Bertone, doyen of car design, dies

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The Independent Online
Nuccio Bertone, one of the great figures of the car world and the doyen of Italian design, has died aged 82.

During more than half a century of intense work, he created some of the world's most memorable car designs including the Lamborghini Countach, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 and the Lancia Stratos.

Born in Turin in 1914, he entered his father's small coachworks firm in his early twenties, gradually transforming it into a fully-fledged industrial plant. One of his first big successes was the 1954 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, of which 40,000 were built against an expected 500. He also designed the the Fiat 850 Spider and the Fiat X1/9.

However, the Bertone Lamborghinis are the hallmarks of an epoch - the Miura, Espada and Countach each figuring as milestones in automotive history.

Finally in the 1990s, came the Citroens ZX and Xantia, the Opel Astra and Fiat Punto cabriolets and the Citroen Berlingo. In 1995, came a Guinness Book of Records entry when the Bertone ZER blasted through the 300km/h barrier to achieve a record speed of 303.977 km/h.

Mr Bertone leaves two daughters who have followed their father's paths: Marie Jeanne, a graduate in architecture, oversees the creative section of the Bertone group, and Barbara, an economics graduate, the industrial production division.

Today the group employs 1,500 with a turnover of pounds 200m. Reuters

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