans.

The Mercedes and the Auto Union.

I even took an interest in

the ads for automobile components.

At 12, I would steal

my father's car keys, these
longish straight things

used for the Fiat 1100

and the Fiat 500, the Topolino.

I'd drive around while he was asleep.

When he finally started
teaching me how to drive,

he said, you're a very good driver.

In 1955, '56,

I was designing cars where you had to lie

so flat on your back that you

looked at the road from between your feet.

I'd lie on the bed to
see how you could drive,

looking out from between your feet.

I liked driving.

In fact, even as a young
man I owned sports cars.

Obviously not the ones I had designed,

but still I always liked them.

We'd have contests of carspotting,

of recognizing cars not by their shapes,

but by a picture of their taillights.

We'd identify them by their screws.

I'd hang out in the garages

to get to know the materials
the components were made of.

Back then,

uphill races were very popular.

Both racing cars and

tuned ordinary cars participated.

The suspension system in the engine

had been manipulated a little bit.

But they were actually slower
than the standard ones.

We kids would borrow

our parent's cars, making
up some kind of excuse.

This is a luxury car,

American style.

I set my drawings in front of a mansion.

This is the main gate.

Here's a super sports car in
the lineup to the Mille Miglia.

An uphill race.

A convertible on a scenic
route, close to the water.

A racing car positioned at a pit stop.

Even a small truck.

I like to invent promotional
vehicles like these.

For example, this was for
Coca-Cola, or this one.

I liked to invent things like that.

The Dino is a very important call.

It was Sergio Pininfarina's idea.

I designed my version
of it and they chose it.

This is it.

This car had a rear engine.

That's why the front is lower than usual.

Its bumpers protruded.

It's an outstanding car.

When Ferrari accepted the design

and started the production,
it turned out to be

the car with the highest sales volume ever.

The vehicles of

other car designers of
the time were more catchy.

The ones Pininfarina designed
were considered well,

to be interesting.

A few years later the
others had disappeared

and Pininfarina's became
more and more beautiful

as time passed.

All the Pininfarina vehicles

are austere, except for a few.

A unique example is the Modulo.

The Pininfarina management

didn't want to produce the Modulo.

In fact, they hid it under
a tarp for six months.

One day Pininfarina asked me,

how on earth could you make a...

he didn't even want to call it a car.

A thing like that?

And I said, sir, it wasn't
supposed to be an automobile,

it's as simple as that.

The basis of the Italian design

was this: ability to be
creative, to have that

special feel for the shapes,

even without being a trained
designer or a stylist.

Pininfarina himself didn't design,

but he had good taste.

He knew how to select.

He'd correct and optimize the ideas

that our imagination had created.

He had a very good eye for design.

He didn't design the cars himself,

but he had a good eye to see
what was good, what was bad.

And so, that's very important.

He knew how to read a design

and recognize tiny variations.

He'd ask one of his
panel-beaters to modify a line,

making it tighter or softer.

The next day when this had been done,

he could immediately tell the difference

and if it hadn't been done
exactly as he'd wanted it,

he'd say, you didn't do
what I asked you to do

and make him modify it.

The way we did it, at Pininfarina,

of course we had to make a
full-size drawing of the car.

And what they call full-size lofting,

a lofting drawing which
is used to make the model,

a full-size model.

So it takes from two to three
weeks to make the drawing,

with all the sessions, then
you have to make the model

which takes maybe a month
and a half to do that,

then from there you make any
modifications you have to make,

then you make the
prototype using the model,

not to hammer the metal
over it but as a guide.

I make them because

I love the three dimensions they have.

Objects have three dimensions.

If not, they'd simply be drawings.

So I think three dimensionally.

In fact, I call my models
three dimensional sketches.

To design something

without any clear goal

is something I've never accepted.

I preferred imagining the final phase,

what it should turn out to
be and why and for whom.

Elio Zagato was an excellent driver

and was still racing.

Naturally, he wanted his cars to win

so they were made to measure.

I'd follow the trials to
find out what he needed

to be able to drive faster.

That's how I learned.

A hands-on experience taught me

to design them for their natural purpose,

which was to win races.

The change from what was called

being a stylist to being a designer

occurred when additional technical
elements were introduced.

They started introducing
functional elements,

ergonomics, visibility.

The systems were very practical.

I looked at the sketches of those

who had achieved the
best aerodynamic results.

I looked at what the Germans
had done before the war.

In the 1930's, there were
theories by professors

from the University of Stuttgart.

Professor Koenig-Fachsenfeld
and Professor Wunibald Kamm.

He invented the Kamm-tail.

I used it on our cars directly on the road.

I screwed on some aluminum fairing

and judged the performance
with or without fairing.

We saw that it worked and we stuck to it.

This is a Kamm-tail.

