This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (November 2016)
Savonuzzi received a degree in Mechanical engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1939 and worked for Fiat Aviazione and taught in Aeronautics at the politecnico. During World War II he served in Albania. In August 1945 he succeeded Dante Giacosa as technical director of the Cisitalia carmaker, first completing Giacosa's Cisitalia D46 cigarshaped racing car. Before he left for in 1948 due to a disagreement, he had sketched out the Spider Nuvolari and the 202 CMM Aerodinamica Savonuzzi (to be built by Pininfarina).
He designed the SVA Midget racer while with Società Valdostano Automotori (SVA) 1948–49, lectured at politecnico and had some freelance work, including for Cisitalia in 1951 under Carlo Dusio, leading to a short collaboration with Ford led to his chassis design for the 808X prototype.
As the technical director for Carrozzeria Ghia under Luigi Segre from 1953 to 1957, Savonuzzi developed the "Supersonic" series inspired by gas turbines (as a result of his access to wind tunnels at the politecnico). He applied this to Fiat 8V (14 chassises), Alfa Romeo 1900, DeSoto Adventurer II, the Ghia "Gilda" (named after Rita Hayworth), Jaguar XK120 (three chassises), Aston Martin DB2/4, a Ferrari 410 Gilda Superamerica.
From 1957 to 1969 Savonuzzi worked under research director George J. Huebner (1910–96) for the turbine department of Chrysler in Detroit, being chief engineer for automotive research from 1962. The resulting Chrysler Turbine Car 1962–64 were not designed by Savonuzzi, but bodied by Carrozzeria Ghia. He also studied crash-proof cars. Following some time as Director of R&D under Gianni Agnelli at Fiat, he devoted himself to teaching at the politecnico until retirement in 1977.
Cisitalia 202 CMM, 1946
Cisitalia 202SMM Nuvolari, 1949
Ford 808 XF, 1953
Alfa Romeo 1900 SS, 1953
Fiat 8V Supersonic, 1953
Jaguar XK120 Supersonic, 1954
Moto Guzzi Nibbio II, 1956
- Windstone Woodfeller, Ghia's Gilda: Siren Song for An Era in Motortrend on January 24, 2013.
- Pete Vack. "Savonuzzi the Designer Part 1". www.velocetoday.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- Pete Vack. "The Cars of Giovanni Savonuzzi". www.velocetoday.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Giovanni Savonuzzi's Detroit Odyssey". www.velocetoday.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Giovanni Savonuzzi's Detroit Odyssey Part 3". www.velocetoday.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- Pete Vack. "Savonuzzi, the Designer, Part II: From Ghia To Fiat". www.velocetoday.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.