Here lies Bertone, the famed Italian automotive design house, bankrupt and on almost on the verge of death. The once legendary company was forced to sell its most prized possessions – six concept cars – to appease the bankruptcy commission and also to remain afloat. RM Auctions of London handle the sale at this past weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011.
So what delectable concepts were the vultures able to get their beaks into? Well, there’s the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal that once graced the Monaco Grand Prix and is often cited as the inspiration for the Espada of the following year.
Then comes the extreme, wedge-shaped 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, which looks like the car RoboCop would use on the weekends and the little known Chevrolet Testudo of 1963. Next are two more low slung, Lamborghini-badged offerings – the Countach-alike Bravo coupe of 1974 and its convertible Athon brother from 1980. And lastly is the 1978 Lancia Sibilo that looks to me like a prop out of Total Recall and is finished in a very ‘70s shade of chocolate brown.
Overall, the auction went well with the Lamborghini Marzal fetching €1.51 million (estimated: €1 to €1.8 million), the Lamborghini Athon €347,200 (est. €150,000 to €220,000), the Lamborghini Bravo €588,000 (est. €150,000 to €220,000) and the Lancia Sibilo €95,200 (est. €60,000 to €100,000). The only cars that didn’t meet their estimated sales value were the Lancia HF Zero at €761,600 (est. €1 to €1.8 million) and the Chevrolet Testudo €336,000 (est. €500,000 to €800,000).
You can see pictures of the concepts that went up for sale in our gallery below.
By Tristan Hankins
Photos courtesy RM Auctions