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Lot 1519
1970 Bertone Shake Concept Car

Sold for US$ 16,100 inc. premium
1970 Bertone Shake Concept Car
By the close of the 1960s there was no question that the two great Italian automotive design firms were Pininfarina and Bertone. Pinfarina was known-among other things--for its many Ferrari and Fiat designs. Although Bertone had the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, Giulia Sprint GT, Iso Grifo and many fabulous concept cars within its vast portfolio, the firm was to come to the forefront in the 1970s. It turned the world upside down with the stunning Muira and was responsible for the design and body manufacture of the striking Fiat X-19.

But Bertone was not to be left out of the Dune-Buggy craze from California. Sure Fiat and Simca and others had their "Jolly" runabouts and Britain had its Mini Moke, but this light beach cars weren't what Bertone had in mind. The prestigious Italian carrozeria wanted a light, incredibly sporting and dramatic looking car for use on sand-be it desert or beach. And in 1970 it came out with the Shake. Several Bertone books, including those published Giorgio Nada and Haynes state that this two-passenger off-road vehicle used Simca 1200 running gear, while Fiat parts supplier and author Al Consentino insists that Fiat 128 componentry was tapped. Either way, both the Simca and the Fiat really were the same design, as Simca was part of Fiat.

The water-cooled, single-overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine and its manual transaxle were moved from its typical front-drive configuration and placed behind the passenger compartment driving the rear wheels. Those rear wheels were initially, huge, both in width and diameter, to accommodate big and aggressive off-road tires. The windshield folded flat and the main headlamps and a pair of air horns were mounted on the prominent chrome roll bar, while the steering wheel folded flat.

Although the car was shown in Europe-presumably Geneva--the hoped for market in the Middle East never materialized and the car was modified with smaller wheels and tires, a fixed windshield, relocated lighting and a new white paint scheme with black details and red fender wells.

Eventually, the car came to the United States where it joined the garage of a well-known Manhattan automobile collector, who recalls buying it directly from Bertone. It was kept in the collection and used little for several years before it passed to a friend who had admired the car. From there it went to an R.J. Reynolds Executive before changing hands through a New Jersey dealer approximately 10 years. Showing little more than 4,000 miles on its odometer, this reading is surely original since the car has been used so little and has needed virtually no work. It is very presentable and it starts and runs, though it hasn't been used on the road in years.
Auction information

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