Corgi's chief designer Marcel Van Cleemput dies aged 86


Marcel Van Cleemput, who was Corgi’s chief designer from 1956-’83 and came to be known as 'Mr Corgi', died last month at the age of 86 following a short illness.

Cleemput was responsible for famous Corgi designs including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Batmobile and 007’s Aston Martin DB5, complete with gadgets.

Working through the modelmaker’s heyday, Cleemput set about improving the company’s products to compete with arch-enemy Dinky. Consequently, Corgi’s models would be the first to include transparent windows and the firm produced three new products a month with Cleemput at the helm.

The engineer also turned his hand to writing and was responsible for The Great Book of Corgi – a complete guide to the company’s products – that came to be known as ‘the Corgi bible’.

Born near Lille, France in 1926, Cleemput moved to England in 1935 and is survived by his wife Molly and their two daughters.


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