Isuzu Gemini, Chevrolet Spectrum

Taken from page 239 of Giugiaro Italdesign Catalog Raisonne 1959-1987; Volume Two

Isuzu Gemini, Chevrolet Spectrum


Mass Production

9/1984 through 10/1987

The Gemini sedan was designed and marketed at the same time as the coupe and it, too, was earmarked for export to the United Stated. There it was sold as the Isuzu I-Mark and the Chevrolet Spectrum, being that General Motors is a share holder of the Japanese company. The destination to the United States of the Gemini was to be the source of an unpleasant "diplomatic incident" between Giugiaro and Isuzu, the only disagreement in a profitable association going back twenty years.

Before the design was frozen, the models were shown to General Motors for approval. The Americans decided to raise by 15mm the recess in the side (typical of the piazza and used to visually hide the engine hood cut that folds over onto the side) that Giugiaro had placed at the level of the door handle. The engine compartment was also modified: it does not fold over anymore, but is more inscribed in the front end.

Although these were only details and not a decisive factor in the overall shape, the modifications were not welcomed by the designer both because, like every creative person, he is not fond of having his work altered by others, and, after so many years of mutual esteem with Isuzu, he did not appreciate another party, albeit a prestigious manufacturer, having changed a detail without consulting him. Giugiaro was very angry and asked Isuzu not to be mention in relation to these two cars (the same modification had been made on the coupe). The "diplomatic incident" had a happy ending when upon seeing the two cars on the road, Giugiaro was to acknowledge them "emotionally" as his creations.

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