Lamborghini collections are things that people are generally known to hold on to, but Luc Donckerwolke, Global Head of Genesis Design, got rid of his and only regrets it a little bit.
Before Genesis, Donckerwolke used to work at Lamborghini as a designer, a position that enabled him to have the very nice hobby of collecting cars from the exotic Italian automaker.
“I had Lamborghinis before, but you know, you have phases,” he told AutoGuide.com in an interview at the 2018 New York Auto Show, where the luxury Korean brand unveiled its dramatic Essentia Concept. “I probably would have made more money from keeping them and selling them now, but it was a phase. I thought that keeping cars from a brand I worked for was pulling me back in the past. At one point, I decided to turn the page and not look in the rearview mirror.”
He basically got rid of his Lamborghinis because he would look at them all the time and they were subconsciously influencing his design too much. Working at Hyundai and a new company like Genesis meant he needed a fresh set of eyes and a clean palate. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
“The whole market is trying to do this wedge shape, but we’re trying to go against it,” he said. “If you look to close to the others … the main danger is your subconscious.”
He says that Genesis has the benefit and challenge of not having the weight of a long history on its shoulders, which allows him to take more risks with his designs.
“When you’re designing a Lamborghini or Bentley, the momentum of 50 years or 100 years of tradition helps push an idea that is maybe not right,” he said. “It is wrong to go too much in one direction, even more for a brand like Lamborghini or Bentley. At one point, you have to say, ‘People are expecting me to do this, let’s do that instead.’ ”
So now that he has rid his garage of Lamborghinis, what does he collect?
“I have a passion for Porsche 911s because they were the cars that brought me to car design. As a kid, I was fascinated by them,” he said. Donckerwolke owns 10 different 911s, a Porsche 944 race car, and a 928. The only two cars in his classic car collection that are not Porches are a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL and a Fiat Abarth 850 Sport Coupe.
He says Porsches don’t affect his subconscious in the same way, so he’s hanging onto them.
“The DNA is so strong, even 50 years later, it has been so consistent,” he says of 911s. “Today, it’s still the symbol of the sports car. If you show this to a young kid today, he will still perceive this as a sports car like back in the day. This is proof to me that this is a real forward thinking project. The consistency is remarkable.”
Donckerwolke says he loves vintage cars because of their purity.
“I find that vintage cars offer you a genuine, authentic experience, which is important,” he said, adding that he feels cars back then had distinct characters depending on where they were from because globalization and harmonization wasn’t a concern. It inspires him to make sure Genesis cars have their own unique identity as a luxury Korean automaker.
“We have to be true to our missions and we have to be Genesis first,” he said.
Discuss this article on our Genesis Forum