“Before the car became a consumer good, it had been a legendary and idealised item… As such, it developed the artists’ imagination, including body shop mechanics like Bertone, who started bringing to life the fantasies of wealthy and exclusive clients and thus… he was able to follow the long wave of industrialisation, interpreting the market demand”. The words of his wife, Lilli Bertone, strike you for their straightforwardness: Nuccio was able to be a sophisticated artist and a skilled entrepreneur.
“I grew up with bread and cars, I only had one vocation: cars”.
He joined his father Giovanni’s company at the age of 20. Nuccio was attracted straight away to the designing of the mobile shape. He fulfilled the desire of the limited edition becoming a production car with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, while with the BAT 5, BAT 7 and BAT 9 he profiles the dream in the research prototype.
He was a fantastic orchestra director, he was intuitive, he could find people’s potential and promote it. Amongst these talents, we find Giorgetto Giugiaro and Marcello Gandini. Initially, he used external collaborators, ranging from Giovanni Michelotti to Mario Boano, Franco Scaglione. Bertone signed many AR 2000 Sprint models, the ASA 1000, the car designed by wind: the Giulia.
With the young Marcello Gandini, Nuccio presented the Miura at the 1966 exhibition in Geneva. It was marvellous, in perfect tune with the collective imagination of those years and still an icon today. A Master who dreamed big: from the exclusive and luxurious Marzal to the Fiat Dino Coupè and the Montreal. He went from the racing mechanics to creating series cars with the Espada. With the Carabo he wanted to surprise and load the shape with expressive strength. Then, there was a new starting point: Lancia Stratos 0. It was different from the road Stratos, which Robinson defined as “prosthetics for winning” and the numbers agree with him. There was an exclamation of stupor for the car that replaced the Miura: Countach!
From the eighties, Nuccio promoted the development of the centre in Caprie, which includes a school, a workshop and a forge… every two or three years, when an elderly artisan leaves, he leaves his place to a young artisan, who he’s transferred his knowledge on to.
The ZER, zero emissions record, presented in 1994 was significant. Nuccio had to deal with a new technology and he demonstrated that you’ve never finished saying what the car may express.