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.
Background and early days
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 1960 – Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
- 1960 – Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ
- 1960 – O.S.C.A 1600 GTZ
- 1962 – Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ
- 1962 – Lancia Flavia Sport
- 1963 – Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ
- 1963 – Lancia Flaminia Super Sport
- 1965 – Lancia Fulvia Sport
- 1967 – Rover 2000 TCZ
- 1969 – Alfa Romeo Junior Z
- 1969 – Volvo GTZ 2000
- 1970 – Ford GT70
- 1987 – BMW 7 Series (E32)
- 1988 – BMW 5 Series (E34)
- 1988 – Fiat Tipo
- 1989 – Lancia Dedra
- 1990 – Fiat Tempra
- 1992 – Alfa Romeo 155
- 1993 - Ferrari FZ93, renamed ES1
- 1993 – Lancia Delta
- 1993 – Nissan Terrano II
- 1994 – Lancia Kappa
- 2001 - OSCA 2500 GT Dromos
- 2008 – Spada Codatronca
- Ercole Spada himself
- ERCOLE SPADA – 40 Years Devoted to Car Design, Car Styling Magazine, Volume 131 (July 1999)
- Penny Sparke, A Century of Car Design (2002)
- Paolo Tumminelli, Car Design (2004)
- Robert Edwards Aston Martin: Ever the Thoroughbred (2003)
- Michele Marchianò, Le Zagato – Fulvia Sport / Junior Z (2005)
- Carlo Stella and Bruno Vettore, Zagato Fulvia Sport Competizione (2003)
- Hilton Holloway and Martin Buckley, A–Z of Cars (2002)
- Winston Scott Goodfellow, Iso Rivolta: The Men, the Machines (2001)