Imagine driving in the most beautiful car you can imagine, high up in the Argentinian Andes.  The views of an amazing coastal city from this high up make it look like a postcard.  The windows in your car are down.  There’s amazing birdsong, and the occasional cry of an eagle.  There’s a curve in the road.  You turn the steering wheel one rotation, pull the handbrake, and you drift through the curve effortlessly.  You punch the skinny pedal, and a whir, rumble, and screeching of tires tells you that no officer of the law can catch you now.  You can’t have a care in the world except that you might break down.  This is the Pagani video of their new Huayra (WHY-RA).

Horacio Pagani is one of the least-known men in the auto industry.  He has founded Modena Design; an advanced composite design consulting company.  He has created some amazing cars such as the: Zonda, Huayra, and so few others.  Pagani makes special cars that look even more macho than a Lamborghini Murciealago (bat in Spanish) 670-4 Super Veloce (Super fast in Italian).  I personally happen to like the sleek lines of the Huayra (the newest car).  So, enjoy Horacio Pagani’s life story.

Horacio Pagani was born in 1955 to a family of bakers in Casilda, Argentina, on November 10, 1955.   One of his life-long friends said “We never ran out of bread…In high-school, we’d head over to his family’s bakery, and grab a loaf of bread.  Horacio would grab a pastry of some sort; usually a danish, and split it with me.  If we ever didn’t have bread, I’d hop on my bike, and go over to the bakery.  They’d almost always have a loaf of bread in the oven for us.  We weren’t poor; we were actually well off.  We just liked their bread.”  Horacio liked to draw cars, and would carve them out of balsa wood.      When he was 12, he constructed his first balsa wood model car that looked similar to a Porsche 917, missing the top.  Those early, small balsa wood cars designs have been transferred to the real world, and are now  seen on his cars today.  He also designed and constructed a Mini Moto (which he still owns) in 1971.

1972 was a big year for Pagani.  He received his diploma from a technical high school, and he also built his first car; a buggie with Renault mechanics (cannibalized from various family cars).

Horacio went on to study industrial design at the University of La Plata, in Argentina from 1972 through 1974.  The following year, he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Rosario, Argentina.  You’re probably wondering how he founded an automobile company in the first place.  Well, one of his friends asked him to build a “cool car.”  Horacio did.  His friend then asked him to convert it to a race-car.  Horacio did, and loved it.  Making race cars was just a full-time hobby.

In 1977, he began working at his one-man business of making race-cars in Argentine, Argentina.  He also worked on bar manufacturing and design, to support his small race-car business.

Due to a slow market for race cars, Pagani needed to diversify.  The following year, he started designing and building caravan campers and RV trailers.  He was selling them out of his garage.  Since he sold them cheaply, his clients were mostly serious campers on a budget, or radio stations in Argentina ( he would install them with a desk and microphone).  He also studied and designed a Formula 2 (F2) single-seater race car.  Formula 2 is what comes before Formula 1.  It started out as a street racer.

In 1979, he built a Formula 2 single-seater in his garage (only a part-time hobby…), designed and constructed a camper-van for Chevrolet pickups.  A few months later, he collaborated in a study for orthopaedic chairs and beds.

1981 was a very big year for Horacio Pagani.  He designed fiberglass reproduction cabins for the following; Chevrolet Cheyenne pickups, Ford F100 pickups, the Toyota Hilux, and Peugeot 504. While doing this, he also took a class on “Human Factors in Industrial Design,” at the University of Rosario, Argentina.  To add to this workload, he also designed a cabin for a combine harvester made by the Marinari, Argentina, company S.P.A.  It seems that wasn’t enough, so he designed two touring bicycles; for men and women.  Some of the cabins were hand-built.

The following year brought new and different challenges.  He designed and constructed a Mays JMF roughness meter, to be used to measure road deterioration.  It was commissioned by The Centre For Research And Development at the University of Rosario, Argentina.

In 1982 and 1983, Horacio Pagani won two scholarships:  one from the Rotary Club International For The Royal College Of Art (in London).  The other scholarship was from the Art Center in Pasadena, CA.  He also moved to Italy in 1983 to pursue his dream of working for Lamborghini, working as a design consultant.

At twenty-nine, his career got rolling.  He helped design the Jeep LMA, and was on the team at Lamborghini design and build the Countach Evoluzione; the first car in the world with a carbon-fiber frame.

For the next three years, not much is known about him (good and/or bad), but in 1987, he was responsible for the design of the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.  Battista Pininfarina (the man who started the legendary coachbuilder company, Pininfarina) hated Pagani’s “subtle” design of the Countach Anniversary.  Yet, if you look at a picture of the original Countach, and then at the Anniversary Edition, you will see so many differences, it is amazing.

