Goertz Myth Watch, Part III

We opened up a can of worms last month when we questioned the conventionally held belief that Albrecht Goertz designed, among others, the Toyota 2000GT and Datsun 240Z. If you want to see yet another misinformed article about this piece, or are simply looking for an excuse to bash your head against your desk, by all means read on.

This quote comes from Kit Car Magazine, which has some otherwise very nice things to say about Datsun and the 240Z:

Katayama’s chief of design was Yoshihiko Matsuo. Knowing that Katayama wanted a sports car designed for the American market, he turned to Dr. Albrecht Goertz, the world-famous, German-born automotive freelance designer. Goertz, who had been doing work for Nissan since 1965, had a solid reputation for designing cutting-edge sports cars that were innovative and beautiful. He was responsible for cars such as the ’55 BMW 503 and the 507, the 911 Porsche, and the Toyota 2000GT. With the design parameters in place and Goertz at the drawing board, something great was about to happen.

It’s like how everyone thinks Hall & Oates sang the pop ballad “Baby Come Back” when it was actually Player. And now that there’s a million websites citing H&O as the artist, it confuses people, especially writers that use “teh Google” for their research. We don’t want to keep dumping on the guy like he’s Chris Bangle or something, so please, internets, get it right!

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11 Responses to Goertz Myth Watch, Part III

  1. Mr.L.J. Nordvik says:

    Clearly a case for the Mythbusters.

  2. Kev says:

    Waiiiiiit a second….Goertz styled the 911?

    I think Butzi Porsche might have something to say about that πŸ™‚

  3. HoTWire says:

    I’m starting the rumour right now.. Goertz styled the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing! FACT… and the Fiat Multipla…

    Interestingly Wikipedia mentions his work with Nissan in his bio, but doesn’t connect him to 240Z, just the earlier Silvia 1600 concept. So that is a good move forward at least, if anyone does do some cursory resarch on the interwebs they will hopfeully not stick his name near anything that he didn’t design!!

    I’m going to pre-emptively say “hello Alan”… as I’m sure he will pop up down there \/ \/ somewhere πŸ™‚

  4. Herr Goertz says:

    Guten Tag. Zat mean ‘hello”

    Ja, Ich bin Herr Goertz und I have zingle-handedly dezigned all zee carz in za vorld. End of dizcusion. Vhy, I even dezigned Alan.

  5. G-zilla says:

    Are these guys still alive??? Maybe an interview with these “designers” would clear everything up huh? An exclusive interview for Japanese Nostalgic Car!!!

  6. toyotageek says:

    Yeah, an article in JNC magazine is what we need:
    Designers of JNC’s – Myth vs Truth

  7. G-zilla says:

    I really think is a great idea.

  8. Kev says:

    I hear that Goertz designed the upcoming 2011 AE86 replacement.

    …not bad for a dead guy, you have to admit.

  9. blownarrow! says:

    HE’S DEAD! 😯 Crap he owe’s me fifty bucks!

  10. GEN2TWINCAM says:


    …and Ron Popeil hired Goertz to design the Veg-O-Matic.

    Let’s see how long it takes that one to get around πŸ™‚

  11. KPGC10-001218 says:

    The KIT CAR Magazine article is all the more bizarre because it mentions Yoshihiko Matsuo by name, saying that HE appointed Goertz. It’s actually quite difficult to screw the true sequence of events up so badly that you get that as your end result. Truly bizarre……..

    Of course we are all quite familiar with the ‘Goertz myth’, but isn’t it time that somebody tried to get the truth about Yutaka Katayama’s status in all of this into some kind of perspective? The KIT CAR Magazine article mistakenly paints him as “President of Nissan Motors” ( implying that he was President of Nissan Motor Co. Japan ) when in fact he was the second President of NMC USA, he NEVER had any official remit to be ‘ordering’ or commissioning new models of car, and there was no structure or chain of command in place for him to be dictating anything of the sort. For sure he could – and did – lobby for what he thought would be suitable for the north American market that he was responsible for, but in the case of the S30-series Z, and the 510-series Bluebird before it, the cars were going to be created regardless. Katayama’s personal influence on these models is arguably a lot less than it is painted as. Both the SP/SR Fairlady and the 410 Bluebird would naturally have successors, and the emerging – and changing – needs of the Japanese home market were being taken into account AS WELL AS the needs of the global export market, and the new laws and regulations that would apply to export models were being adopted, and sometimes spearheaded, in the Japanese market. What is oftentimes cited as Katayama’s direct influence was – in actual fact – quite often inevitable in the circumstances, and had already been taken into account. For sure Katayama had quite a lot of say in general terms – but what he was ‘requesting’ was hardly rocket science, was it? Do people honestly think that Japanese cars would have continued in the vein of the 210 right into the Seventies had not Katayama ‘suggested’ otherwise? For all the talk about the great success of the S30-series Z in the north American market, it was still hugely outsold there by little Datsun pickup trucks……..

    Katayama was – in broad terms – a salesman with an advertising background who was an inspiration to the people that worked closely with him. In retrospect, perhaps his greatest and most successful sales pitch was to sell the concept of “Mr K.” – a concept that Nissan are still using to this day.

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