Sergio Sartorelli

Sergio Sartorelli (Alessandria, 7 May 1928 – Torino, 28 November 2009) was a noted Italian automotive designer and engineer.

Sergio Sartorelli
Born(1928-05-07)May 7, 1928
DiedNovember 28, 2009(2009-11-28) (aged 81)
Turin, Italy
OccupationAutomotive designer
Known forDesign at Carrozzeria Ghia, OSI, and Fiat

During his career at Carrozzeria Ghia, OSI, and finally Fiat, Sartorelli became widely known for his work on the Fiat 2300 S Coupé, Karmann Ghia Type 34,[1][2] and the Fiat 126.

He was the honorary president of the Italian Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Club.


As a young teen, Sartorelli had a passion for cars, trucks, trains, and even military vehicles. To mentally escape the depth of World War II, he spent his time filling school notebooks with sketches and building scale wooden models of cars.

After the war he earned a degree in mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin in 1954, followed by 18 months of Military Service in as a cartographer. During his military service, he continued to sketch for Carrozzeria Boano.

After his military service, he was turned down by Boano and Pininfarina, but in 1956 was hired by Ing. Giovanni Savonuzzi at Ghia.[3]


Sergio Sartorelli's career at Ghia rose quickly when in 1957, engineer Savonuzzi left Ghia for Chrysler, Sartorelli became Head of the Style Prototypes. After the sudden death of Luigi Segre, owner and chief stylist of Carrozzeria Ghia, Sartorelli left Ghia.

Officine Stampaggi Industriali (OSI) was set up as a parallel and complementary company to Ghia and it was part owned by Luigi Segre. With the death of Segre the partnership disappeared and OSI was left with no styling department. After two years of a freelance relationship with Michelotti, OSI set up its own styling department called Centro Stile e Esperienze OSI, and appointed Sergio Sartorelli as its director. This arrangement lasted from 1965 until December 1967 when OSI reorganized.

In 1968 what was left of Centro Stile e Esperienze OSI, became the Future Studies department at Centro Stile Fiat with Sergio Sartorelli as its head, it was entrusted with the study of design, automotive development, and modeling of prototypes for Fiat.

By 1984 with the car market in crisis, Fiat let Sergio Sartorelli go, and he retired from his design career.

Design workEdit

Sergio Sartorelli's design work included:

Year Model Firm Notes
1957 Volkswagen 1200 Beetle Ghia prototype for Beetle replacement
1957 Fiat 1100/103 Coupe, Cabriolet, Giardinetta Ghia 1957 Turin Motor Show
1957 Ghia Crown Imperial limousine Ghia 1957-1963 collaboration with Chrysler Corp. design team[4]
1959 Karmann-Ghia Coupe Type 14 Ghia styling update[5]
1959 Ghia Selene I Ghia designed with Tom Tjaarda[6]
1960 Fiat 2300 S Coupé Ghia production model debut at 1961 Geneva Motor Show[7]
1960 Karmann-Ghia Coupe 1500 Type 34 Ghia 1961 debut, Frankfurt motor show[8]
1961 Maserati 5000 GT Ghia Ghia one-off for Ferdinando Innocenti
1963 Fiat G230S Ghia prototype introduced at Turin Motor Show[9]
1965 OSI-Ford 20 M TS Coupé and Spider OSI Produced from 1966 to 1968, only one Spider was made.[10]
1972 Fiat 126 Fiat replacement for Fiat 500 introduced at Turin Motor Show
1978 Fiat Ritmo Fiat introduced at 1978 Turin Motor Show replace Fiat 128


  1. ^ "Mobil Legenda Bernama VW Karmann Ghia". Otomotif (in Indonesian). 29 June 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. English translation
  2. ^ Keith Seume, Volkswagen Cars and Trucks, ISBN 9781610592468
  3. ^ "My experience in the car design with GHIA - OSI – FIAT". Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ "The Story of Ghia & Chrysler". imperial club. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  5. ^ "History of the Type 34 The Type 34 Karmann Ghia Story". The Type 34 Registry. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Cars by Tom Tjaarda Catalogue raisonné, Opera omnia". Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Fiat 2300 S Coupe Series 2". Manro - Classic Auto & Musik Museum. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  8. ^ McCausland, Evan. "VW's Forgotten Karmann Ghia Type 34 Turns 50". Automobile Magazine. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  9. ^ Schroeder, Michael. "Ghia 230 S Prototype drive Prototype with birdcage genes". Ströer Digital Media GmbH. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  10. ^ "History". Retrieved 10 October 2014.

External linksEdit