News : One-off Bertone Jaguar on offer

Keith Adams

Bertone FT
Bertone FT

One-off Jaguars that come up for sale tend to command spectacular prices when they come up for sale – but they can also prove to be rather controversial, given the beauty of the cars they’re based upon. This Bertone FT is a good case in point – it’s based on the S-type 3.8, and eschews its donor car’s curvaceousness for a far more angular set of clothes.

But the story’s interesting enough. In 1966, the Italian Jaguar importer Ferruccio Tarchini commissioned Bertone to build a four-seater coupé for its 1966 Geneva Motor Show stand. Initially it was planned to distribute this car s a limited production model, but the plan soon fell through after a single car was made. The FT (for Ferruccio Tarchini) pretty sunk without a trace. Until now – as Albion Motorcars in Belgium has one up for sale.

The original Geneva show car is still in the hands of the Tarchini family, and the car on offer is the only ‘series’ car – having been built on a Jaguar 420 chassis and sold to a customer in Spain in 1967. The car remained there until recently, when the car was rediscovered in the corner of a garage.

it’s described as being in highly original condition and needing a re-paint, and the price is ‘on application’, but we can’t help but think that this is a Jaguar variation. What do you think – do the Italian stylists understand what makes a Jaguar click?

Link on Albion Motorcars’ website.


Keith Adams


  1. Jags always looked better than lancia’s , unfortunately this looks like a lancia. Much like I prefer an original Mini to an original Fiat 500, but then again i’m English.
    Italy is beautiful but so is England, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins too but i bet you can guess which I prefer.

  2. Would like that without the Jag grill and lights. It’s like they stuck them on at the end as an afterthought.

  3. I like it. But then I like the Buick Rivera and the Opel Diplomat too, both of which must have had an inspiration for Bertone’s stylist’s.

  4. It looks ill-proportioned, like a mish-mash of ideas that were not fully sorted out. The greenhouse is too tall and not at all in scale with the rest of the body. Compared to a proper Jag this just looks odd. I can’t see why anyone would have purchased this instead of the nicer looking car upon which it was based. Perhaps that is why it never went into full production.

  5. Is that side window the same used in the ISO lele?

    I’m getting early hints of Rolls Royce Camargue, Fiat 130 or a two door Maserati Quattroporte II. The Italian influence is strong and I don’t dislike it, I just would have put less emphasis on the Jaguar style grill being incorporated.

  6. “The roof needs to be lower.”

    I agree the massive windows make it look top heavy. Like some kind of royal procession car or something.

  7. Roof is far too high, like a hearse converted into a coupe. Also the Jag front looks tacked on. Lose the grill to something neater and make it a convertible – then it will look nice.

  8. I’m joining the party – the roof just begs to be lowered and the glasshouse’s too big.
    Italian stylists can do (and did) much better than this – Sorry Bertone.

  9. Below the windowline the car looks good. And above it looks good too. Trouble is, the two sections don’t look good together. And the grille is such an afterthought.

  10. @Daveyp:

    “Gladys” was originally intended to be the Alvis GTS, with this one-off car being built by Radford Coachbuilders.

    The car is reputably still owned by David Bache’s widow but is on long term loan to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, although I have not seen it on display for a long time. I personally think it looks more purposeful and appealing than the Bertone-designed Jaguar Coupe.

  11. The glass house on this is very typical 1960’s styling – very similar to American designer Brook Stevens. You can see it in his 1964 Studebaker Lark. It’s interesting how we comment on a certain design and discuss how it should be (and I agree with the sentiments here) like it was just designed and put together last week. But we have to remember that this is a design that is nearly fifty years old. What looks out of sorts and wrong to us today must have looked fantastic back in the sixties. Whether it would have worked and sold is another thing. And what’s with the rear styling? Is that the best they could come up with? It looks like the boot of a Mark 1 Ford Escort / Capri was tacked on…

  12. Well, with those italian carrozzeria designs you never really know wether they were initially intended for what they were used later. These coachbuilders were very small companies and they churned out an amazing number of designs in the 60’s. They had to apply some economical tricks sometimes. So often they reused their refused design proposals as show cars.

    Just to make a guess the rear side window looks very BMW to me. Given the fact that Bertone was cooperating with BMW in the 60’s (3200 CS Coupe in 62, Garmisch show car in 68) I wouldn’t be suprised if this Jaguar had been initially a proposal for what later became the BMW 3.0 CS coupe. It’s a speculation of course, but it could have been this way.

    BTW, the tail lights are taken from the Giulia Berlina. It’s not perfect, but somehow I like it…

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