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Gruppo Bertone, commonly known simply as Bertone, was an Italian automobile company, which specialized in car styling, coachbuilding and manufacturing. Bertone styling is distinctive, with most cars having a strong “family resemblance” even if they are badged by different manufacturers. Bertone has styled cars for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Citroën, Ferrari, FIAT, Iso, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Volvo, among others.
Milan (Bertone Design); Turin (to 2014)
Giovanni Bertone started a carriage manufacturing business in Turin, at the age of 28. Along with three workers, he built horse-drawn vehicles.
In the first decades of the 20th century, cars were not common. The road traffic was dominated by horse-drawn carriages and the coaches built by the young Bertone were particularly regarded for their accuracy, quality and solidity. In 1914, Giuseppe Bertone, nicknamed “Nuccio”, the second son of Giovanni Bertone, was born. This nickname later became known as the signature to Nuccio, one of the greatest Italian style masters in the world. The outbreak of the first world war triggered a major crisis of the young Italian industrial sector and heavily affected Giovanni Bertone, who was forced to close his company.
Bertone has styled cars for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Citroën, Ferrari, FIAT, Iso, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Volvo, among others. In addition, the Bertone studio was responsible for two of the later designs of the Lambretta motorscooter. In the late 1980s, Bertone styled the K20 motorcycle helmet for Swiss bicycle and motorcycle helmet manufacturer Kiwi.
The company was based in Grugliasco in northern Italy. Gruppo Bertone was founded as Carrozzeria Bertone in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone. Designer Nuccio Bertone took charge of the company after World War II and the company was divided into two units: Carrozzeria for manufacturing and Stile Bertone for styling. Until its bankruptcy in 2014, the company was headed by the widow of Nuccio Bertone, Lilli Bertone.
After its bankruptcy, the Bertone name was retained by some of its former employees who continued as a Milan-based design company, Bertone Design.