Journal: We Love Bertone

We Love Bertone

Afshin Behnia By Afshin Behnia
October 8, 2012
4 comments

I am the center of attention. All eyes and ears are on me.

Men of all ages instantly turn their heads and fix their gazes upon me as soon as they feel my presence. Children gawk in awe and point in my direction as they grab the hem of their mothers’ skirts. Even prim ladies stare from the corners of their eyes as they pretend not to look.

The facial expressions amongst the crowd are varied. Most are transformed into gazes of admiration and recognition, but there are a few twisted in disapproval and dispraise. One thing is certain though: There is not a single neutral reaction to my presence.

How in the world have I stirred up so much commotion? Simple: I am driving a Lamborghini Countach.

These very reactions and emotions are what Bertone design is all about. The body that Bertone bestowed upon the Countach was far ahead of its time. Even today, as I drive through downtown Beverly Hills where modern Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys hardly ever merit a glance from the jaded natives, the Countach commands everyone’s attention.

Nuccio Bertone set out on a mission of “setting the trend” and “daring the undarable.” Based on the public’s reaction today to a Bertone design that is now 34 years old, I say “mission accomplished”.

I simply love Bertone for what it has done for the automotive world, and I consider it a great injustice that Bertone’s tremendous impact on car design is rather unknown to the public at large. I doubt, for example, that many Lamborghini Gallardo owners realize that their car’s angular lines can be traced back to the lines penned by Marcello Gandini for the Countach. And it’s a shame that even amongst many who appreciate great design, very few credit Bertone for having produced such icons as the Lamborghini Miura, the Lancia Stratos, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, and the Ferrari 250 GT.

Also, let us not forget that the Bertone studio was the formidable designer incubator of the time. Giorgetto Giugiaro, Franco Scaglione, and Mario Boano were some of the great understudies of Bertone who went on to form their own coachbuilders.

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of the founding of Bertone’s studio, and we at Petrolicious celebrate this beloved coachbuilder, designer, and innovator with our series 100 Years of Bertone. We hope to inspire you with our first piece in this series, a video on the Countach titled When Outrageous Was Possible.

Petrolicious is celebrating 100 years of Bertone. Click here to see all of our Bertone posts.

 

 Photos courtesy of Bertone archives unless otherwise noted 

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Tobias Hommerich
Tobias Hommerich

Funny nobody turns a head when I drive along in my Gandini-styled Citroen BX:)

Collin Dow
Collin Dow

I just bought a 1980 Fiat X1/9, the Bertone badge standing proudly on the side of this grand new project.

Bill A.
Bill A.

Bertone did design a one off Ferrari 250 GT, but it wasn’t the Lusso.

It was this, based on a 250 SWB:

http://www.coachbuild.com/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=50&g2_itemId=1319

Becca Clason
Becca Clason

Thanks for catching that! We’ve now taken off the word “Lusso”.