How is the style of a car created?
How does one get to the top of the “Design” division of a major car manufacturer, a sector that is continually under “friendly fire” from the entire management staff, including presidents and CEOs, because style lends itself to diverse interpretations?
These questions are answered by Walter De Silva, a designer of indisputable fame, with top-level experience in an impressive number of brands: Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Seat, Volkswagen, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti, as well as direct contacts in Ducati and Porsche.
It’s a long story, told by De Silva himself in a brilliant and spontaneous way, and it gives the reader the impression that the author has been able to transfer his expertise in Design to paper, including feelings, pathos, moods and discontent, which characterized the genesis of the many cars that he designed.
A sensation reinforced by the publication of numerous original drawings by the author alongside the text.
De Silva’s story proceeds swiftly thanks to it being split up into episodes, many of which see as protagonists the author together with famous names of the world motoring elite, such as engineers Ghidella and Cantarella (protagonists of the complicated period experienced by the Fiat Group in the final years of the last century), Avvocato Agnelli and his brother Umberto, Sergio Marchionne and the leaders of the Volkswagen Group, where a brilliant and absolute ‘monarch’ – Professor Ferdinand Piëch, the nephew of Ferdinand Porsche – was in charge.
He was the man who “absolutely” wanted De Silva in the Group.
Of course, all the famous models of the Milanese designer, such as the Alfa Romeo Proteo and Nuvola prototypes and the 156 and 147 saloon cars, take centre stage.
The list of models studied for the VW Group is a long one; it includes the third generation Audi A6, on which the famous grille called “single frame” made its debut, with a courageous design embracing the entire front and which since then (2004) has characterized the entire production of the Ingolstadt company.
These are memories of successful times but also of struggles to assert ideas, in a true “automotive novel”, which has Design – but not only design – as its protagonist.