Cars from the private Bertone Museum are to be offered for sale - publicly - for the first time at the RM auction at the prestigious Villa d'Este concours on 21 May. The Canadian auction house plans to offer a stunning selection of 30 cars for sale, but the stars are sure to be the six iconic Bertone prototypes. Leading the way will be the amazing 1967 Lamborghini Marzal prototype. With a heady estimate of €1-1.8 million, this car has royal connections having been driven by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace at the start of the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix.
The beautiful Lancia Stratos prototype, commonly known as the "Zero" shares the same estimate and is sure to encourage frantic bidding from several of Europe's best-known Stratos aficionados. The doorstop wedge design with its clear side panels, front-opening lift-up windscreen, instruments tucked away in the doors and a host of other futuristic features looks space aged even today. That isn't to say that it doesn't work: Bertone showed that it did by driving it around to the Lancia offices (using a Fulvia engine) to prove his point.
Other Bertone sensations at the sale include the 1963 Chevrolet Testudo (estimate €500-800,000), the 1974 Lamborghini Bravo and 1980 Lamborghini Athon (each estimated at €150-220,000), as well as the 1978 Turin Show star Lancia Sibilo (€60-100,000).
RM Europe managing director Max Girardo said: "RM is truly honoured to have been selected to bring some of Bertone's most famous and extraordinary creations to the open market for the very first time. We look forward to providing our collector car expertise for the successful sale of these rolling works of art. These cars represent a highly significant slice of Bertone's creative history, as well as a unique opportunity to purchase some of the best known and most influential dream cars ever built."
The sale takes place from 8-11pm on 21 May at Villa Erba in Cernobbio during the exclusive Concorso d'Eleganza on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy, with viewing from 10am to 6pm on the day of the sale as well as 20 May. For details or catalogues allowing entry for two (at €70 a pop) call RM's London office on +44 (0) 20 7851 7070, or visit the company's website.