How to define this 63-year-old Argentinian who said: "Leonardo Da Vinci taught me that art and science can go hand in hand"? For a Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta - of which he only made three – they paid 15 million euros.
He always dreamed of making cars, but not just any car, but "the best and cutest car in the world." He said this to engineer Giulio Alfieri, director of Lamborghini, at the beginning of the eighties. Then he was 26 years old.
At the age of 12 he made models of sports cars with balsa wood and cuttings of chocolate cans. Had he already decided what he was going to do? At age 13 he told his mother: "I'm going to design and build my own cars."
At age 15, he built a motorcycle with which he rode through Casilda, his hometown. Then he moved to La Plata to study Fine Arts and, at the same time, took some engineering courses. At age 23, he made a Formula 2 car that competed in the official Renault team.
His mentor Oreste Berta, a famous racing cars coach, took him to meet Juan Manuel Fangio, who at the time was the president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina. Fangio listened to his projects and wrote five letters to the leading manufacturers of Italian sports cars.
Ferrari ignored him, but Lamborghini did pay attention to him and he started there as a third-level worker. The following year he was responsible for the entire body part in the Italian automaker. At that time he began to do tests with carbon fiber, a very novel material in those times.
At Lamborghini they did not want to buy the autoclave and Pagani asked for a loan, bought it and took it to his private workshop. Fangio told him to make his own car. Thus, in 1993, he began the construction of the Pagani Zonda, which he exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show (1999). And so the legend began.
Horacio Pagani is loved and admired in his native Casilda, where he goes every year in one of his sports cars. In 2012 he founded a School of Design in Santa Fe under the precepts of Leonardo Da Vinci: art and science.