‘Beautiful,’ says Horacio Pagani. ‘Poetry,’ remarks Giorgetto Giugiaro.
This praise, from two legendary car designers, was directed towards new coffee-table book Made In Italy, which showcases via 100 pictures ‘extraordinary Italian concept cars and iconic limited edition models’. Other automotive legends, such as Paolo Martin and Giampaolo Dallara, concurred.
Needless to say, the man who created it, photographer Piotr Degler, is rather pleased with the responses – captured in video footage for posterity – having spent 10 years and over 112,000 euros (£93,000) on the project.
This image from Made In Italy shows a 1992-1995 Bugatti EB110 SS
A Ferrari F40, which was produced between 1987 and 1992. Made In Italy took Piotr Degler 10 years to create
A 1969 Sigma Grand Prix, beautifully presented by Degler, who used to work for car design firm Bertone
To compile the self-published book, Degler worked together with car museums, automotive companies, design centres and car collectors in Italy and worldwide, sometimes even re-shooting cars to take advantage of improvements in camera technology.
The stars of the show include a 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero, a 1970 Ferrari 512S Modulo, a 1963 Alfa Romeo TZ and a 2016 Pagani Huayra Futura, to name but a few.
Degler, who has also published an exquisite book on Cuba’s cars, explained that he ‘used the best materials available’ to make the book.
‘This is a thing you do once in your lifetime, so quality was on top of the list,’ he said. ‘And this is also why I decided to self-publish, to avoid compromises.’
He explained to MailOnline Travel that his photographic love letter to Italian car design began when he secured a job as a designer for Italian car-styling firm Bertone in Turin.
A 1947 Ferrari 159S – an incredibly rare car. Giorgetto Giugiaro described Made In Italy as ‘poetry’
A 2003 Lancia Fulvia Concept. Degler, who has also published an exquisite book on Cuba’s cars, explained that he ‘used the best materials available’ to make Made In Italy
A 1982 Lancia LC1. Degler said that when he worked for Bertone his interest in Italian concept cars ‘grew exponentially’
He said: ‘I moved from Spain to Italy when I was 19 years old because I wanted to become a car designer. I studied car design, did work in different design centres, discovered how the design process works, met many interesting people.
‘There is probably not a better city than Turin if you want to learn about car design and history.
‘It was there, at Bertone, that my interest in Italian concept cars started to grow exponentially and that the idea of creating a photographic book dedicated to them came about.
‘I still remember spending many lunch breaks walking among the prototypes in the company’s museum and admiring masterpieces such as the Stratos Zero, the Testudo, the Miura… I decided that in my book there had to be 100 of them. I don’t know why 100, maybe because at that time I thought that reaching that number would be a great achievement.
‘That’s how it all started, this seemingly endless and amazing project of photographing the prototypes of the Bertone collection, then Pininfarina, then Zagato…
A 1985-1986 Lancia Delta S4. Degler told MailOnline Travel: ‘This collection of 100 photographs is a mix of prototypes and production models, studio and on-location photography, details and whole subjects, classic and modern cars’
A 2010 Alfa Romeo ‘2uettottanta’. Degler’s project took so long that he sometimes reshot cars when camera technology improved
‘During all these years, the idea of the book has evolved and matured. I didn’t want anything very specialised aimed at a niche of enthusiasts, focusing exclusively on concept cars. Instead, I thought that many would enjoy also seeing iconic limited production models such as the F40 or the Stratos. That is why I decided to include in my selection some Italian dream cars as well, creating what I like to call a visual experience.
‘As a result, this collection of 100 photographs is a mix of prototypes and production models, studio and on-location photography, details and whole subjects, classic and modern cars. I liked the idea of offering something different every time a page is turned.’
Does he have any favourites among the dozens of cars he captured?
He said: ‘I think each car from the more than 100 portrayed in this book has a special story.
‘If I could choose a year-frame I would choose the late 60s and early 70s era where there were no limits in car design.
A 1970 Ferrari 512S Modulo, as seen in the book. This is one of Degler’s favourite cars in the tome, one that was designed at a time when ‘there were no limits in car design’
A 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero (as seen in the book), which Degler describes as a ‘spaceship on wheels’
A 1963 Alfa Romeo TZ, as seen in the book. The tome cost 112,000 euros to create
A 2016 Pagani Huayra Futura. Pagani himself appears in the book, and describes it as ‘beautiful’
‘Two of my favourite concept cars of all time are the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero concept designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone and the 1970 Ferrari Modulo concept designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. They were so futuristic for 1970, real spaceships on wheels. Those years were just crazy.’
And did he get to drive any of them?
‘I drove some of them,’ he revealed, ‘but honestly when you realise the valuation of most of them – seven figures – the last thing you want is to drive them.’
Degler’s book showcases these automotive works of art in a way that he hopes will ‘awaken emotion’.
It certainly did so for the car designers he presented the book to, the list also comprising Leonardo Fioravanti, Marcello Gandini, Flavio Manzoni, Paolo Pininfarina, Ercole Spada, Alfredo Stola and Andrea Zagato.
Degler interviewed each of them for the book and described meeting them as ‘a dream’.
What impressed them so much can be ordered for 95 euros before February 10, after which it will priced at 135 euros. Visit www.madeinitalybook.com for more information. For more on Piotr Degler’s work visit www.deglerstudio.com.
Made In Italy can be ordered for 95 euros before February 10, after which it will priced at 135 euros. Visit www.madeinitalybook.com for more information. For more on Piotr Degler’s work visit www.deglerstudio.com