As automotive enthusiast (yup, in case you haven’t guessed it I fall into that category), we tend to go far beyond thinking of cars as simply a ‘means to get from A to B.’ Since the start of car production, designers got involved right alongside engineers in an attempt to differentiate one model from another, to blend ‘art and science,’ and in many cases, to result in cars seen as moving sculptures.
There are many variations in attempts to come up with THE list of top designers. Admittedly there shouldn’t be just one list as beauty is ultimately in the eyes of the beholder. One of the lists I like as a jump off point is Chris Perkin’s (of Jalopnik) “The Ten Greatest Car Designers Of All Time.” His list includes Ian Callum (Aston Martin DB9, Jaguar F), Paul Bracq (Mercedes, BMW), Bill Mitchell (GM, Sting Ray), Georges Paulin (Peugeots), Franco Scaglione (Alfa Remero Tipo 33 Stradale), Harley Earl (GM Buick Y, Corvette), Batista Pininfarina (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider), Malcom Sayer (Jaguar C & XJ13), Marcello Gandini (Miura,Countach), Giorgetto Giugiaro (Ferrari 250, Berlinetta Bertone).
Of course, I anticipate many recent design greats like Ed Welburn (Corvette Stingray C7), Peter Brock (Sting Ray Racer, Cobra Daytona Coupe), and Grant Larson (Porsche Boxster) will find their way onto updated variations of the top designer lists.