CC Video: A Tribute To Giovanni Michelotti “The Greatest Car Designer You Never Heard Of”

Back in April of this year, I received a request from Edgardo Michelotti, son of designer Giovanni Michelotti, to ask if anyone knew of a Hino Contessa available in Europe for a tribute show he was putting together for his father’s 100 birthday. The show opened back in September, and this is video of it.

It looks like no Contessa made it to the show, but then there were a number of others that didn’t either, as Michelotti was quite prolific. There’s just one minor quibble: the show and video claims that Michelotti designed the Neue Klasse BMW 1500, a seminal car if ever there was one. I’ve never heard that, and I cannot find any supporting evidence of that. Michelotti did submit a proposal (model) for a 1500-based two-door coupe, but that was obviously never adopted or built.

Update: someone left a comment at Youtube claiming that there are drawings in his files that support the claim. I would be happy to change my opinion if I could see them and the dates on them. It’s certainly possible, even likely, that he was asked to submit his ideas for the Neue Klasse, and that it influenced the final design to one degree or another.

Update 2: More digging and info from the comments make it clear that Michelotti definitely was involved in the design of the 1500. BMW seems to largely suppress that, but in the very last paragraph of their own article on the 1500 they state this: The Neue Klasse was designed by the young head designer at BMW, Wilhelm Hofmeister, together with renowned Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

My assumption is that he was retained as a consulting designer, who initiated the project and may have continued to consult with BMW’s new and young inhouse styling department.

Other than that, it’s a good quick introduction to a man who made so many lasting contributions to automotive design during his career.

Hat tip to Martin S. for leaving this at the comments.