Hommage to Nuccio Bertone

In 1912, Giovanni Bertone opens a small workshop in Turin for the fabrication and reparation of chariots and other hippo mobiles. While the workshop is in full expansion, little Giuseppe, who gets the nickname "Nuccio", joins the family in 1914.

The First World War disorganises the entire Italian industrial scene and as from 1920, Giovanni starts to produce car seats. This quickly develops into the production of chassis for brands such as Fiat, Fast, Cheribibi and Lancia. At the age of 19, having finished his economy and business studies, Nuccio enters the family business. His first project is to develop a chassis for the Fiat 508 Ballila.

In the mid-thirties, the Bertone company employs bout 150 people and Mario Revelli di Beaumont, author of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 which you will be able to admire at the Bertone exposition during SpaItalia, is the head of the company. The sound of boots approaches and Nuccio negotiates a few very interesting contracts with the Italian army, allowing the company to continue its activities during the Second World War.

After the war, Italy is destroyed. Nuccio continues activities in the workshop with the reparation of pre-war cars. But deep in him burns a passion for motorsports and in 1946 he enters his first race with a Fiat 500 barchetta, which he built himself. Till 1952 he races aboard several different models and knows many successes, after which he puts an end to his sports career.

With the help of designers Michelotti and Scaglione, Nuccio Bertone starts his search for a model that is not custom made or built in limited edition. The first attempt is the MG Arnolt, a project during which he meets engineer Rudolf Hruska who works for Alfa Romeo. This encounter results in the birth of the Giulietta Sprint in 1954, a model that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and of which several models will be exhibited at SpaItalia.

Bertone builds chassis a ratio of 2.200 a year and Alfa Romeo is in charge of the assembly. This contract turns the company into a full time constructor. From then on, Nuccio Bertone works for big names such as Lamborghini, Maserati, Fiat, Lancia, Aston Martin, BMW, Abarth, Citroën, Ford, GM and even Ferrari who will show its 308 GT4 at SpaItalia.  He leads many projects and builds several concept cars such as the Lancia Sibilo and Alfa Romeo Navajo, both unique cars that will also be presented at SpaItalia.

Nuccio dies in 1997, leaving behind a company employing 2.350 people and with a production capacity of 70.000 vehicles per year. Unfortunately, with the death of its genial owner, the company also starts a downwards spiral which comes to an end in July 2014 with the bankruptcy of what is left of the empire.