I've always remained fascinated by it.

There was only one other
designer when I came.

There were just two designers there.

It was not like going to General Motors

where you had 200 designers in one place.

It was a very small company.

Each designer had their own
particular project to do.

So here I was, 24 years old

and all of a sudden I was
designing a complete car.

The Aston Martin

was the first car I designed.

I arrived in April 1960 and two cars

had to be done right away.

John Wyer came personally.

He wanted to make a lighter version

to enter the competitions,
trying to beat the Ferraris.

The car turned out well.

He liked it very much.

It became one of the most
expensive cars in the auctions.

But it was a bit too heavy

to compete with the Ferrari.

The Dino's profile

looked something like this.

The shape of the wings looked like that.

If we invert them, you
roughly get the layout

of the Cisitalia.

The front wing became the rear wing.

So one looks like this
and the other like this.

The front and the rear were inverted.

That kind of

creative concentration can't
have happened out of the blue.

In Turin, a spontaneous
design school had developed,

which wasn't based on institutions.

The great designers learned
their craft in the garages

like Spada, even Gandini.

Even if he always thought
he didn't know enough

because he hadn't been to a school

where they taught how to make automobiles,

but he knew how to form
an opinion, an idea.

Since there were no design schools,

you just went to work.

I began at 20, right after high school.

I still remember how I,

in my freshman year, bought Dante Giacosa's

Internal Combustion Engines
instead of buying a Latin book.

I still have it.

It's well-worn and never again looked at,

but back then I knew it by heart.

My father played the violin

and made us learn a musical instrument.

That's how it was done back then.

My brother and I had to
learn to play the piano.

I still remember Schumann's
Scenes From Childhood.

It interested me.

I thought of the three piano pedals

as clutch, brake, and accelerator.

I've never driven a Ferrari.

I rode in a Dino, driven by Fioravanti.

But I've never driven a Ferrari.

I designed them, that satisfied me.

I have a diploma

in technical engineering.

I have no idea where it is now.

I decided that studying was not for me.

It took me too long to learn too little.

I went there on a different path.

I chose my teachers myself.

We didn't have a briefing.

We didn't have a thick book of

all the requirements that

we had to do for our car.

Back then, they wanted new ideas.

They were still in the phase that,

something had some new ideas they wanted.

They didn't want somebody taking ideas from

a car that had success and copy that car.

Everything had to be new.

I learned that Pininfarina,

the best way to avoid getting
fired was to be original.

If you designed something already familiar,

you deserved to be given the sack.

Back then it was normal

to do things differently
than they'd been done before

or by others.

At Bertone, it was especially so.

Both with regards to the showrooms

and to the normal work
on prototypes or models.

The Pantera was produced
for almost 22 years.

It probably wouldn't really win

a Concours d'Elegance
for the most elegant car,

but it has something about the car

that satisfies a lot of passion.

Where sports cars were elegant cars,

nice-looking cars, and still today

people buy these cars, they work on them,

they take them apart, they fix them.

They have very big clubs in America.

The Aston Martin DB4

looks like the mouth of a shark,

ready to attack the road.

I designed the shape.

It was a tight-fitting suit
worn over strong muscles.

The car body just about
holds everything together.

The basic concept of this car

was to make the driver more attractive,

to reflect a little of its power,

aggressiveness onto its driver.

There were a few essential flaws.

The one thing, it was impossible

to look behind you when driving in reverse.

But it was possible to compensate for that

with a bit of physical effort
and some exhibitionism,

by sitting on the lateral strut,

looking out from the
side with the door open.

We knew a collector who lived close by,

who passed through the town square

to show off how he drove in reverse,

going back and forth.

At the Turin auto show in 1970,

the Bertone company presented a prototype

with Lancia Mechanics, but totally

transformed with the rear engine.

It was an interesting
prototype, famous even today,

but most importantly
it convinced the Lancia

executive management
to build a specific car

for the rallies, the races.

Lancia was especially interested in

the six-cylinder Dino Ferrari engine,

a very heavy engine with little horsepower.

The vehicle made a
visual impact right away.

Besides, a winning car becomes beautiful

even if it's ugly.

If it's born beautiful, that's good too.

At least that's my opinion.

Tjaarda and Bertone,

who at the time cooperated,

were lucky to have Cingolani, the foreman,

working for both of them.

Cingolani resolved all the mechanical

or technical problems on their prototype.

He was for them what Komodo and Mora

were for Pininfarina.

Not to forget all the other
people working in blue overalls

who receive little merit
but had great skill.

They made these companies fortunes.

It was a miracle no one else

in the world could have done.

Naturally, Gandini didn't
do it all on his own.

He had panel-beaters who did
things right the first time.

The atmosphere

during the construction
of these three prototypes

for the auto show in Geneva

in 1966 wasn't particularly light,

which is to say that the work was grueling.

