Living in a virtual reality world.
«Write something about the designers you've met in your life. About Alec Issigonis. You’ve met him, I think » said my old comrade in (automotive) arms Giancarlo His node made me push the «rewind» button and watch a quick version of my life’s experiences with famous industrial designers Truth is I’ve never actually met the man although I should. You see back in the fifties every one was asking me the same question. Issigonis was of Hellenic origin (being born in Smyrna, his father coming from the island of Paros) and I was in England to study Mechanical Engineering so, according to popular culture, there is one more Issigonis to be! Although I’ve never came even close to him his work influenced my thinking as a journalist for, the design of this «box on wheels», as they called the Mini at those times, was so brilliant that influenced car design ever since.
A life time of aeroplanes and automobiles
Those who took the trouble to click at «Family Album» must have seen, in less than 5 minutes, the life story of this journalist. So, before diving into the vast ocean of the cars being produced, it would be appropriate to say a few more about what led me to be, first a kind of motoring writer and then a publisher of some 19 different magazines, the most known being «4Wheels».
Born before the war in an Athens neighborhood very near the Acropolis, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing, first the four years of German occupation and, immediately after, a 6 year Civil War
One would ask what wars have to do with the life of a child? The answer is simple: parents keep children indoors, children have no radio or TV so they look at books –and dream.
I decided that I would be a pilot when I witnessed the flyover of a couple of British Gloster Meteor fighter jets over Athens that, in a way, marked the end of hostilities with ELAS guerillas.
I first show her in the early sixties. Parked near the kerb of a long forgotten street in Geneva. She looked (to me) as the most beautiful shape I ever saw in a motorcar. My distant cousin, who was a teacher of Mathematics at the University and had no interest in cars, walked a few meters and, feeling my absence stopped and remarked anxiously. «What is wrong with you? It is 10 in the evening. We have to go home». «I am admiring one of my dreams. A Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta Scaglietti»
I walked slowly around the car, admiring its flowing and yet powerful lines.