Ralph Gilles is the lead of design at FCA, which means his signature is on a huge range of products from the Dodge Viper to new Jeep Wrangler to the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the Chrysler Pacifica.
Speaking to Gilles recently at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show, he shed some light on which designs influenced him the most growing up.
Here are the coolest and most influential car designs according to FCA’s rockstar designer:
Growing up in the 1970s, a whale-tailed Porsche 930 was the quintessential sports car for Gilles. This Porsche has influenced many automotive designers and is easily one of the most iconic and successful designs in history. It’s no surprise that Gilles mentioned it here.
Gilles blames this pick squarely on Dukes of Hazzard. He was a fan of American muscle cars from a very young age, so growing up to design them must have been a dream come true for Gilles.
“It has influenced so many cars, I mean the Viper was ultimately influenced by that car,” Gilles told us. This era of Ferrari is often cited as a favorite for automotive designers, and it’s pretty obvious why.
Alfa Romeo GTV
Gilles currently owns one of these vintage Alfas and is in the middle of fixing it up. “It’s a beautiful, still timelessly gorgeous car today,” he said.
Chrysler ME Four-Twelve Concept
“It’s really remarkable as a piece of sculpture, a design piece, and a daring piece,” Gilles said of the striking concept car that debuted at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show. “I like any car that I can see was tough to get to market. You know it takes a lot of willpower and enthusiasm to get anything cool to market.”
This concept was named for its Mid-Engine layout, Four turbochargers, and its Twelve-cylinder engine.
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