Ercole Spada

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Ercole Spada (born July 26, 1937 in Busto Arsizio) is an Italian automobile designer. His most notable designs were produced in the 1960s, for the Zagato design studio house, where Spada was chief stylist. During this period some of the most notable sports cars by Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, as well as Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Fiat and Lancia were clothed by Spada's designs.

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, designed by Ercole Spada while at Zagato

Background and early days[edit]

Spada earned a degree in industrial engineering from Istituto tecnico Feltrinelli in 1956. Following a military service, he joined Zagato in February 1960.

The first design created by Spada for Zagato was the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. Many avant-garde yet instantly-classic designs followed, soon becoming cornerstones of automotive design. Spada's designs were acknowledged as seminal by his fellow designers as well as by generations of new designers. One example of the attraction of Spada's work was the Mazda MX-3, which aimed to capture the magic of the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ design, according to its creators. Shortly before leaving Zagato, Spada designed one of the most modern looking cars of the era, the Alfa Romeo Junior Z, as well as the popular and dramatic Lancia Fulvia Sport.

Spada joined Ford in 1970 to become chief designer at the Italian Ghia design house. This led to the creation of the ill-fated Ford GT70, which did not enter production at the last moment.

Alfa Romeo 155, with DTM-style bodykit

BMW[edit]

BMW E28 US Spec 5-Series

After leaving Ford and following a short stay at Audi, Spada joined BMW's design center as chief stylist in 1976. During his stay with BMW, Spada created two major all-new designs with Claus Luthe, the BMW E32 7-series (1986–1994), and the BMW E34 5-series (1988–1996). Both embraced similar classic yet progressive lines, contributing to the success of the German company.

I.DE.A[edit]

In 1983 Spada returned to lead an Italian design house, this time I.DE.A Institute, where he designed a string of compact and luxury cars, for Fiat – the groundbreaking Tipo and Tempra siblings, the Lancia Dedra and Delta II, and the Kappa. Other projects included the Alfa Romeo 155 and the Daihatsu Move. During his stay in I.DE.A Institute, Spada competed and won over major design contracts from Fiat, putting him in direct competition with his fellow Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Zagato[edit]

Returning to Zagato in 1992, Spada brought with him new creative energy, which led to the introduction of the Ferrari FZ93, based on a regular 512 TR mechanics, as well as other notable designs.

The FZ93 at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Spadaconcept[edit]

Spada continues to work as a designer. He has joined his son, Paulo Spada, to create Spadaconcept, a new design house aimed at automotive and industrial design.

Notable designs:

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]