They hired many external workers

and the division worked 22 hours a day

in two 11 hour shifts.

We worked very fast.

There was no time to meditate,

no tending to details.

Today we brood over the
reasons for this and that.

Back then things got
resolved in three minutes.

There were no philosophical
debates, heavens no.

It was a miracle no one else

in the world could have done.

Naturally, Gandini didn't
do it all on his own.

He had panel-beaters who did
things right the first time.

It's hard to explain.

I just did it the way I'd imagined it.

Looking at the results, I did a good job.

I stuck to the design

and tried to learn how to do the rest,

watching the workers
whenever I had the chance.

Something I always did back then.

I mostly learned from my coworkers.

Do this part here.

Round it, soften it.

But what does rounding or softening mean?

If I say to you, round it, soften it,

and you know what I mean, the game's easy.

But if you're not on the same wavelength

and you don't share a vision of things,

it becomes tough and the
result may be terrible.

That was just a sketch.

But I'll use it to explain the

different phases of my drafts.

It was constructed using iron rebars,

like the ones you see here.

It looks like a kind of wire frame.

With that, the panel-beater is able to form

the aluminum parts later on.

Some use one tool, some another.

Giancarlo Guerra used an iron rebar,

a hammer, and sheet metal.

He just followed his imagination

to form masterpieces.

I believe I was the only one

to make cars with wires like that.

We thought about everything.

We thought about encumbrances,
about the driver's seat.

I made cars.

I'd leave an opening to implement the wire.

It looked like a transparent car.

Working together with

a small group of enthusiastic people

who were extraordinary men

with great creative talent was fantastic.

We'd joke, argue.

Your design is horrendous crap.

Mine's more beautiful.

But there were no strange moves.

There was no competition.

Everyone had a job to do.

There was absolutely no
interference among us.

Broverone cars were Broverone's.

Sapino ones were Sapino's.

Mine were mine.

There was no competition.

It was an unwritten law

that the public would not be informed about

who was responsible for which car.

Back then, nobody knew that I had designed

the Ferrari 512, or Matin, the Modulo.

Things changed later when everything was

handled a bit more liberal.

At the time there was a rather
tight regime of secrecy.

It was always the master
who did the designing.

Pininfarina, Bertone.

Their name was the one which appeared.

It meant trouble if the stylist

working for Bertone or Pininfarina said,

I designed that car.

Or if he signed a sketch with his own name

and not the name of the company.

Once, Scallione dared to sign a sketch

and sent it to America.

Bertone fired him on the spot.

I'm the Bertone company,
the rest is nothing.

To be honest, we always found a way

to make our sketches known.

For example, by putting
tiny initials into a corner.

Even if it was forbidden.

It was a habit of mine.

The first time, it happened spontaneously

and then I repeated it.

We enjoyed a lot of freedom.

Today things have changed.

When I visit a design office,

I see many sad faces.

They're all gloomy.

No one jokes, no one laughs.

I think an era has gone by.

I believe we've reached
a point of no return.

Cars are turning into a mere
means of transportation.

They are supposed to function

like a washing machine or a refrigerator.

Today, the way a product

is presented is fundamental.

The presentation is part
of the brand communication.

According to market researchers,

it's the first or second reason

for choosing one vehicle over another.

The automobile company has to focus on

the presentation of their products,

therefore the design of the car,

the design offices, the true
creative development work,

has become an integral part
and the core competence

of an automobile company.

What used to be an external service

is nowadays done within the company itself.

Therefore, the companies
themselves have become

the greatest competitors
of the Italian designers.

When your customer becomes
your main competitor,

the competition becomes rather imbalanced.

I believe a new

kind of designer has been born.

I like to call him a brand designer.

Today, the marketing department decides

which product is going to be sold.

They say, I want light here,

the coffeemaker there, the USB there,

and they determine what's being done.

The poor guy working on the design

is just drawing lines without knowing

what he's actually doing.

In fact, today's products all look alike.

They've lost their souls.

I call them auto planses.

If we think of today's cars

after having experienced
and heard these stories,

everything is so degraded and becomes so...

plastic comes to mind immediately.

In today's cars, electronics aside,

everything is so cold, so unworldy.

Today it is very difficult
to make something new.

Because there's a mentality,

even with a car like a Pantera.

I've worked with people in San Diego.

We had a client that wanted a car

that was similar to a sports car

that was already on the market.

Back then that never happened.

I was never given an assignment

with Ghia, De Tomaso, or Pininfarina

that makes something similar
to a car that already exists.

They wanted something new.

Martinengo always used to come and say,

Martin, do whatever you like.

This was the only input.

All the cars you see behind you

were invented with no input requirement.

"Do what you want."

That's all.

It was so nice to be able to do

what you wanted to do.