TITLE: BERTONE DREAM CARS at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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BERTONE DREAM CARS HISTORY

Car review on Bertone

Alongside Pininfarina, Bertone is the greatest design house in the world. Its history stretches back to 1912, when Giovanni Bertone founded a carrozzereria in Turin. Bertone's great days began in the 1950s, and it became the first port of call for numerous manufacturers seeking the right design for their new products.

 

Nuccio and his wicked children
Giovanni's son Giuscppe "Nuecio" Bertone steered the company through its greatest era, boasting a propensity for spotting brilliant young talent: such great names as Giugiaro, Gandini, Micliclotti and Scaglione all served their apprenticeships at Bertone. No one doubts the brilliance of Bertone's production designs such as the Alfa Romeo Giuliella Sprint and Giulia GT or the Lancia Stratos, nor its capacity for manufacturing for Alfa, Fiat, Volvo and others. Bertone also badged several models under its own name, such as the Fiat-engine 850 Coupe, Ritmo Cabriolet and Freelimber off-roader.


The most striking category of Bertone designs were undoubtedly his show cars, which he called his "children", and especially those "wicked children", which were controversial or inspired comment. Bertone was rarely interested in practical innovations in his show cars: these were pure dream machines. Marzal and Carabo Bertone produced many special bodies in the 1950s on the chassis of Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Maserati, but lie did not really gel into his stride as a producer of dream cars until the late 1960s. One of the most striking of all was the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal, a very novel concept ear, which directly inspired the later Espada series production car. Bertone's scheme for a four-seater Lamborghini called for enormous gullwing doors with surfaces almost entirely of glass. This solved the problem of entry to the rear seals and drew attention to the idea. So did the all-silver upholstery!


A year later, the Carabo marked another mould-breaking shape: something between a wedge and an arrow. The visual equivalent of a Doppler effect was created by the fluorescent red nose and green tail. The upward-hinging doors anticipated Bertone's Countach by four years, and gave the car its name - Carabo is contraction of the Italian for "beetle".

 

Stratos, Bravo and Sibilo
With the 1970 Lancia Stratos show car, Bertone teetered on the edge separating car design from pure sculpture. This amazing machine was designed with a completely free hand and was a car of extremes. It was so low that the driver had to Hip up the windscreen and walk in over the front end. To see out, you looked through small windows placed directly behind the front wheels – there was no rear visibility at all. To access the mid-mounted engine, a triangular shape panel hinged upwards like a piano.

The 1974 Lamborghini Bravo (based on the Urraco) integrated elements like tile lights, air intakes and rear quarter-lights into the design of the car itself. Another feature was the dark glass, which appeared to form a seamless pane. This theme would be refined with the 1978 Sibilo, an exercise based on the Lancia Stratos. Here the distinction between the metal and glass surfaces was blurred, creating the impression that the body was hewn from a single piece. Inside, the Sibilo's steering wheel was a single solid piece, and the dashboard featured digital instruments set very far back directly in the driver's line of sight.

 

 

Rainbow and Athon
Many observers felt that Bertone’s Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was a disappointingly boxy production design. Perhaps to address such criticism, Bertone produced tile Rainbow in 1976, based on the mid-engine 308. The name came about because the solid roof could pivot to the vertical and drop down behind the scats, so making car perfect for rain or sun. The angular lines were uncompromising: there were literally no curves to be seen other than the wheels and exhaust pipes. This model had the distinction of being advertised in the exclusive American Neiman Marcus store catalogue in 1979 but, with a price tag of S200, 000, it scared any customers off.


Extending Bertone's reputation for creating pure dream cars, the 1980 Athon was an uncompromising roadster based on the Lamborghini Urraco. It typified Bertone's penchant for bold, squarish shapes joining together to form the whole, would be extended by such cars as the Alfa 6-based Delfino and Citroen BX Group B-based Zabrus.


Bertone’s Corvette-based Raniarro won many awards and one designer described it as "representing Bertone's soul". It’s hard, geometric shape was emphasized by a completely blacked-out glass top, but not everyone thought the shape had the timeless quality of previous Bertone efforts.


The 1988 Genesis was a people carrier with a difference: it had a 455blip Lamborghini V-twelve engine mounted between the front passengers. There was space for five people, the rear three sitting in "arrow" formation. Its style and layout were controversial, and [lie point of having a V-twelve engine was undermined by a long-legged three-speed automatic gearbox.

 

 

Nivola, Rush and Blitz
For the Nivola of 1990 (its name recalled the great Italian race driver Tazio Nuvolari), Bertone turned to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 for its motive power — and, like all Bertone's show cars, it was a full runner. The bright- yellow concept car featured a targa roof, which stowed above the engine, and hydropneuinatic suspension. Most bizarrely of all, it had massaging vibrators in the backs of the seats, claimed to relieve the stress of long journeys! Perhaps they were needed, for the Nivola measured an expansive 78in (1.98m) wide.

At the 1992 Turin show, Bertone presented two concept ideas. One was part of Fiat's Cinquecenio concept display, outlandish two-seater 4x4 buggies called the Rush. The other was the Blitz electric sports car. The Blitz was described as a car/bike cross-over.The sports car angle was not out of place in an electric car since power response is near-immediate in electric vehicles.

 

 

Karisma and Slalom
Despite its rather tacky name, the 1994 vehicles. Karisma was a fine-looking car based on a Porsche 911 platform. It revived the gullwing four-seater theme pioneered by the 1967 Marzal, and deliberate reference was made to this early Bertone design. The leather-trimmed interior had full sealing for four adults, and the gullwing doors were claimed to "allow dignified entry".


A startling shade of orange — said to be inspired by Bertone's favorite champagne, Veuve Clicquot - at least made the 1996 Slalom stand out, not that if needed to with its sports-coupe shape and audaciously designed stacked front and clipped-ill rear lights. Adjustable rear seats made the two-plus-two interior fairly practical. Based on the Opel/Vauxliall Calibra Turbo 4x4 floor pan, it was also surprisingly effective to drive.


Nuccio Bertone died in 1997, but left behind him a design and manufacturing empire with the highest reputation, 1500 staff and dozens of clients from around the world. Perhaps his most important characteristic was an ability to spot talent: Marcello Gandini and Giorgetto Giugiaro, The two greatest car designers of recent years, both served as apprentices under Bertone.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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BERTONE DREAM CARS

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TITLE: BERTONE DREAM CARS at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: Bertone Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: Bertone Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: BERTONE DREAM CARS , Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, VIN check