I once read an interview with Michael Caine in which the questioner impertinently asked why the venerated actor took on so many utter crap roles – in dog turds like The Hand, or Jaws: The Revenge. Unflappable as only a British gentleman can be, he brushed off the interviewer’s cheekiness and flatly admitted that he agreed to some films for the boost to his career, and others for the infusion of cash to his bank account. Seems the former Maurice Micklewhite has a taste for the finer things in life. And Scotch, lots and lots of Scotch.
I imagine that a similar reason lies at the basis of revered houses of design taking on projects that some might consider beneath them. Or maybe, business being business, they just take damn-near anything that comes their way. One such opportunity dropped in the lap of Giugiaro Design, that being the melting pot of a bargain basement car, the 1975 Hyundai Pony. There it is, up in the photo on top. It’s hard to believe that the same man responsible for the de Tomaso Mangusta, Lotus Esprit, and Volkswagen Scirocco could have signed off on this witness protection program on wheels, but he did. His company also was responsible for the initial Fiat Panda, FSO Polenz, and that trifecta of tripe, Daewoo’s Matiz, Lacetti, and Lanos.
That’s just a single example of a well-respected designer’s slumming it. And like Thomas Keller downing a McRib, these probably aren’t their proudest moments. But which is the most weird? What we want for today’s Design Week query is which car or truck is most incongruous in featuring styling from a venerated house of design? Now go forth and find the fashionably banal.
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