During the past fortnight, Polish designer Pawel (Paulo) Czyżewski has received a huge amount attention for a portfolio he posted on Behance.
He’s received more views of his Bugatti Gangloff Concept Car (52,488 and rising) than his whole portfolio put together, so I decided to ask him how it came about, and now that he has our attention, what he’d like to achieve.
The response to Paulo’s design perhaps shows why beauty trumps ostentatious displays of wealth – while today’s Bugatti Veyron no doubt ‘looks a million dollars’, I’d be much happier to drive the Gangloff Concept. He’s captured the beauty of the past and combined it with the most cutting edge contemporary design.
It’s inspired by the supercharged Bugatti Type 57S Gangloff Atalante, which has been referred to by some as ‘the greatest barn-find ever’ – only 17 were built by Bugatti and the most recent discovery was sold by Bonhams in 2009 for $4.4 million.
Gangloff was based in Colmar, France, around 40 miles south of Bugatti’s home town of Molsheim and in addition to coachbuilding, also produced several ‘factory’ bodies for Bugatti. They also produced bodywork for Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Delage, Hispano-Suiza, Minerva and Isotta Fraschini, and while the family name still exists they are no longer building cars.
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SM: Where did your passion for automobiles come from?
“My passion for motoring has accompanied me since my childhood, drawing cars which either I created myself or which already existed. But my main interest started when I was given a new toy car, it was Porsche 911. I fell in love with its design, although at the time I didn’t really know what a 911 was. I then began comparing every car I saw to the 911, which I’ve continued doing even until this day. I used to draw cars everywhere; at home, in the classroom (for which I was punished by my teachers), on journeys and during my lectures at college.”
SM: Are you a petrolhead or a designer?
The automotive world is my passion, I follow all the news exploring the stories of individual brands such as Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, Morgan, and many others with a rich tradition and history. I design other things, but cars are my main focus.
I am also interested in Formula 1, but prefer to focus more on the history of the sport.”
SM: Tell us about the creative process behind your designs?
“When I design a car I always try to look for the best and most unique lines, I spend a lot of time thinking about my concept. In my opinion creating a car cannot be a mindless accident, each line must be carefully thought through and be inspired by something special.
Before I start designing, I work on the graphics, making sketches of all my ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I wake up at night and have an idea, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, I just have to write it down quickly and produce a drawing. The time you spend thinking about a concept is unlimited – I spend many hours thinking calmly before I find the right idea.”
SM: What made you decide to design a new Bugatti?
“After finishing the Legarto Concept (last November) I was searching for a brand with deep traditions to inspired my next project. Then I remembered Bugatti. But rather than create another Veyron, I researched the brand’s most classic models. The Type 57, and particularly the Gangloff bodied cars, are so beautiful with subtle lines that raised by curiosity.
I realised that sadly nobody makes such grand works of art anymore, so I decided to try and create my own interpretation of how these 1930 classics would look if designed today. The modern day Bugatti Gangloff was born, using many of Bugatti’s current design cues, but interpreted in a smaller, more elegant package than the Veyron.”
SM: What are your plans now that you’ve caught everyone’s attention?
“I am self-taught and the level to which I have reached has all been learned on my own – perhaps I could achieve even more if I was under someone’s wing.
Three or four years ago I realised that my knowledge was not enough and I needed to improve my skills, so I’ve studied and practised hard to learn as much as possible about automotive and industrial design. Now I think it’s the right time to reach out to automotive companies and take my passion further.
The Gangloff Concept is a project which has crowned my hard work and efforts so far. I hope it will open a new chapter in my life.”
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Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, once described Bugatti as a ‘vanity brand’ for Volkswagen, it makes no profit, but exists purely to showcase what the company can do. With a car like the Gangloff Concept it could produce a Ferrari F12 rival, powerful (but not outlandish), exotic (but affordable) and a car of true beauty which recaptures the understated elegance of a bygone day.
I’d like to think several other car makers should be inspired by Czyżewski’s design; Aston Martin, Morgan, Jaguar and perhaps even Pagani. In a market where exotic cars are booming, together with an increased awareness of modest consumption, the Bugatti Gangloff Concept looks like a car of the moment which Bugatti (or their rivals) would be foolish not to consider making.
Let’s hope we see something like it reach production, and for Paulo Czyżewski to continue designing cars like this with soul.