Friday, March 9, 2007

Bertone Barchetta Concept

GENEVA — The legendary Italian design studio Bertone introduced its Barchetta concept at the Geneva auto show, with a design that harks back to happier times in the company's history.

Bertone Barchetta ConceptBertone Barchetta Concept 2Giovanni Bertone set up a body shop in Turin in 1912. Nuccio, his son, transformed the company into a styling studio and then expanded into manufacturing. Nuccio died in 1997 and the company has been losing important clients during the last couple of years, increasingly relying on work from China to keep afloat.

But here in Geneva, Bertone showed the old spirit is still alive with the Barchetta. The barchetta (Italian for "small boat") is a typical Italian body style, sitting somewhere between a windshield-less spyder and a roadster. Barchettas were very popular in Italy during the late 1940s and '50s; the first Ferraris were barchettas.

Nuccio also created a barchetta off the minuscule Fiat 500 in 1947 for his personal use. This prototype was the inspiration for the current Barchetta concept. This one is based on the recently introduced Fiat Panda 100 HP, a scorching version of the Italian supermini.

The 151.7-inch Barchetta has Lamborghini-style suicide doors, LED front lights and a shiny aluminum body — all traits that make it an interesting showcar. Inside, the two seats are fixed, but the dash is adjustable.

© Source: article on insideline
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