During the late Eighties, and early Nineties, he designed, engineered, and built various parts of a Formula 1 engine (Lamborghini uses the technology today in their sweet new ride; the Aventador).  In 1990, he collaborated in the establishment of design and engineering of the Lamborghini Diablo bodywork.  Later in the year, he built models and moulds, and transferred his know-how to Lamborghini, for the construction of bodywork, built with composite materials.  From 1990-1991, he designed the Lamborghini L30.  To get into deeper detail, he designed the bodywork, engineered, modeled, moulded, and used technology of composite materials.  Also, in 1991, he founded Modena Design.  Modena Design was a design consulting company that would help companies design, engineer, and help with anything in general.   In 1992, he collaborated in the design of the Lamborghini Diablo Anniversary.

Pagani left Lamborghini in the early nineties, to work for a Rossignol-Lange Racing partnership. There, he designed ski boots for snow mobile racing.  He started making parts out of advanced composite materials.  He also designed and started the prototype for the Pagani Zonda.

The following year, he worked at Nissan, where he studied spoilers for a race-car.  He also designed interiors for Automobili Lamborghini from 1994-1997.  During this time, he also worked for Aprilia; designing, moulding, and constructing parts for their 250/400  racing motorcycles.

He moved to Renault, and from 1995-1996, he worked at Renault France, engineering and moulding, for the prototype “NEXT.”  He also worked for Ferrari Automobili; making various parts for their Formula 1 engines.  Also, in 1996, he worked at Berman: designing, engineering, models & moulds and parts for the Suzuki Vitara/Dahiatsu Move.  In 1997, he did moulds and construction for the Dallara F3.  Dallara, by the way, is one of the best-known racing teams in the world.

A masterpiece of masterpieces was born.  1999 saw the birth of the Pagani Zonda C12 and it was introduced to the public at the Geneva Auto Show.  The following year, the Pagani Zonda S 7.o was introduced, where it’s ancestor had stood, just a year before.   In 2002, the Pagani Zonda S 7.3 was introduced by Horacio Pagani himself.  He also did work on the study and concept of the Chrysler ME412

2003 was a big year for Pagani Automobili.  The Pagani Zonda S 7.3 Roadster was introduced in the exact same spot that it’s ancestors were introduced in.  Two years later, the Pagani Zonda F was introduced at you guessed it!  The Geneva Auto Show, Stand 188.

2005 was an even better year for Pagani.  The Zonda F was introduced at Stand 188, Geneva Convention Centre.  Just two months later, a Zonda S 7.3 Roadster was the Pace Car for the Indy 500.  A Zonda F also won 14th place over all at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

Just another two years later (you can see a pattern here), the Zonda R was introduced.  It was called “the cool alternative to the Lamborghini Gallardo.”  But, I guess that Horacio Pagani begged to differ, so he introduced the Pagani Zonda Roadster F at the same stand… In 2008, the introduction of the super-rare Pagani Chrono, and the still  rare remaining Zonda R models got to be at the same stand.

In 2009, the Italian preview of the Zonda R was introduced at the Milan Auto Show.  The presentation of the Zonda Cinque, Zonda R, and the sound system of the Zonda R were all introduced at the same spot.

2010 wasn’t nearly as big as previous years, but it still deserves attention.  At the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, the Zonda Cinque Roadster and Zonda Tricolore (three colors) were both introduced.  A buyer could get a Zonda Tricolore in any three colors he/she wanted. The Sultan of Brunei ordered a Zonda Tricolore with the following colors: Bottom color: Matte black.  Middle color: Gold leaf plates.  Top color: Ivory sheets.  I guess that’s what happens when you have too much money…

February 18, 2011:  The Pagani Huayra is introduced at the worldwide headquarters of Pirelli Tires, in Milan, Italy.  Just a mere three months after, the U.S. was the first country to get a Huayra delivered to a customer.  But, the owner is a Canadian who met Horacio Pagani in Vermont, and then drove it up to Canada (nice road trip in a cool car…).  Just a few days after, Horacio Pagani flew to Japan, to introduce the Huayra to the Asian market.  He left Japan the day before the earthquake.  Isn’t that lucky?  I think so…

Trivia facts (look for answers Tuesday):  Do you know what Huayra means?  What does Zonda mean?  How long did it take Horacio Pagani to design and produce the Pagani Huayra?

Please check out the awesome website of Pagani at:

Watch the video of the Huayra in action!  Awesome!  The video is maybe five minutes, maximum.  It is truly worth those five minutes.  Besides, if your boss sees the video, they’ll need to get it too…

7 thoughts on “Horacio Pagani; Yet Another Great Car Guy…

  1. Wow…this item was so long and informative that I got tired just reading it. Well done.

    I have to take a nap now to recover my energy.


  2. Don’t know which I like more, the car or the amazing scenery. I think I need both! When the van goes, I know what to shop for…….!

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