The great challenge that drove Giovanni Bertone to abandon, at the end of the last century, a hard life in the fields of Mondovì to learn the trade of "cartwright", the difficult art of constructing wooden wheels for carriages and carts, gained new impetus when put to the test in that true breeding ground of talent that was Turin, a city already proclaimed capital of the Italian automobile industry. The passion he lavished on developing motor vehicles soon attracted the support of the few prestigious coachbuilders of the time, soon emerging as a leading figure as a result of his professionalism and absolute devotion to his work. The invaluable experience gained since 1912 in a humble workshop in Borgo San Paolo pointed him in the direction of constructing the first car bodies on behalf of a small number of customers but also preparing small special series of cars ordered by certain industries. This almost became a vocation for Giovanni who, just after the war, acquired new opportunities to create very elegant designs on Fiat, Diatto, Ceirano, Itala and Lancia chassis. All aimed at interpreting the clear trend that subsequently became the trademark of Bertone designed bodywork with harmonious shapes and sometimes sporting ambition. They also displayed the continuous progress in the machining techniques of various wooden structural elements and plating of steel and aluminium panels. Essential tools were well-trained labour and innate good taste in shaping the sheets of metal according to the sensitivity of the bodywork tracers responsible, at that time, for the design.

More than a century after its foundation, Carrozzeria Bertone offers a vibrant testimony of the period when the car experienced years of notable, courageous expansion, after the pioneering phase and moving towards greater circulation amongst the population. On the stimulus of a rationalist architecture, the range of cars conceived by Giovanni took on the role of leader in the fascinating race to find new formal construction proposals at the end of the 1930s.

We'll publish a biography on him on the occasion of his anniversary or when it will be reached a sufficient number of cars.

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