The exhibition dedicated to the Italian designer opened at the Automobile Museum in Turin on Wednesday 6th October, the day Giovanni Michelotti would have turned 100. The “Michelotti world” exhibition, which will remain open until 9th January 2022, traces the professional life of this great player of car design through the display of some of his most iconic models and of the collection of roughly a hundred drawings, selected by his son Edgardo from the almost 6,000 in the family archive.

The exhibition opens with a bicycle and an overalls against the backdrop of a giant picture of the old Farina Works. It was in fact in the warehouses of Corso Tortona 12 that a young Giovanni Michelotti took his first steps into the world of design. He immediately stood out for his ability to anticipate the times both stylistically and technically, and never bound his work to a single brand, working as a freelancer throughout his career.

We owe to his pencil the making of a number of models that have made automotive history, such as the Alpine A110, as well as the merit of having revived the fortunes of brands such as BMW, which was experiencing a period of “stylistic stagnation” in the 1960s. The final part of the exhibition is dedicated to Michelotti’s last creative phase, the one the designer devoted to researching solutions for tomorrow’s mobility, well represented by the LEM concept, the Mobile Electric Laboratory of 1974.

Looking at the cars and projects on display, at the end of the tour it occurs naturally to wonder what Michelotti’s impact on the car would have been if he had not died right at the turn of the technological revolution that hit the automotive design sector in the early 1980s. No one knows, but Michelotti was certainly part of the road that the automotive world is following now.